A New Online Management System for Undergraduate Practical Training in Family Medicine – Implementation and Evaluation
DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2011.0509german translation / full article
Introduction/Background: The substantial amount of administrative work for the 1:1 allocation of medical students for practical training courses in teaching family practices is associated with significant error rates when reconciling lists with allocations to practices. Furthermore, students complain of a lack of transparency and express dissatisfaction with what is perceived to be an unfair allocation process. We wanted to improve the situation, and developed an online management system for teaching courses in 2007 at the Frankfurt Institute of Family Medicine.
Methodology: To enable students to reserve or book practical training positions themselves, an employee at the Institute developed the software for an online management system with the help of an external programmer.
Evaluation: In the summer term 2009, a post training cohort of 206 students completed a questionnaire on their satisfaction with the online management system and the selection criteria for their favoured teaching practice.
Results: A substantial reduction of work and error avoidance resulted in considerable satisfaction of the administration staff with the online management system. The students were also most satisfied with the system. On a school grading scale from 1 (very good) to 6 (unsatisfactory), the students gave an average grade of 1.76 – 2.39 to different aspects of the system. 78% of students were allocated to their favoured practice.
Discussion/Conclusion: The amount of time and effort invested by the administration and teaching staff was significantly reduced following implementation of the online registration system. The number of errors in prepared lists also decreased sharply. The system cannot influence students’ preferences for a practice close to the university. Overall, the evaluation and the high level of satisfaction with the system by students and organizers show that an online management system can also be recommended for other undergraduate teaching courses.