April 29, 2005

Web survey simplifies faculty training

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Mark Magnuson, M.D.

Web survey simplifies faculty training

In the past, sorting through the various training requirements — from hand hygiene to lab safety — could be quite a challenge for faculty. A new system will cut down the confusion and reduce unnecessary training through a simple survey created by the recently formed Faculty Orientation and Training Office.

The first step in simplifying the training requirements is an online survey that determines which training modules are applicable for each faculty member. The quick yes-or-no questionnaire will ask such things as “Do you provide hands-on patient care?” and “Do you view protected health information?” and “Will you conduct research in a lab using chemicals?” After completing the questionnaire, faculty members will immediately know which training requirements they must complete and how to access the training.

“Our goal is to reduce the regulatory burden on any faculty member to the absolute minimum, while at the same time protecting the institution by ensuring faculty are completing their required training,” said Tom Hazinski, M.D., associate dean for Faculty Affairs. “We respect the faculty’s time and don’t want them to be contacted repeatedly to do things that are unnecessary.”

After faculty members complete the online questionnaire, they will have a personalized profile on file, and should only be notified to complete training that is applicable to them. Faculty without profiles will continue to be notified, and asked to complete, all of the various training requirements.

“This system should reduce the confusing messages for the faculty members and allow them to focus in on what they actually need to do,” said Shannon Ontiveros, manager of Faculty Orientation and Training. “We encourage faculty to go online and fill out the questionnaire so we can help them understand what their requirements really are.”

Ontiveros is also working to reduce the amount and the complexity of some training modules, so faculty can get what they need in the most clear and concise manner. Several new requests for additional faculty training have been deferred indefinitely or changed to a simple e-mail notification, she said. In addition, tests have been replaced by “attests” unless there is an absolute requirement for testing.

The Faculty Orientation and Training Office was created last year in an effort to get a handle on the many training requirements being sent to faculty in multiple ways. Led by Hazinski, and managed by Ontiveros, the office includes two computer systems analysts, Donna Schot and Deede Wang.

“Our faculty are faced with an increasing number of requirements for compliance in their teaching, research and patient care activities” said Steven G. Gabbe, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. “To make the most effective use of their time and to ensure they have the necessary information and understanding of these requirements, we’ve developed an office that uses an electronic process to make it most efficient for our faculty to meet these demands.”

The next step for the Faculty Orientation and Training Web site will be incorporating a tracking system, so faculty will be able to quickly determine what training they require, what they’ve completed and what they still need to do.

“We really believe faculty want to do the right thing and be compliant, we just want to close the gap between that desire and actually being compliant,” Hazinski said. “We think this can be accomplished through a simple, customized and accurate system.” 

Visit http://www.mc. vanderbilt.edu/medschool/FOTO/ to complete your faculty training requirement questionnaire.

The 2005 Conflict of Interest Disclosure form for the School of Medicine faculty is now available online at http://www.mc. vanderbilt.edu/medschool/FOTO/.