There are countless challenges faced by schools in Ontario and all over Canada as they work through the complex world of validating students clinical placement requirements on their own. In our world of ever increasing compliance requirements and complexities of managing of large volumes of data, the concerns most often raised by school deans, chairs, associate deans, directors and management stakeholders is around the lack of ability to reliably conduct an audit trail and how that may increase liability on their part.
We have summarized a short list of challenges faced by Ontario colleges and universities as they take it upon themselves to validate a growing number of academic and non-academic requirements:
- Clinical partners are becoming even more vigilant in upholding their health and safety requirements for students entering their work environments and the pressure is felt at the school administration level.
- It is often said everything is okay until there’s a problem. In most cases this problem results from human error and lack of auditing capacity in the school requirement validation process. It is understandable as in most cases there is a single person assigned to validate 1000’s of pieces of data and accurately code it into simple databases or excel documents with little to no oversight. Further exasperated by tight deadlines and student lack of understanding of requirements, this creates the perfect storm.
- School have taken on the responsibility of being the gatekeepers and compliance officers for their clinical partner agencies. As such, it is in increasingly evident that the ability to ‘own’ the accuracy of the data captured and have ‘confidence’ in the students placed in clinical environments is imperative to continued success.
- As universities and colleges have assumed the role of gatekeepers for student health and safety information they also have assumed the responsibilities that come with managing hundreds of thousands of pieces of data and answering student questions relating to, in most situations, foreign territory when it comes to clinical placement requirements.
So why then is there lack of auditing ability in the school’s internal clinical placement requirements validation process? There are a number of reasons such as:
- Non-healthcare professionals validating Student Data
- Lack of sophisticated data capturing tools
- No method of validating information once school validation has occurred and data is captured
- Lack of communication between students and school regarding requirements
- Lack of additional school personnel to perform auditing role
- High costs associated with school validation process
- Large cohorts of students
“Why is it that schools have taken on this responsibility when in fact they should be focusing on educating and placing students into clinical environments?”
It is a great question and one that I often hear from people outside of academia. I believe the answer has a lot do with one of businesses biggest challenges- not doing anything at all. How many countless businesses realize that there are better solutions out there for their day-to-day activities, however they still don’t make the necessary leap towards efficiency due to a misconceived perception that it will be costly or that it will cause difficulty in adoption. From the academics standpoint they are freakishly concerned about a negative student experience and the possibility of increasing the cost of tuition in already a competitive market place. These are all valid concerns, however when you look closely at the current process, I am positive that these concerns are misguided at best.
Welcome to the digital age, where technology and smart processes have become the go to standard. What if there was a solution that allowed universities and colleges to increase their student compliance rate to over 98% and produce a positive student experience? What if there was a solution that focused on creating accountability within the student population? What if there was a solution that cleared 95% of all students on their first attempt at clinical placement checks? What if there was a way to increase accountability and audit every step of the way without increasing costs? Finally what if there was a solution that contributed to student welfare and supported them throughout the entire process?
This all probably sounds too good to be true, however rest assured that we have validated over 50,000 students and counting! As thought leaders we strive everyday to increase the world’s collective knowledge, safety and efficiency by in large through our contribution to the complex tasks associated with validating student non-academic clinical placement requirements. Being thought leaders requires us to face challenges, source smart solutions and often requires us to be early adopters in our own respect. In the end the goals are the same and we all strive for a positive student experience which ultimately produces future thought leaders. Let the academics focus on enriching the lives of students through education and let Synergy focus on making sure they safely reach those goals through transparent and accountable practices. Change is not difficult, rather it is the only way to move two steps forward.
If you are interested in starting the conversation feel free to contact us for a no-obligation demonstration of our solution by clicking here.