Journeys in Self-Study Management for Medical Schools
by Rachel D. Bingham, Executive Assistant to the Dean, Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine
In January 2010, Marian University announced the creation of Indiana’s newest medical school. Opening in 2013, Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM) became Indiana’s first medical school in 110 years and the only osteopathic school in the state. Recognizing the power of the osteopathic medical philosophy, treating patients’ mind, body, and spirit to find root cause of illness, the institution is committed to serving the people of Indiana by developing osteopathic physicians who embody these tenets.
Our Self-Study conducted for the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) manifested as a massive file (more than 2,700 pages with all of the evidence), which was difficult to put together and nearly impossible to edit. We sometimes duplicated efforts inadvertently, had difficulty locating supporting documents, and experienced issues with links to other files within the document. With all of these challenges, we needed to look for a software system that helped with our process of writing our Self-Study.
We decided to partner with Tk20 to help manage our accreditation process and the associated documentation for our Self-Study. Our customized Tk20 solution had built-in standards for the final report, and a dedicated Tk20 Product Consultant helped train our users which improved our timeline for completion. Tk20 supported our entire team if we had any questions about the system, and they were receptive when we offered suggestions for improvement. We were able to provide our final report electronically to COCA through a shared site, and we also sent surveys afterward to learn about the reviewers’ experience using Tk20 to evaluate our report.
We found that it was easier to write and edit our Self-Study in Tk20, because it eliminated the confusion of writers not knowing what the latest version of the report was. We were able to have a consistent and standardized format, and our writers enjoyed completing the process electronically rather than having to carry the entire report in a binder. Our evaluators also gave positive feedback, stating that it simplified the process of reviewing such a large document and that they would recommend Tk20 for the reviewing process as it was a good experience of reviewing the Self-Study. Overall, both our writers and reviewers overwhelmingly preferred Tk20 for Accreditation Management and look forward to continuing to manage our reports within the application.