The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Dietetic Internship Program offers students clinical rotation experiences in hospitals, clinics, schools, and other institutions and prepares them for work in these and other diverse settings. Students complete a number of preceptor-evaluated studies and projects to show competence in several areas required by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Students must meet these requirements and record 1200 hours of clinical experience to graduate from the program and start their professional careers.
Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors (NDEP) Chair Patti Landers heads the OUHSC Dietetic Internship Program, and although she and her Clinical Coordinator, Brian dela Cruz, had things under control with tracking student hours and performance scores on paper, they knew they had room for improvement. In the past, dela Cruz had collected preceptor evaluations via mail and facsimile. It was hard for him to keep track of so many paper forms coming in from so many sources. Plus, it was his full responsibility to follow up with preceptors if they did not submit their forms with each of the students’ assignments. He was able to manage, but this was very taxing on his time, and with his administrative role, he also had many other responsibilities. On top of the time it took to manage the forms on paper, it was also difficult for him to analyze the performance in light of the ACEND Core Competencies.
When Landers began conversations with AllofE about its curriculum mapping system, eCurriculum HE, she knew the Student Masteries piece of the system could help her program with automating the evaluation management and analysis of performance with the ACEND Core Competencies. In addition, she needed a better way for students to record their hours in rotations. She explored the time logging and case logging capabilities of AllofE’s eCLAS, but students weren’t always meeting with patients—some were working in kitchens and institutions where they controlled menus and food that would be served. She provided AllofE with the paper Weekly Summary form students filled out, including hours for each day of the week, student comments, preceptor comments, and a rating for the students’ performance every week. AllofE also collected the program’s evaluation forms and started implementing the system right away. The development team built the custom Weekly Summary module based on the form Landers had provided, and then built reports to help analyze each student’s weekly scores and clinical hours. The implementation team was also hard at work automating the program’s evaluations by loading in the rubric evaluations and tying the criteria to the appropriate ACEND Core Competencies. The system was ready to go within eight weeks.
Within the program’s first full year using eCLAS, dela Cruz was able to report on his students’ clinical hours without having to dig through reams of paper to calculate them. dela Cruz said, “[eCLAS] has saved me a lot of time. I used to have to go to the fax machine, the mail, and my emails to compile all of the students’ forms from [the preceptors]. Now it’s just a couple of clicks and I’m there.” And at the end of the semester, he also had reports at his fingertips to find each student’s scores on all performance-based assessments. AllofE’s goal is never to change the way health science programs are structured—the company simply aims to make their processes simpler by combining advanced reporting capabilities with a user-friendly interface.