3 Steps To Streamline And Automate Onboarding

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If you’ve ever bought real estate and taken out a mortgage, you can understand how cumbersome certain transitions can be. In the case of purchasing a new home, you, as the buyer, are responsible for exchanging information and paperwork with real estate agents, mortgage lenders, title companies, inspectors, home builders, contractors, moving companies—and often several other parties, depending on the complexity of your situation.

Several years ago, TraCorp was tasked with streamlining an equally cumbersome process: onboarding and automatically placing medical students from 310 different college-level medical programs into clinical rotations at 50 hospitals and lab locations across one of the largest counties in the United States. In addition, each student needed to complete the unique requirements of his or her placement, such as background checks, drug tests, shot records and credentialing. On top of all of that, whatever system we used as part of the solution had to meet federal privacy laws.

This project required collaboration between numerous stakeholders at colleges and universities, as well as the hospitals, medical centers, and labs where the clinical rotations would be completed.

In a nutshell, the goal was to onboard students, deliver standardized training, complete and document placement requirements and match students to open rotations.

So, how would you do it?

As complex as this project may sound, the process of addressing it was quite simple: find the pain, diagnose the problem, and heal the hurt. The steps are flexible enough to be customized to any project, so you can apply it to your next onboarding program, regardless of industry.

The steps below outline how we implemented this simple process in our complex project.

Step 1: Find The Pain

To complete the first step—find the pain—our team conducted an analysis to define:

  • The current state of the onboarding and scheduling process (e.g. Who is involved in onboarding and scheduling? What tasks are they required to complete? What is working well? What isn’t?)
  • The ideal state of the onboarding and scheduling process (e.g. What results are you trying to achieve? What does this process look like in an “ideal world?” What tools, training, or technology would be used?)

As part of this analysis phase, our team conducted a series of interviews and focus group meetings with a consortium of schools, hospitals, and labs to learn how the current system worked, and how it could be streamlined and automated. The meetings lasted several months before all parties were interviewed. The most surprising observation was that no entity understood the beginning-to-end process.

Step 2: Diagnose The Problem

After the current and ideal states were defined, we compared the 2 to identify gaps. Our mission was to determine what posed the greatest risk for failure in the process. We discovered the following:

  • The medical students received inconsistent training across the county.
  • The paperwork required to begin a clinical orientation was time-consuming and different at each rotation location.
  • Assigning and scheduling clinical rotations required coordination between so many parties; simply put, it was a nightmare.

Step 3: Heal The Hurt

After diagnosing the primary problems with the onboarding process, our team collaborated with multiple stakeholders to design and develop a solution to “heal the hurt.”

Together, we decided to extend our community-driven Learning Management System (LMS) by adding the vital components necessary for students, educational institutions, and medical facilities involved in the process. We aimed to:

  • Set up an automated system with 24 x 7 x 365 support for a low price (about $8 per student).
  • Automatically enroll students in 310 school medical programs using enrollment codes.
  • Assign and track results for mandated regulatory training.
  • Automate rotation placements.
  • Document that requirements were met for the hospitals and labs.

In the end, the platform we built ensures that the consortium of students, schools, hospitals, and labs have a reliable and affordable method to match students with rotations. So far, over 29,000 students have used the system, completing over 367,000 hours of training.

Onboarding

Streamline Your Onboarding Process

As complex as this onboarding project may have been, the process of streamlining and automating it was simple: find the pain, diagnose the problem, and heal the hurt. The next time you develop or refresh onboarding across your organization—or multiple organizations—consider hiring an experienced vendor to help you navigate this 3-step process.

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