Posted August 11, 2015 by Anne Fazzalari
Technology impacts every aspect of our daily lives and academia is no exception. The tools of the trade for educators have changed today and now include everything from smart boards to social media to online chats between students and professors. Often, the term ‘next gen’ conjures up images of Star Trek or the next new shiny car/computer/phone model. In this instance, it’s a double entendre of the next group of clinicians who will be practicing in a technology-enabled environment like no other before, as well as the next ‘major upgrade’ of Infoway’s Clinicians in Training initiative.
In partnership with the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada (AFPC), Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) and the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), the inaugural “Next Generation: Clinicians in Training” projects produced valuable resources for students and faculty to help prepare them for technology-enabled environments, such as the medical virtual patients, Nursing Informatics Teaching Toolkit and an Informatics for Pharmacy Students e-Resource, along with informatics core competencies for undergraduate students in medicine, nursing and pharmacy.
Building on the success of the first “Next Generation: Clinicians in Training” initiative, the program has expanded to include Faculty Peer Leaders. This is exciting because pharmacy, nursing and physician Faculty Peer Leaders join over 500 of their colleagues in the field who, as part of the “Direct Care Providers” component of the Clinical Engagement Strategy, can support one another in the implementation of digital health solutions.
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other” – John F. Kennedy
Peer leaders and mentors are early adopters who are excited and knowledgeable about how technology benefits their patients and clinical practice. Peer Leaders share their expertise and lessons learned, and continually look to innovate and learn during exchanges with colleagues. Having participated in workshops across the country, Peer Leaders have often said it’s a two way street because they learn from the knowledge exchange with their colleagues as well.
We are now moving upstream from the clinical setting to the education and training of future clinicians. Faculty Peer Leaders join the existing cadre to share their knowledge and support faculty peers to use and integrate the available plug-and-play resources into their respective contexts, courses and undergraduate curricula. Students will benefit from the integration of consumer health solutions into their studies and will be ready one day to confidently leverage technology in their clinical decision making, which ultimately benefits the patient.
As a project manager, this is one instance where I am excited about the expanded scope and can’t wait to see what is on the horizon. Stay tuned for the next blog to learn about the Pharmacy Educator Peer Leader Network (PEPLN)!
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Anne’s passion is promoting the use and benefits of digital health solutions to advance clinical transformation — she leverages her expertise in facilitation, research and program/project management when engaging a variety of stakeholders across the country in the implementation of Infoway’s Peer Network & Next Generation Clinicians in Training initiatives.