Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Incorporation of Institute of Medicine Competency Recommendations within Doctor of Pharmacy Curricula

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Incorporation of Institute of Medicine Competency Recommendations within Doctor of Pharmacy Curricula

Article excerpt


The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has highlighted the extent of harm caused by medical errors and other problems with healthcare quality and the need to transform healthcare to improve outcomes. (1,2) The IOM recognized that a safer healthcare system could not be built without adequately trained health professionals.

The IOM Report: Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality, published in 2003, emphasized changes in the education of health care professionals that are needed to improve the quality of health care in the United States. (3) The report presented a vision that emphasized the importance of integrating 5 core competencies into health professions education to prepare professionals to meet the evolving needs of the health care system: patient-centered care, interdisciplinary teams, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics (Table 1). (3)

Reports from several other professional and/or interdisciplinary expert groups, including the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Curricular Change Summit, the Interprofessional Education Collaborative, the Council on Credentialing in Pharmacy, and the Lucian Leape Institute at the National Patient Safety Foundation, have emphasized the importance of incorporating the 5 core competencies into the education of health care professionals. (4-7) The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) acknowledged the IOM report and incorporated the competencies into Standards 2007.8 In addition, Guidelines version 2.0 for ACPE Accreditation Standards 2007 highlight the importance of addressing the 5 core competencies, with a particular/specific focus on interprofessional education. The guidelines emphasize key areas, including patient safety and interprofessional team work, to better prepare graduates to work in collaborative health care teams. (9)

While ACPE, AACP, and other organizations have emphasized inclusion of these competencies within pharmacy curricula, the extent to which US colleges and schools of pharmacy have implemented the competencies into their PharmD programs was unknown. A literature search of MEDLINE, CINAHL and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (IPA) from 1996 to October 2011 to identify existing reports on the inclusion of IOM competencies in pharmacy curricula was conducted using terms and synonyms for the 5 core competencies and the terms pharmacy education or pharmacy schools. Although some reports on attempts to include these competencies in pharmacy curricula were identified, no reports that assessed the inclusion of all 5 competencies were found.

Inclusion of informatics has been assessed to some degree within pharmacy curricula. An initial study retrieved data on pharmacy informatics from course titles and descriptions published on the public Internet Web sites of colleges and schools of pharmacy. (10) These findings were used in a follow-up study to determine the extent of pharmacy informatics education and compliance with ACPE Standards 2007 for accredited pharmacy colleges and schools in the United States. (11) This study identified current competencies in the area of pharmacy informatics while also proposing a foundational set of core competencies for teaching informatics.

Baseline information on integrating the science of safety into the PharmD curricula has been reported by a collaboration between AACP, the Food and Drug Administration and the American Pharmacists Association's Pharmacy Services Support Center. (12-15) The science of safety competencies are consistent with those recommended in the IOM report, Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality. (3)

In 2011, Kiersma and colleagues reported that the development of patient safety curricula in health professions curricula (medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and dentistry) has primarily been discipline-specific and that a variety of educational methods have been used. (16) Interprofessional education has also been studied using structured interviews at 6 US colleges and schools of pharmacy to explore benefits, barriers, and strategies for implementation. …

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