From Chaos to Clarity: How UTMB Streamlined its MSPE Process 

How UTMB Streamlined Medical Student Performance Evaluations with One45 MSPE Builder

Key Information

  • Program: University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) John Sealy School of Medicine
  • Location: Galveston, Texas
  • Challenges: Cumbersome, manual MSPE process, high administrative workload, low student response/attestation rates
  • Solutions/Modules: One45 MSPE Builder, One45, Analytics
  • Benefits: Streamlined process, improved efficiency, increased student engagement and response rates

In the competitive world of medical education, the University of Texas Medical Branch John Sealy School of Medicine (UTMB) stands out, not just for its commitment to excellence in recruiting and graduating top-tier medical students, but also for its innovative approach to overcoming administrative hurdles. 

At the heart of this transformation story is the implementation of Acuity Insights’ MSPE Builder, a pivotal project led by Dr. Norma A. Pérez Raifaisen, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs.

The Challenge: An Inefficient MSPE Process

One of Dr. Pérez Raifaisen’s main responsibilities as Assistant Dean was to manage and oversee the creation and distribution of Medical School Performance Evaluations (MSPEs), and the process was ripe for streamlining. 

At the time, the process of creating MSPE letters at UTMB was labor-intensive and inefficient. It required printing, reviewing and drafting multiple versions of each letter, and all data had to be manually entered because their systems were still based on email and paper. 

Efforts to streamline the workflow through MS Forms and Excel only partially improved the process.

According to Dr. Pérez Raifaisen, the process was “chaotic.” One of the main problems was the student response rate. 

The MSPE letter is a key part of each graduating learner’s application to residency. It is included in their permanent academic and professional records. As such, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) requires medical schools to provide their learners with the opportunity to review their MSPE letter before it is released to residency programs. 

During this time, draft letters were being sent to students via emails, which contained a link to a form where students could submit information they felt needed to be corrected in their letters. Often, these emails would be caught in spam filters or simply ignored. 

The school eagerly wanted email confirmation from students who had reviewed their letters, yet only half of students were doing so. Dr. Pérez Raifaisen believes part of the problem was the letters being ignored as “just another email from the Dean’s office.”

Even so, the process of implementing feedback from the students who did respond was manual and left plenty of room for human error. Dr. Pérez Raifaisen reflects on this time: “We were responsible for responding to multiple requests for corrections without an appropriate infrastructure to effectively manage the workflow.”

This paper-centric approach underscored the need for a more effective, systematic process and approach to managing MSPE letters.

With a vision to enhance the operational workflow and support students more effectively, the quest for a solution began.

Acuity Insights’ MSPE Builder: The Turning Point

By 2021, UTMB had already embraced Acuity Insights’ One45 solution, which had earned high praise from its users. 

When Dr. Pérez Raifaisen was invited to a meeting to learn more about One45, she wondered if the team might have suggestions on ways to better manage the MSPE letter approach.

It was at this meeting when Dr. Pérez Raifaisen first learned about MSPE Builder, a tool that offered multiple ways to automate MSPE letter creation, data updating, distribution, and student review processes, while seamlessly integrating data from One45, Blackboard Learn, and NBME (National Board of Medical Examiners). This was a major turning point. 

Choosing MSPE Builder was a no-brainer. Not only did the platform meet the needs of Dr. Pérez Raifaisen and her team, but the customer support provided by Acuity Insights was top-of-the-line. This level of support, coupled with positive feedback from other medical schools, solidified Dr. Pérez Raifaisen’s confidence in Acuity Insights as the partner of choice for revolutionizing UTMB’s MSPE process. 

Dr. Pérez Raifaisen reflects: “All of our data was already in the One45 platform, which made the transition to MSPE Builder not just logical, but practical. It was exactly what we needed to organize all the moving parts and streamline our MSPE letters efficiently.”

This tool, known for its capacity to simplify the MSPE workflow, offered a solution that aligned perfectly with UTMB’s needs. It promised not only to automate and optimize the MSPE process but also to integrate existing data from One45 seamlessly, significantly reducing the administrative overload and potential for human error.

Implementation and Results: A Seamless Transition From 50% to 100%

The adoption of MSPE Builder was transformative. 

Dr. Pérez Raifaisen noted the immediate impact on efficiency and student response and attestation rates, which skyrocketed from 50% to nearly 100%. Requests for student feedback on the draft copy of their MSPE letter were no longer ignored, and when students’ feedback came in, Dr. Pérez Raifaisen’s team had the tools in place to act on it with accuracy and efficiency. 

These improvements were a testament to the platform’s user-friendly design and the professional, responsive support from Acuity Insights.

According to Dr. Pérez Raifaisen: “One of our primary goals is to foster transparency with our students. We aim to ensure they are fully aware of all that the letter contains, providing them with an opportunity to review and discuss their letters. This new approach, facilitated by a dedicated platform for MSPEs, prevents important communications from being lost among a sea of emails. Students must review and confirm their agreement with the contents of their evaluations, a process they greatly value.”

The platform’s dynamic features facilitated a streamlined workflow, enabling the Office of Student Affairs to allocate more time to preparing for Match, student wellness and career advising, further enriching the student experience. 

The success story of UTMB and MSPE Builder underscores the transformative potential of digital solutions in addressing administrative challenges within medical education. 

Reflections and Recommendations

Dr. Pérez Raifaisen’s journey using MSPE Builder to overcome the inefficiencies of a manual system serves as an inspiring blueprint for other institutions grappling with similar challenges. The improvements in administrative efficiency and student engagement and reduction in human error highlight the impact of thoughtful technology integration in medical education.

For medical schools looking to enhance their MSPE process, the UTMB experience exemplifies the benefits of adopting a digital approach. Acuity Insights’ MSPE Builder not only simplifies administrative workflows but also elevates the overall quality of the important MSPE requirement, allowing the Student Affairs office more time to focus on their ultimate goal of supporting student success.

Before MSPE BuilderAfter MSPE BuilderOverall Benefit
Non-automated, paper-centric approach, multiple moving parts, email-based student review, low student response rateNearly 100% student response rate, streamlined administrative processImproved student experience, streamlined workflow for Student Affairs staff

“MSPE Builder not only streamlined our MSPE creation process but also increased our level of professionalism and efficiency. It has truly revolutionized how we support our students’ journey towards residency.” – Dr. Norma A. Pérez Raifaisen

In an era where efficiency and effectiveness are paramount, One45 MSPE Builder emerges as an essential tool for medical schools aiming to streamline their processes and support their students’ ambitions. UTMB’s experience with the MSPE Builder paves the way for other institutions, offering a future where administrative excellence and student success go hand in hand.

If you’re ready to take the first step towards a more efficient, comprehensive, and student-centred system, book a demo to see MSPE Builder in action.