Over the last two years I have been fortunate to work with some real leaders in pharmacy informatics education. One of the most accomplished pioneers in this realm is Dr. Beth Breeden, who is the Director of the Master of Health Care Informatics (MHCI) program at the Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Nashville, TN. Pharmacy students at our University have a rare set of opportunities in informatics education, including a dual pharmacy-informatics program that is the second of its kind in the country. Pharmacy students can choose to concurrently complete a dual PharmD+MHCI or PharmD+Certificate in HCI. We also offer both summer internships and a specialty residency in partnership with Vanderbilt University focused on pharmacy informatics as well as related experiential and research opportunities to our students. It doesn’t hurt that Nashville has evolved into the health care capital of the country. But creating these types of health care informatics opportunities for pharmacy students is a challenge nationally for pharmacy and other health care educators, which is why the article described below was written. Hopefully the framework presented and specific examples described help educators working in even the most resource-challenged environs develop informatics opportunities for their students.
Development and implementation of a multitiered health informatics curriculum in a college of pharmacy.
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 2016 Apr 27. pii: ocw023. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocw023.
Breeden EA, Clauson KA.
Standards requiring education in informatics in pharmacy curricula were introduced in the last 10 years by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Mirroring difficulties faced by other health professions educators, implementation of these requirements remains fragmented and somewhat limited across colleges of pharmacy in the US. Clinical practice and workforce metrics underline a pronounced need for clinicians with varying competencies in health informatics. In response to these challenges, a multitiered health informatics curriculum was developed and implemented at a college of pharmacy in the Southeast. The multitiered approach is structured to ensure that graduating pharmacists possess core competencies in health informatics, while providing specialized and advanced training opportunities for pharmacy students, health professions students, and working professionals interested in a career path in informatics. The approach described herein offers institutions, administrators, faculty, residents, and students an adaptable model for selected or comprehensive adoption and integration of a multitiered health informatics curriculum.