Acuity software strengthens medical college of Georgia’s LCME accreditation

About the school

  • Founded: 1828
  • Total Students: >2400
  • Total Faculty: >4000
Augusta University Medical College of Georgia logo



  • Difficulties manually managing vast amounts of complex data
  • Errors resulting from multiple points of data entry and extraction


  • Implemented scheduling, evaluation, data tracking and reporting modules
  • Set up rotation management for administrators
  • Used automatic evaluation and task reminders


  • Single point of data collection drastically reduced administrative time and faculty and student overhead
  • Smooth implementation and ongoing product enhancements
  • Successful LCME site visit with eight years accreditation

“We had our LCME site visit this year and received the full eight years accreditation. Our evaluation system, powered in large part by Acuity was noted to be a strength of our program here.”

– Andria Thomas, PhD, Sr Associate Dean for Evaluation, Accreditation, & CQI; Co-Director Educational Innovation Institute (Data Science), August University Medical Center of Georgia

Deep dive

The Augusta University Medical School of Georgia’s (MCG) programs of Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate Studies, Medicine, and Nursing offer a full suite of biomedical instruction to health sciences students. With several fields of study, 2,400 students and over 4,000 faculty and staff members, keeping all the necessary scheduling and evaluation data and all the associated information running smoothly took several disparate components. MCG’s system included Microsoft® Excel, some “home-grown” solutions and even index cards. The school was simply too large and the process too complex to manage manually. Besides outgrowing their process, one of MCG’s biggest issues centered on the numerous levels at which data was extracted and handled.

In their system, faculty evaluations could not be added to reports that would include faculty scores in comparison with their peers without the added step of inputting the data into additional programs. This left too much room for error as the information went from Microsoft® Excel to Microsoft® Access to SPSS, a statistical software package. Finally, reminders were extremely time consuming.

Up “graded” solution

In the face of this inefficiency, MCG decided to try a new category of healthcare administration system for their School of Medicine. Dr. Andria Thomas, then Director of Evaluation Services, along with the IT department reviewed several solutions for scheduling and evaluation management before selecting Acuity.

They chose Acuity for some very specific reasons. Dr. Thomas said, “I found the reporting capabilities of Acuity to be more robust than any of the other systems.” When Dr. Thomas asked other vendors about certain types of reports that she would need, the typical response was that the data could be exported to another statistical package, which she was opposed to since that was very similar to what MCG was already doing and one of the main reasons they needed a change.

And finally, they chose Acuity because of service. “The responsiveness of folks at Acuity has always been a strength of the company and a real benefit to users,” said Dr. Thomas.

“I found the reporting capabilities of Acuity to be more robust than any of the other systems.”

– Andria Thomas, PhD, Augusta University Medical School of Georgia

Streamlined, efficient process

The School of Medicine adopted Acuity in 2004. In 2006, MCG’s Chief Information Officer upgraded Acuity to an enterprise system, and all schools at MCG including 41 residency programs adopted the system. By teaming with Acuity, MCG finds they now have a more streamlined approach to schedules, evaluations, and data tracking and reporting. For the first time, MCG is able to link information that was previously contained in different databases, such as schedules, student/preceptor availability, competencies, procedure tracking, handouts and more in an efficient manner.

Team effort

At MCG, there are three different groups of users of Acuity. The administrators have been very pleased with managing rotations with Acuity after the bulk of the time intensive set-up has been completed. Most faculty members are end-users of Acuity. Tasks and reminders are automatically sent to them and they are able to simply click on a link in their email to do their work. Those that are more active in scheduling or reporting tended to be early adopters from the start. And finally, students have found it easy to use Acuity, as all they need to do is read their email for evaluations, and since the Acuity log system is very user-friendly, students had no problem figuring out how to use it.

Acuity receives high marks

Dr. Thomas finds that by using Acuity, MCG has realized several benefits. One major benefit is the vast improvement in efficiency. Though unable to provide actual numbers, Dr. Thomas feels that they have saved hundreds of hours annually in administrative time and faculty/ student overhead. In addition, the reporting capabilities of Acuity have proven to impress Dr. Thomas. “The main hassles we had before were related to reporting, which Acuity has eliminated almost completely by providing a single point of ready access for the crucial data collected in the tracking process. Now that we are expanding the data that we track, I find I need a way to get a more bird’s eye view of a lot more information. This has led me to extract large amounts of information from Acuity to link to other databases.”

MCG has cited Acuity service to be of particular value to them. Implementation was very easy according to Dr. Thomas, and the support was excellent. But through the ongoing relationship between MCG and Acuity, product enhancement proved to be even more valuable. Through MCG’s ideas and suggestions, Acuity was able to develop a very sophisticated log system for the school that was not originally part of the Acuity product line.

LCME accreditation

Dr. Thomas, now Associate Dean for Evaluation, says that with the realization of Acuity benefits to MCG, she is now able to focus on other important issues. The primary change has been the improvement in overall program evaluation. With time saved using Acuity, they are able to focus their attention on interpreting data and implementing changes instead of on collecting and reporting the data. Dr. Thomas notes the most important and exciting news for MCG: “We had our LCME site visit this year and received the full eight years accreditation. Our evaluation system, powered in large part by Acuity was noted to be a strength of our program here.”

In summary, Dr. Thomas says, “I recommend Acuity to any colleague I meet at education meetings because it works and I think it will improve how they work. I also think it opens up the possibility of inter-institution collaboration when two schools are using the same system.”