As part of its innovative approach to research, education, and service, Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy in Fort Lauderdale created the first Center for Consumer Health Informatics Research (CCHIR) in the country. The CCHIR (pronounced see-ker, as in seeking knowledge and answers) mission is to generate discoveries that leverage the potential of consumer health informatics to improve patient health. The CCHIR also holds the distinction of being designated as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center in Consumer Health Informatics. This represents the first such Collaborating Center designation by the WHO specific to Consumer Health Informatics in the World. And it is currently the only WHO designated Center for Consumer Health Informatics Research. Under this designation, CCHIR will execute jointly planned activities including contributing to the development of a consumer health informatics research agenda with WHO. Other initiatives by the CCHIR in its role as a WHO Collaborating Center include continued efforts investigating online health-related risks in concert with the Global Observatory for eHealth at WHO and working in conjunction with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in creating international postgraduate training opportunities in consumer health informatics and in evaluating the roles of mobile health (mHealth).
The Center is housed in the College of Pharmacy and uses a multidisciplinary approach to research in order to answer questions and develop interventions in areas including online health information seeking, eHealth literacy, medication adherence, social media in healthcare, and mobile health (mHealth). The CCHIR also collaborates with independent organizations like Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) to explore and implement Information Technology (IT) solutions into daily healthcare practice.
The CCHIR serves as an advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) training site for students from the college. Required informatics and pharmacotherapy courses as well as elective courses are team-taught by Center personnel. In addition, the Center provides a variety of research opportunities for all students (P1s through P4s) that would match their interest and expectations.
As part of its commitment to service, the CCHIR is cultivating relationships with community partners for development of programmatic initiatives to benefit the surrounding community. In addition, with the current multiple local, national, and international professional collaborations, CCHIR is unceasingly working on projects to explore, develop and implement Information Technology (IT) solutions that will sustain and upgrade current healthcare practices.