Canadian Faculties of Pharmacies to include effective use of information and communications technologies in curriculum

(Toronto, ON) - Better preparing pharmacy students to practice in modern, technology-enabled environments is the objective of a new initiative launched today by the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada (AFPC) and Canada Health Infoway (Infoway).

Canada's faculties of pharmacy and students are invited to join in this three-year effort to strengthen learning on effective use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in clinical practice.

"Clinicians throughout Canada and around the world have done a commendable job of integrating the use of ICTs for health into their work," said Jennifer Zelmer, Senior Vice-President, Clinical Adoption and Innovation, Canada Health Infoway. "Momentum is building and by giving pharmacists in training a good foundation on the effective use of these tools in their work, the pharmacists of tomorrow will be better prepared to harness the considerable benefits ICTs bring to their work and their patients."

The AFPC-Infoway Clinicians in Training project aims to improve clinical practice and patient care by supporting pharmacy students in their adoption and use of ICTs, such as drug information systems. It will engage each of the 10 faculties of pharmacy across Canada, including educators, informatics experts and students. The project will include a variety of components, such as the creation and sharing of curriculum-based resources and e-learning tools.

"The use of ICTs for health is integral to the work of pharmacists and it is crucial to realizing a host of benefits such as increased patient safety, increased efficiencies, and increased focus on clinical services" said Harold Lopatka, Executive Director, Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada. "By building the use of ICTs into the curricula, Canadian faculties of pharmacy are preparing the next generation of pharmacists with the skills they will need to optimize ICT use into their daily practice."

Infoway's investment in support of clinicians in training is part of the $500 million in new funding provided by the Government of Canada in its 2010 Budget. The faculties of pharmacy project is the third such program announced this year following the establishment of similar projects with The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada and Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing.

About Canada Health Infoway

Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Infoway jointly invests with every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of information and communications technology projects in Canada. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these secure systems will provide clinicians and patients with the information they need to better support safe care decisions and manage their own health. Accessing this vital information quickly will help foster a more modern and sustainable health care system for all Canadians.

About the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy (AFPC)

Founded in 1944, first as the Canadian Conference of Pharmaceutical Faculties (CCPF), the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada (AFPC) is the national non-profit organization advocating the interests of pharmacy education and educators in Canada. AFPC represents 10 pharmacy faculties across Canada in which approximately 4900 undergraduate students and 500 graduate students are enrolled. AFPC is committed to the promotion and recognition of excellence in pharmacy education and scholarly activities.

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For more information:

Karen Schmidt
Director, Corporate/Internal Communications
Canada Health Infoway
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