Health informatics competencies for pharmacists in training

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American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education


Objective. To gather feedback from focus groups regarding health informatics competencies that should be taught in a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curricula and to revise the competencies based on this feedback. Methods. The pharmacy informatics task force of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) used 11 sources to create a list of pharmacy informatics competencies. Subsequently, faculty feedback about the competency list was obtained via two synchronous online focus groups in August 2015. The list was then revised based on the feedback. Results. Eight people (a department chair, six faculty members and a graduate student) participated in the focus groups (six were from private and two were from public institutions). Participants felt the list had too many competencies to be covered in a timely manner and some indicated that basic computer and Internet competencies should be considered pre-requisites. Participants also recommended that competencies be split by proposed curricular placement (eg, prerequisite, required, elective, didactic, experiential) for each objective. The competency list was revised in response to focus group feedback. Conclusion. The proposed curriculum aligns with the new Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) standards requiring that professional pharmacy curricula cover multiple aspects of health informatics. The proposed competencies list can serve as a reference to assist in the development of the curriculum and ensure compliance with the new standards.

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