1. Project Overview & Benefits
Currently, the Schools of Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy manage student data through multiple systems and manual processes, which leads to inefficiency, inaccuracy and limitations with both monitoring and reporting. Schools are in need of better ways to manage student data in order to meet the demands of new degrees programs, curriculum redesign, student progression tracking, programmatic assessment, accreditation mandates and reporting requirements. To meet these shared needs, the Schools have moved out of our silos into unprecedented collaboration in order to solve a common problem in service of our Education mission. The Shared Education Data Solution (SEDS) will build upon the system the School of Medicine has been using since 2007, consolidating, standardizing and streamlining the gathering, synthesis and dissemination of student data. Leveraging the existing solution in the School of Medicine propels the other three Schools into a modern education environment.
The main benefits of leveraging the School of Medicine system are based on using a shared software platform to address our immediate needs. Anticipated benefits of implementing new student education data solution include:
- Promoting a culture evidence through easily accessible access to education data
- Fostering data driven decision-making and informed planning
- Increased communication across the Schools
- Improved user experience in tracking and monitoring student academic progression
- A shared platform to foster technological standardization for all schools
- Centralized tool to enable program monitoring and reporting
- Access to reliable, consistent and secure data
- Improve data integration and consistency
- Economy of scales as a shared infrastructure to be more cost effective in the long term support and maintenance of the system
- Interim solution to allow smoother migration to a planned joint long-term solution for data centralization among all four schools.
In order to better understand our shared needs, the Schools invested in a Discovery and Analysis project. In December 2016, the School of Medicine Dean’s Office, Information Services Unit (ISU) led a Gap Analysis evaluating the schools needs against the currently deployed MedSIS application. The analysis shows that the School of Medicine application, MedSIS, meets most of the Schools’ needs and that the schools have more common needs than school-specific needs. See attached report.
The SEDs project business goals include the following:
- Make interim student education data solution available to address immediate needs of Schools to maintain student data that to the extends into programs
- Standardize data format and improve data integrity and accuracy for the three Schools
- Improve faculty members and staff experience to access student contact and program information
- Shared common platform among Schools that improves visibility and consistency across programs for needs at schools and university level.
- Allow users to see the ‘Big Picture’ and create reports in continuous student improvement
The SEDS project objectives include the achievement of the following:
- Leverage existing MedSIS used by SOM as interim solution to meet the immediate needs of three Schools of retaining student education data for tracking and progressing.
- Reduce data redundancy, gaps in functionality, licensing, security, SLAs between the schools and ITS or among the schools
- Integrate data from Registrar SIS for data consistency and accuracy across Schools
- Transition from decentralized approach to a centralized student data solution to allow smoother migration to a long-term solution for single student education data solution among all four Schools
The SEDS project approach leverages internal subject matter experts in combination with an external software development vendor. As a technical partner, the vendor will utilize the existing MedSIS application, developed, hosted and maintained by ISU for the School of Medicine as the basis of further development, implementing additional functionality specific to the Schools of Dentistry, Pharmacy and Nursing.
2. Positions UCSF as a Leader and Innovator in Health Professions Education
While UCSF Professional Schools individually offer world class education, the campus as a whole is lacking infrastructure to provide excellence in education administration. Likewise, we suffer from missed opportunities to position excellence in health professions teaching and learning. Building on the work of the Educational Technologies Ecosystem project, this project is a foundational step which allows the Schools to move to a common platform for both analyzing and reporting on student data.
The Ecosystem project provided the Schools with a clear picture of the current landscape of the technology supporting education as well as gaps in data management. Empowered with knowledge to act as custodians of our education data, a coordinated solution aligning the Schools with an existing solution is proposed. While alternate approaches to meet individual school needs were explored, a shared infrastructure and the ability to better position us for future technologies held the most value for our teaching and learning mission. With this foundation in place, we can truly begin to operate as an Education enterprise, addressing common good opportunities such as an Education Data Warehouse, business intelligence tools and other education tools under review by the Ecosystem Committee. With a Shared Education Data Solution, the Schools can more readily partner with the campus committees to define standard operating procedures and protocols for implementing emerging technologies as well models for shared governance. Greater equity among the Schools in terms of access to tools and education data provides a platform for future strategic visioning and planning. Finally, a shared education data solution allows for tools to better monitor and support student academic progress, promoting greater student success in an increasingly interdisciplinary health professions education environment.
3. Addresses Critical Operational Need for Health Professions Education
With a common platform for education data, the Professional Schools can both modernize our processes and engage in shared strategic efforts. By surfacing our commonalities, we make visible common opportunities for solutions and advancement. Essential in the process of modernizing our administration is this first step toward improving the access and transparency of school specific education data.
4. Financial Impact
The SEDS project provides a shared campus-level integrated technological solution for health professions education. Shared tools provide efficiencies which reduce duplication and allow for economies of scale. Cost saving opportunities include possible centralized services, reduction of FTE and improved product quality. Financial impacts will continue to improve with the continued realization of an Education enterprise infrastructure that allows for discipline specific customizations while maximizing commonalities. Sharing resources strengthens our individual efforts.
In addition, a shared platform reduces administrative costs and enables the schools to direct more resources to teaching and learning. It likewise advances an effective and efficient education data management environment, while instilling a deepened culture of continued improvement that leads to high quality performance and outcomes. With a shared platform we have an opportunity for greater coordination and greater collaboration which leads to increased creativity and problem-solving. Cost savings are anticipated through a reduction in paper, reeducation in errors, increased productivity as staff effort is more closely aligned with the education mission.
5. Compliance & Regulatory Benefit
As Professional Schools we experience increasing and ongoing accountability burdens from external agencies. Accrediting bodies require reporting at regular intervals and at levels our day-to-day operations are not prepared to provide. In addition our current UCSF education ecosystem is highly distributed. With multiple systems and limited integration, Schools are burdened by data management and required reporting. A Shared Education Data Solution alleviates some of the compliance burden by consolidating our mission critical data. Having our education data into one place likewise allows for internal review and analysis, which is essential for continuous quality improvement.
6. Matching Funds
The Dean of each School is sponsoring and supporting the success of this project with both in-kind and direct financial support. We kindly ask for 50% matching funds ($244,286) from ITGC Roadmap funds in order to support this critical project. Please see the financial sheet for budget details.
7. Ongoing Operations and Maintenance
Migrating from one software system to another will require change management support. This project will include a Change Management Plan to help stakeholders with the transition to new student education data solution. On-going production support will be identified over the course of project and MOU will be developed. Sustaining the change efforts will be enabled through a comprehensive plan including training, communication, business process improvement and policy refinement. Each school is in the process of identifying staff members to fill the critical business role of system and data analyst.