For Budding Pharmacists, Rx: Great Need for IT Training

We’ve approached curricular experiences through the lens that informatics is going to be foundational for any type of pharmacy career,” said Dr. Beth Breeden, associate professor in the department of pharmacy practice and director of graduate studies at Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

From my piece “All Aboard the Tech Train” for Academic Pharmacists Now  (American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy)


The wide range of academic training for pharmacy has many tributaries, especially in health IT, that touch on data issues from electronic medical records to patient safety, not to mention the increasing need to work as a clinical team with practitioners to improve healthcare outcomes.

While advocates say there is a greater need for informatics training, the movement has been slow, according to a recent progress report in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (AJPE). However, there are pharmacy schools working steadily to expand student opportunities because they see HIT as part of a dynamic future in healthcare.”

In the AJPE study (co-authored by Breeden), 132 programs met inclusion criteria for review. Of these, only 47 (36 percent) included an informatics course; 64 percent were required while 47 percent were elective courses. Some 20 percent of the programs provided advanced informatics and/or introductory practice experiences, while 20 percent offered informatics residency programs. Only 17 percent listed certificate and/or graduate programs in informatics. Read the full study.- Joe Cantlupe

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