Posted on November 20, 2015 by Harold Lopatka, B. Pharm., MHSA, Ph.D., CHE
It’s Digital Health Week – what an exciting time in the world of digital health! As an educator and the Executive Director of the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada (AFPC) – the national voice for academic pharmacy in Canada — I have been able to experience the ongoing growth of digital health innovation in education, and watch how it is helping to improve clinical practice and patient care.
In order to keep the momentum going and continue to prepare students and faculty with the skills and knowledge needed to optimize digital health use in their daily practice, AFPC partnered with Infoway, to develop the Next Generation: Pharmacists Clinicians-in-Training program. The program integrated clinical informatics core competencies into the curriculum and produced education resources, such as the competency-based e-resource, which has been an integral digital health education tool in Canadian pharmacy faculties/schools.
We partnered with Infoway again to create the Pharmacy Educator Peer Leader Network (PEPLN) which actively facilitates the integration of the e-resource into Canadian Pharmacy faculty/school curricula and helps pharmacy faculty as they provide support and mentorship to the academic community.
Theresa Charrois, Clinical Associate Professor, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta, and PEPLN member expressed that “digital health education should be seamlessly included in the curricula of all health professionals. The reality is, these future health professionals are digital natives and would think it was unusual if this information was not included in their education. Digital health and how it fits into our health care system is another growing area that needs to be included in graduate competencies.”
Like Theresa, I too believe that the use of digital health at the education stage is crucial to realizing a host of benefits in clinical practice, such as improved patient safety, increased efficiencies and increased focus on clinical services. As we celebrate Digital Health Week 2015 and roll out PEPLN, we look forward to releasing and updated e-resource and facilitating its further integration into pharmacy curricula in Canada.
For additional information about PEPLN see project newsletters http://afpc.info/content/pepln-newsletters.
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Harold Lopatka, B. Pharm., MHSA., Ph.D., CHE
Harold Lopatka, Executive Director of Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada (AFPC) is responsible for the project to develop the online e-resource on information and communications technology and promote its use in pharmacy curriculum through an educator peer leader network. In addition, he is President of his consulting firm and an adjunct professor at the University of Alberta.