Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
LCMS+ caught our eye because of everything it did, [and] we know for a fact how hard they’re working to maintain and improve their product.”
Brandy Close, Ph.D.,Director of Curricular Affairs, Instructional Design and Academic Technologies
The willingness [of LCMS+] to be flexible and adapt is one of their greatest strengths because it provides a peace of mind for us.”
Dan Thompson, M.S., Coordinator for Instructional Design, Assessment, and Educational Technology
LCMS+ & OSU: The power of partnership
Back in the summer of 2013, the staff at OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine were finding themselves increasingly frustrated with the healthcare education administration system they were using, which not only produced numerous data errors and inconsistencies but also offered little flexibility for customization. It was time to search for a new solution.
“LCMS+ caught our eye because of everything it did,” recalls Brandy Close, Ph.D., Director of Curricular Affairs, Instructional Design and Academic Technologies. “We recognized pretty early on, because of everything it addressed, that we could replace three or four systems right away.” Rather than getting data exam performance from one program, demographic data from another, and student schedules for rotations from yet another, Brandy saw that LCMS+ offered a one-stop shop that would address the very problems that had them sent them searching in the first place.
Brandy, who is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medical Education, and her colleague Dan Thompson, M.S., Coordinator for Instructional Design, Assessment, and Educational Technology, worked together to lead the implementation of LCMS+ at OSU.
Partners from the start
As soon as the team at OSU began working with LCMS+, Brandy knew this would be a genuine partnership, not just a business transaction. Throughout the implementation process, the LCMS+ team was “holding my hand,” recalls Brandy. “That was absolutely critical, because [the system] can do so much. But LCMS+ fully equipped me to be able to manage the implementation process through faculty development, staff development and students as well.”
Dan and Brandy both recall one particularly sticky issue: clerkships. “Our clerkship situation is insanely complicated compared to a lot of other schools because we have a Rural Medical Track” with nearly 150 sites at which students can do rotations, Brandy explains. LCMS+ took on the challenge, organizing the first-ever computerized lottery for OSU’s Rural Medical Track and executing it on schedule against the pressure of aggressive deadlines and shifting demands.
“As a user,” Dan says, “I think the willingness of LCMS+ to be flexible and adapt is one of their greatest strengths because it provides a peace of mind for us. It provides a comfort level knowing that the functionality is there… but also if we come up with some new process, they [can] meet those needs, like the Rural Medical Track program. We know we have their ear… and that’s a big deal for us.”
A model implementation: Centralization is the centerpiece
Brandy and Dan are both convinced that the key to successful implementation lies in centralizing the process. “Having too many cooks in the kitchen can really create a nightmare,” Dan says. “A consistent, streamlined setup is what you get when you have it centralized.” And that makes everyone’s jobs easier.
OSU also made a deliberate, strategic decision to roll out the system in stages, beginning with the module for course management as well as some assessment tools, and later using the lottery feature and bringing their clerkships into LCMS+. That was followed by phasing in the Faculty Contribution Tracking feature. “Doing it in stages is incredibly important, and LCMS+ is willing to make that happen,” Brandy says. It allowed faculty, staff and students to learn and explore one module at a time rather than overwhelming them with all the functionality in LCMS+.
“Peace of mind” with curriculum mapping
Over a period of three months of daily meetings with course coordinators and instructors from years one through four, Brandy, Dan and other staff from the educational development office completed a comprehensive map of their entire medical curriculum. The ability of LCMS+ to map multiple competency sets also allowed them to tie their program objectives to the AACOM core competencies, the NBOME blueprint and their overall institutional objectives.
“That process of doing the mapping for accreditation in LCMS+ was a rock for us,” Dan says, “[knowing] that we had that backbone as we were going through the process.” Since prepping for accreditation “is nothing short of chaos,” according to Dan, being able to rely on LCMS+ for accurate, end-to-end mapping “was a comfort zone for us.”
Customer service: “We couldn’t be happier”
“We couldn’t be happier with LCMS+,” says Brandy. “They’re so responsive.” Dan can’t help adding, “We work with a lot of vendors. One great thing about LCMS+ is that they made it very easy to develop a relationship with them.”
“OSU really achieved a model implementation of LCMS+,” says CEO Allison Wood. “A big part of that is because they share our commitment to partnership and creative problem-solving. We always feel like we’re finding solutions together, which creates a terrific synergy and momentum across both our teams.”
Indeed, LCMS+ views every client partnership as a long-term relationship — you might call it a “business friendship” — because that’s what enables us to anticipate your needs, craft solutions that pinpoint your problems, and be much more to you than just another vendor. Let us know how we can do the same for you!