At Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust we had been exploring ways of improving the accuracy of our data relating to trainee placements, as we had been relying on excel spreadsheets and access databases to maintain our records of doctors in training and educational and clinical supervisors. After implementing the Intrepid v10 system we were able to keep track of our junior doctor placements much more effectively by being able to see past, current, and future placements in one place, as well as using the system as a central database for those who had been trained as educational and clinical supervisor and which trainees they were responsible for.
Prior to adopting the system we had been using paper forms to conduct our study leave processes, which was time consuming for trainees and for the medical education department to administer. Following the implementation of the system we began to pilot the use of the study leave module to administer study leave applications and process reimbursements for trainees, which has had positive feedback from system users as it has saved time that would be otherwise be spent completing and submitting a paper application form, with the added benefit for the applicants of being able to log in externally and from their phones. The Post Graduate Medical Education department has also saved administrative time by only needing to set up approval chains for each post once when implementing system, so that applications go through to educational supervisors and rota co-ordinators for approval automatically, and from then we simply upload the funding entitlements for each doctor who joins the trust. It has also negated the need to manually check what funding an applicant has used previously when a study leave form has been received, as remaining entitlements are clearly visible on the system for both administrators and applicants. We have also saved time that would be spent sending out mail merges, as automated emails are sent to trainees at each stage of the approval process.
Another major benefit that we have found since adopting the Intrepid v10 system is the collaborative working with other trusts in London that use the system, meeting once per month to discuss any issues and improvements that can be made to our processes and developments that can be made to the system. The sharing of knowledge in this way has been invaluable, and has also led to developments to improve the system so it meets our needs, such as improvements in the way data is uploaded to the system so that we are not spending time maintaining the workforce information on the system, but rather gathering the information from the system that we require, which was very important considering we have over 2000 doctors employed by the trust.
The reporting structure on Intrepid is also simple to use, with the ability to pull off standard reports or build customised reports that meet our needs. In just a few clicks it is now possible to pull off a report of all trainees in a specialty, with their contact details, grades, and rotation dates as well as the contact details of their educational and clinical supervisors, which has helped us to improve our communications with trainees and departments. For example, sending out an end of placement survey to leavers is now far less time consuming, as all of the required data and contact information is immediately available. We can also pull off reports in formats that are ready to be submitted for various data collection exercises, such as when we need to provide educational and clinical supervisor information for the trainer survey, saving time that would otherwise be spent collating that information.
Overall, in the few months since the Intrepid system was implemented we have had numerous improvements to our processes, which ultimately benefits the trainees working at the trust. The support and assistance provided by the systems support team throughout the implementation was excellent, with fast response times to any queries and quick fixes for any errors that arose.
This case study was written by Nicholas Szulc, Medical Education Administrator at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.