Step by STEPS: Getting Started with STEPS, part 2

(This is part two in our series Step-by-STEPS: Getting Started with STEPS. To read part 1, click here.)

At Cohere 2016 in Phoenix, we were lucky to have some of our early adopters speak about their experiences with Exxat’s products. One key takeaway was that a slow transition process can help programs ease into making the most out of STEPS.

Emma Wheeler, PT, DPT, MS, Director of Clinical Education in the Department of Physical Therapy at Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy spoke about her department’s measured adoption of STEPS. They targeted those features that they needed the most early on and learned to use those features well.

“We pick and choose the things that work for us,” said Wheeler.

VCU implemented STEPS over 3 years:

  1. Student Portal & Required Documents
  2. Autoplacements & Wishlists
  3. Slot Recruitment & Contracts

Student Portal & Required Documents

VCU focused on getting the student portal and required documents up and running first. VCU had students create goals for each clinical experience as part of their profile. These goals were then shared with sites as part of the student profile for sites. Their sites really liked the profile and the information on student goals. This early success helped VCU build site confidence in Exxat.

Slot Requests & Recruitment

By the time they sent slot requests through STEPS, VCU’s sites had been getting useful emails from Exxat for two years.

“They had really become accustomed to the word Exxat.” Clinical Instructors knew that emails from Exxat were worth opening, so it was easier for them to request slots in that manner.

The slow implementation had another advantage. Oftentimes, clinics and hospitals have firewalls and other security measures set up to protect their data. These firewalls can impede your emails. The earlier, lower-stakes emails had already revealed any firewall issues and allowed VCU to address these issues. When it was time for the all-important slot requests, VCU could be sure those emails would get through.

By starting slow and building on early successes, VCU has been able to use STEPS in ways that resulted in maximum benefit to their program.

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