Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Thursday, 26th June 2008-RCSI Students Shape the Future of Pharmacy

26 June 2008

An innovative new summer studentship at the School of Pharmacy in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) was launched. The programme, which is sponsored by Helix Health, will see the development of web-based interactive e-learning that will enhance the teaching of undergraduate students in patient care aspects of pharmacy.

Pictured from l to r are RCSI pharmacy student, Carmel Flynn; Helix Health CEO, Howard Beggs and Head of the RCSI School of Pharmacy, Professor John Kelly.

The programme, which will be developed over a 5 year period, aims to revolutionise the way pharmacy is taught.  The core pharmacy components will be supported by e-learning units delivered over the undergraduate years, providing a unique and interactive way for the students to access course material and to work through cases, practical exercises and self-assessment techniques.

RCSI pharmacy student, Carmel Flynn, will commence the first phase of the project this summer, and her input into the design process will ensure its accessibility to undergraduate students.

Pictured from l to r are RCSI pharmacy lecturer Ms. Judith Strawbridge; RCSI pharmacy student, Carmel Flynn and Helix Health CEO, Howard Beggs.

As well as utilising the package for undergraduate educational purposes, it is envisaged that the programme could also readily transfer for use by the practicing pharmacist, and will be adaptable for other healthcare professionals. This will allow for ease of information sharing in areas where the various healthcare disciplines overlap; such as ethics, risk management and recognising adverse drug reactions.

Speaking at the launch, Judith Strawbridge, lecturer in Pharmacy, RCSI, said “It is very timely that RCSI, with the support of Helix Healthcare are engaging in such an initiative. The role of the pharmacist is evolving as they play an increased part in the multidisciplinary team approach to patient care, and the use of novel teaching technologies can support this.”

Helix Health CEO, Howard Beggs said “We are delighted to engage with the RCSI to support and promote the use of such innovative learning methods. The benefits gained from using cutting edge technology to improve patient care is obvious to us, therefore, to recognise its value as a teaching and learning tool from the beginning of a Healthcare Professionals training is very encouraging. We hope that our involvement in the project will help students prepare to meet the challenges of patient care in the future.”

About Helix Health

Helix Health is a leading provider of world-class healthcare software and IT solutions. The company was formed in 2007 as a result of a merger between Systems Solutions (leading provider of pharmacy management software) and Medicom (market leader in general practice systems), creating the largest indigenous healthcare IT provider in Ireland. With a combined customer base of over 10,000 users of its healthcare software offerings, the company provides innovative technology solutions to Primary Care, Pharmacy, Specialist Health Care and Private Consultants, Health Assessment and Government. Helix has annual revenues of over €11m and employs almost 100 staff in Ireland. Helix Health has built a strong reputation for delivering quality software, which combines flexibility and user-friendliness.  Helix Health is future-focused, quality-focused and customer-focused enabling healthcare professionals to deliver superior health services to their patients.