Student Pharmacist Internship in an Academic Medical Center Informatics Department




The role of the pharmacist in an informatics setting continues to expand every year as health care entities realize the importance of pharmacist inclusion in a clinical informatics, interdisciplinary team. However, there remains limited understanding of what an informatics pharmacist does and the daily requirements of professionals in this role.

The Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) partnered to provide rising third year student pharmacists an internship opportunity in health care informatics in an academic medical center.  Matt Meeks, Drew Lewis, and Grant Mathis completed the ten-week internship in the Department of Horizon Clinicals at VUMC. The internship was designed to introduce student pharmacists to the various roles and responsibilities of a pharmacist in the health care informatics field.

Drew Lewis Grant Mathis Matt Meeks

The student pharmacists assisted with informatics projects involving oncology health-system software development, data verification within information systems, clinical decision support and medication reconciliation. Interns participated on interprofessional teams and worked with clinical application analysts, technicians, nurses, informatics pharmacy residents, pharmacists, physicians, and system programmers.

The student pharmacists developed advanced knowledge and enhanced competencies in health care informatics during this internship. They became proficient in the clinical systems used by VUMC and gained a working knowledge of how those systems are developed, tested, maintained, and interfaced. The student pharmacists worked with informatics pharmacists to gain an understanding of the day to day activities, workflow, and processes within a health care informatics department.