What to Look for in a Clinical Rotation Management System
As a program manager for a health professions program, clinical rotation management systems help clinical sites, universities, and health science students keep track of key requirements and the many activities occurring throughout each student’s rotation experience. Using a comprehensive system gives users access to tools for tracking important deliverables and clinical rotation milestones.
When you know what to look for in a rotation management system, you can increase the chances of accessing the system’s full capabilities to meet your program management needs. By utilizing a dynamic, responsive system for end-to-end clinical program management, you can create a more efficient program experience for program managers and students.
Benefits of a Clinical Rotation Management System
According to the American Medical Association, clinical rotations can last anywhere from 4-8 weeks, comprising experiences in internal medicine, surgery, psychiatry, radiology, nursing, and other health science disciplines. Because clinical sites are likely to have more than one rotation program operating at once, each with its own cohort of students, keeping track of student information, participation, and progress is essential.
An efficient rotation management system helps program managers stay on top of all aspects of student clinical site training, from helping students understand participation requirements to managing their scheduling and skill development for the duration of their rotations. The right system not only makes it easier to track forms and documents, but it also supports better accuracy and information flow between students and other program stakeholders.
The top benefits of clinical rotation management systems include the following:
- Better compliance and document management: Protects student health and education data in a secure environment, as per Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requirements.
- Less paperwork and more streamlined processes: Eliminates the reliance on paper tracking and inefficient workflows
- A single source of truth for schools, students, and clinical rotation programs: Offers interfaces and integration opportunities to help to improve the accuracy of student data
Top Characteristics to Look for in a Clinical Rotation Management System
A clinical rotation management system must improve the clinical program experience for students, and it also has to give program administrators access to the information they need to manage each rotational program from start to finish. Here are the top characteristics to look for in a rotation management system.
Student Matching and Onboarding
Matching services help students and universities connect with available programs and satisfy student preferences for location, health science specialty, and program length. Onboarding services let students know what to expect during their rotations, where to go for assistance, and how to make the most of their rotational training.
Matching and onboarding can occur several times throughout a student’s health science education. For example, according to the American Osteopathic Association, students participating in osteopathic medicine rotations complete eight or more clinical rotations, and those rotations may occur at different clinical sites. A robust clinical rotation management system connects students with the helpful resources they need for a positive clinical rotation experience, whether it’s their first rotation or their fourth.
Student Communication and Notifications
Modern clinical rotation management systems are web-based and allow for customized messaging and notifications to students. A cloud-based program with the ability to interface with mobile services keeps students informed about program requirements, participation status, and schedule changes. A rotation management system can also be configured to send students reminders regarding immunization and health testing, for example, when and where they should go for COVID-19 testing, vaccination, or contact tracing.
Integrations with Student Screening Services
Health science students and universities benefit when the clinical rotation management system is fully integrated with student background screening services. By integrating these platforms, you benefit from having one location to find all related student and program information.
Seamless integration allows you to use the clinical rotation management system as a single hub for the following processes:
- Student background checks
- Drug screening
- Immunization records
- Rotation program components and key dates and contacts
- Clinical rotation histories and schedules
Tools for Student Scheduling
Students, faculty, and clinical site managers need accuracy in student scheduling in order to make the best use of everyone’s time. Therefore, it’s critical to use a rotation management system with tools for setting student shifts and hours. Student scheduling features also allow program managers to set parameters on the time allotted to each program component, making it possible to track student time spent on specific activities and assignments.
Student Performance Tracking
Effective clinical rotation management requires tools for understanding student learning in the clinical environment. Performance tracking tools not only keep students on track to meet program requirements, but they also provide universities with useful insights about how well the classroom prepares students for clinical site rotations.
A comprehensive program management system helps program managers track student progress along the following parameters:
- How students allocate their time across the different program areas
- Performance evaluations from faculty and student self-evaluations
- Student performance against skill and competency development checklists
Data Storage Security
Both HIPAA and FERPA have set requirements for protecting confidential health and education information, and clinical rotation management systems must have protocols for obtaining and sharing such information. Key data security measures to look for include:
- Encrypted messaging
- A process for making disclosures and gaining student approval to receive and share health and education information
- Safeguards for storing student rotation histories
Reporting Capability and Dashboard
With all the student and rotation program data held in a rotation management system, it’s essential to have in-depth reporting capability and ways to analyze key trends. A rotation management system with comprehensive reporting capability can provide drill-downs and tools for data analysis in areas such as:
- Student performance by class or specialty
- Reports on class sizes and student scores
- Comparison of trends in student skill development over time
Self-Service Tools for Students
Student self-service is critical for helping students see their status in meeting clinical program requirements. It also allows them to enter details on their learning progress and their participation in select activities.
A dynamic clinical rotation management system can also serve as a resource hub for students, providing them with access to information such as:
- Student handbooks
- Clinical guidelines
- Rotation schedules
- Faculty contact lists
Recordkeeping Flexibility and Customization
Because there are many different health science specialties and rotation program types, it’s essential for a rotation management system to adapt to individual program designs and configurations. Whether students participate in a four-week family medicine rotation or an eight-week surgical rotation, the rotation management system should conform to meet the recordkeeping and tracking needs specific to each program.
Improve Your Clinical Rotation Management Capability
Selecting the right rotation management system is a critical step in driving efficiency and improving students’ rotation experience. When the system you use automates key processes such as scheduling and performance tracking, students know where they stand and what actions are required to make the most of their clinical training.
Moreover, seamless integration with student background checks and health screening eliminates the need to log into multiple systems. As a result, you can access one single source of truth for all student clinical rotation data.
Success in clinical rotation management requires the right systems to collect and store documents, and to communicate with students, faculty, and program administrators. For more tips, read our guide Improving Immunization Compliance: A Guide for Your Clinical Programs.