UK HealthCare

UK Pharmacy Students Win First Place in Healthcare Quality Innovation Challenge


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 24, 2019) — University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy students Noor Naffakh, Kailyn Conner and John Brown took home first place in the Healthcare Quality Innovation Challenge at the annual Pharmacy Quality Alliance’s (PQA) Meeting in Baltimore this month.

The team-based student competition was created to foster student engagement in using technology to create health care solutions for patients. Teams are asked to develop a business proposal for a current healthcare quality issue that can be addressed using technology.

This year a number of teams participated in the initial round of the competition in January. Later, three finalists competed in front of a panel of judges and attendees at the PQA Annual Meeting on Friday, May 17, 2019. The teams were judged on the effectiveness of their presentations, as well as their ability to answer questions posed by the judges. The audience was also asked to select their favorite proposal, which factored into a portion of each team’s score. The judging panel and the audience chose the UK College of Pharmacy students as the first-place winner for their presentation, “Patient Engagement with Prescription Talk System (PEPTalkS): A Technology-Driven Solution to Mitigate Risk of Primary Medication Nonadherence.” PEPTalkS is a pharmacy management system plug-in designed to close the communication gap between patient, prescriber, and pharmacist when a patient fails to pick up a new medication.

University of California San Francisco took second place with the presentation, “The Initiation of Plan S: Utilization of a Government-Run Program to Optimize Price Transparency." In third place was the University of Arizona with “Educate, Integrate, Communicate, and Overcome (EICO)."

“We challenge our students to look for creative real-world solutions to current problems in healthcare.  It is no surprise that Noor, Kailyn, and John were able to put together the winning plan. I’m proud of them,” said R. Kip Guy, dean of the UK College of Pharmacy.