PQA Launches 2020-21 Healthcare Quality Innovation Challenge

National Collegiate Competition Open to Students at All U.S. Schools of Pharmacy 

Alexandria, Va. (August 5, 2020) – The PQA Healthcare Quality Innovation Challenge (HQIC) is an annual national collegiate competition where student teams present technology-enabled solutions to improve healthcare quality. With the support of a faculty or pharmacy professional mentor, participating student teams develop a business summary proposal for their solution to one of three prompts provided by PQA. The prompts for the 2020-21 academic year are focused on pandemics, mental health and the social determinants of health.

HQIC encourages student pharmacists to collaborate with other healthcare and business professions students during the fall semester to develop their solution. Sponsored by Pharmacy Quality Solutions, the competition is open to students from any U.S. school or college of pharmacy. PQA’s HQIC Competition Details document provides information on the program, including details on the prompts. Student submissions for this year’s competition are due January 15, 2021.

“The Healthcare Quality Innovation Challenge encourages the next generation of healthcare leaders to develop innovative, multidisciplinary solutions to real-world challenges,” Laura Cranston, RPh, PQA CEO, said. “We’ve focused this year’s competition on three issues that have been magnified by the COVID crisis: safely operating a pharmacy during a pandemic and addressing mental health and the social determinants of health.”

Three finalist teams will be invited to present their solution at the 2021 PQA Annual Meeting to a panel of judges, who will select a winner. The teams that finish first, second and third receive cash awards of $5,000, $3,500 and $1,500, respectively.

Now in its fourth year, HQIC has previously been won by teams from the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Kentucky, and the University of California, San Francisco. PQA’s Student Programs web page provides more information on HQIC and PQA’s other student programs.


Pharmacy Quality Alliance:

Pharmacy Quality Solutions:


Contact: Richard Schmitz, PQA Senior Director of Communications, [email protected] or 703-347-7931

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