CASE - Maastricht University Medical Center

Optimize internship planning

Maastricht University Medical Center optimizes internship planning with Mendix-application

Over 1,500 students complete an internship at the Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+) each year. They all come from different educational institutions and need an internship at their own level in a department that is beneficial for their education. Drawing up a planning for this vast amount of students is a very complex and time-consuming process. To simplify this, Bizzomate assisted MUMC+ to develop an application to digitize and automate the planning of internships: Stage Planner.

The planning of internships at different departments of the hospital used to be managed via a custom-built master Excel file. Moreover, an enormous amount of incoming emails had to be dealt with. These emails came from students who wanted to report a mutation in their schedule or wanted to inform the hospital about their personal preferences for certain departments. Because there were a growing number of factors that had to be taken into account and the number of students was growing rapidly, planning these internships became too complex to handle manually.

High-quality internships and support for the hospital’s departments

MUMC+ wanted to improve this situation so they started looking for an application that could help them deal with this major challenge. Bizzomate was selected to support MUMC+ in developing a solution that would simplify the planning process and reduce the number of emails.

 The solution also had to offer students high-quality internships based on their personal preferences and had to help the departments of the hospital with their planning as well. Scheduling interns was quite complicated for those departments because most students have to attend classes as well, so they are not available on a daily basis. The application also needed to be easy to work with and as many tasks as possible had to be executed automatically instead of manually.

Stage Planner is built with Mendix so it is easy to add functionality very quickly and it provides unprecedented flexibility. In a complex environment that is constantly changing this is crucial. Within a year MUMC+ and Bizzomate developed ‘Stage Planner’, a new desktop solution for planning internships. Later on, Bizzomate optimized the front end and performed security checks as the application is handling personal data. The application started as a pilot for a couple of departments and is now operational in the whole hospital.

Optimizing the planning of interns
Stage Planner contains a flexible scheduling machine that automatically generates the best planning based on the preferences of the hospital department and the students. The planner efficiently performs this complex and time-consuming task. Mark van IJsselstein, coordinator of the internship program at MUMC+: “Stage Planner has made my life so much easier. Many of my tasks are now automated and tasks that can not be executed manually can be executed in bulk. It minimizes the time that I need to spend on planning for interns. It takes me less than half the time that I used to spend on it.”

Competitive advantage and insights into available resources
Besides decreasing the time spent on planning, there are more advantages. In a competitive market where there is a lot of demand for newly trained medical staff, MUMC+ is now able to offer students internships that exactly meet their needs. The result is fewer students dropping out during their education. As these students are potential employees, this also ensures  MUMC+ of more staff in the future.

Stage Planner provides extensive management information which allows MUMC+ to make better predictions of how many students will graduate in the upcoming years, giving them a better idea of the available resources in the future. The application also provides further information about the dropouts per department. If certain departments have a high dropout rate, the management of MUMC+ may decide to investigate the situation and take appropriate measures if needed.

Internship exactly tailored to the needs of the students
Students also benefit from the use of Stage Planner. A few weeks before their internship starts, they now automatically receive an email notification asking them to register their preferences for a specific hospital department.

Mark van IJsselstein: “For a student that wants to work at the ambulance in the future an internship at the hospital lab may not be great, but an internship at the emergency room can be very beneficial. With Stage Planner we can now organize an internship at a department that exactly meets their needs, with fewer students dropping out as a result. We can already see that our personalized internship program attracts more students. Because there is a vast shortage of well trained medical staff this is an enormous competitive advantage for us.”

More insight into the availability of medical staff

For the various departments of the hospital working with Stage Planner means that they automatically get notified via the application which student will be doing an internship. They automatically receive a day planning of the intern making it easier for them to put the planning together for their shifts.

Stage Planner also makes other information about the intern automatically available such as their learning objectives. By ticking boxes the planners of the departments can indicate that they have read the additional information. Using the application eases their administrative burden and prevents an overload of emails. For the whole hospital, it means a better distribution of the right students across the different departments.

Collaboration with other educational institutes
Stage Planner was built for students getting a nursing degree, but in the future, the application can be easily extended to other educational courses. Herbert Lebens, information manager at MUMC+ and product owner: “I see many opportunities for Stage Planner. Fundamentally, the internships of other types of hospital students are similar. Stage Planner has thus already been extended to support internships for medical students and regional training programs for residents. If all internships are planned via Stage Planner the hospital is provided with a complete overview of the available resources of interns per department. That is something we’ve lacked in the past.”

Lebens adds: “Now that we’ve seen what we can accomplish we’re keen to scale up the use of Stage Planner. The Zuyderland Medical Center has already decided to start using Stage Planner as well. In the future, all medical centres in the region could collaborate via Stage Planner making it possible for us to offer even more students an internship exactly tailored to their needs and giving hospitals in the region more control over their available resources.”

In a nutshell

Company:

Maastricht University Medical Center

Branche:

Healthcare

Activities:

Heatlh solution for automating and streamlining internship planning

Solution(s):

  • Engage
  • Portal App

From our client

“I see many opportunities for Stage Planner. Fundamentally, the internships of other types of hospital students are similar. Stage Planner has thus already been extended to support internships for medical students and regional training programs for residents. If all internships are planned via Stage Planner the hospital is provided with a complete overview of the available resources of interns per department. That is something we’ve lacked in the past.”
Herbert Lebens
Information manager at MUMC+ and Product Owner

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