Putting Students First: Innovation at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine

Redefining Excellence with One45 and MSPE Builder 

Key Information

  • Program: Quinnipiac University Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine
  • Location: North Haven, Connecticut
  • Challenges: Time-intensive, manual MSPE process; inconsistent assessments of learners; inconsistent curriculum mapping
  • Solutions/Modules: One45, including MSPE Builder; Analytics; Casper
  • Benefits: Streamlined MSPE process and student review, increased student satisfaction, enhanced faculty development, and robust curriculum mapping

The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine has embraced the power of digital transformation to enhance its delivery of medical education. Leveraging One45 from Acuity Insights, this community-based medical school has modernized its approach to the creation of the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), clinical assessments of learners, and curriculum management.

Manual beginnings for the MSPE

When Dr. Steve Paik began his journey as Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions at The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, the organization was already using the One45 platform to handle its critical scheduling, curriculum management, and assessment and evaluation processes. 

Dr. Paik was pleased with the efficiency and accuracy delivered by One45, but recognized a need to improve the process being used to compile, deliver, and collaborate with students when it came to Medical School Performance Evaluations (MSPE). 

MSPEs are a key element in medical school graduates’ application for residencies, making it critical for students to review the letter and provide feedback before it officially becomes part of their academic record. 

The MSPE process at The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine was fully manual. Each year, one individual would spend about two months copying data from One45 and pasting it into individual MSPE letters, focusing mainly on accuracy to ensure that no errors were made. 

Completed MSPE letters were then reviewed together with students on 30-minute Zoom calls, where they were expected to both review the letter and provide any corrections or feedback to Student Affairs. It was difficult to track down the students to book their individual calls, which meant a lot of wasted time for the team.

It was a tedious process that was prone to errors, time-consuming for staff, and provided a sub-par student experience. Understanding the burdensome nature of the existing system and its unsustainable demand on human resources, Dr. Paik began evaluating how they might improve the process, and was excited to learn about a new addition to the One45 ecosystem, MSPE Builder. 

MSPE Builder uses the data stored in the One45 platform along with other critical data residing in the Analytics data warehouse in order to automate the creation of MSPEs.

The transition to efficiency

Dr. Paik proposed the adoption of this new tool, highlighting its potential to reduce time spent, improve operational efficiency, and seamlessly integrate with their existing One45 workflows and data collection. 

To Dr. Paik, the investment seemed like a “no-brainer” – the time saved would allow the team to improve their processes and evaluations and significantly enhance the student experience provided by the school. 

Adopting the MSPE Builder was a game-changer for the team. There was no longer a need for one individual to spend months copying and pasting student assessment data from One45 into the MSPEs — this process was now automated, meaning greater efficiency and the elimination of human error. 

From Two Months to One Weekend

As for the tedious student review process, MSPE Builder “turned a two-month process into a one-weekend process,” said Dr. Renu Boatright, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, stressing the remarkable increase in efficiency.

As a community-based school, learners may be completing their away rotations across the country in different time zones and on varied schedules. Using the student review feature of MSPE Builder, students can access their letters from anywhere within the secure platform, with more time to ensure the contents are correct, and no pressure of a 30-minute Zoom call to both read and provide feedback. 

According to Dr. Boatright, “Before we started using MSPE Builder, we had to chase down these students to get them to schedule a review session. Now, the process is so streamlined – we don’t have to chase anyone, anymore!”

With the increased efficiencies gained, the Student Affairs team has been able to spend their time crafting high-quality summary paragraphs about each student for the MSPEs, to highlight their individual achievements. This new value-add was previously impossible due to the large amount of time spent creating the letters and facilitating the student review.

Positive Impact on Clinical Evaluations

Through the data clean-up that was done to facilitate the implementation of MSPE Builder, other opportunities for data and workflow improvement were uncovered. Grades calculations were automated within the One45 system so that outcomes data could directly flow into the letters, for example, in the MSPE’s automated performance graphs that show individual performance alongside that of their cohort.

As well, with the clinical narrative summaries newly surfaced directly within the MSPE letters, the Frank H. Netter team uncovered an opportunity for faculty development, where they could improve consistency in their assessments of learners. Because of this, they are now working to improve consistency in assessments for all learners, ensuring that they reflect observed, competency-focused behavior.

– MSPE student review process reduced from two months to one weekend
– Increased student satisfaction with the MSPE process
– Enhanced insight into areas for faculty development on assessments of learners
– Comprehensive curriculum mapping improvements

Innovation and Continuous Quality Improvement

The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine is not only innovating their MSPE process, but they are also currently undertaking a significant curriculum examination project, led by Dr. Ingrid Philibert, Senior Director of Accreditation, Measurement, and Educational Scholarship. This project will ensure consistency in how various curriculum areas are mapped. Dr. Philibert received helpful advice on best practices in curriculum mapping from the Acuity Insights team several years ago: namely, to map to fewer things and to do it more thoroughly. 

As well, another major initiative is looking at the curriculum both vertically and horizontally, and identifying what should be assessed, or the sub-metrics, of the EPOs at each level. Dr. Philibert plans to view performance data alongside her examination of the curriculum in order to be able to identify and address any lower performing areas of the curriculum through future revisions and continuous quality improvement. The flexibility of One45’s curriculum management functionality is critical to the success of both of these initiatives. 

Shelley Candler, Director of Medical Education, also notes the guidance and support that has been provided by the Acuity Insights team. In her role, Candler is responsible for scheduling, lotteries, grading and reports for clerkships, and supervising a team that works daily in One45. Says Candler, “By far the One45 support system works fantastic. So whether it’s finding an answer through your videos or in your support documents, or reaching out to somebody, it has been great. The team makes sure that our problem is solved and we’re not left with something open ended.” 


The use of One45 and integration of MSPE Builder has yielded significant improvements:

  • The MSPE student review process has been streamlined from two months to a single weekend.
  • Student satisfaction has improved thanks to better assessments, the increased ease of remote review and feedback delivery for their MSPE letters.
  • Faculty development opportunities, ensuring consistency across assessments of learners.

What’s next

Since Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine also uses Acuity Insights’ Casper situational judgment test in their admissions process, as well as Analytics, they have an innovative perspective on how these solutions will benefit the program in future.

According to Dr. Paik, “we get to really look at our students from the point of admissions all the way to the point of graduation and be able to kind of redefine what students we are looking for, which means we’re able to re-inform the system as a whole closed-loop process. I think that we have not fully touched upon where this whole ecosystem can go in enabling our evaluation system to also inform our admissions process.”

Thanks to enhanced automation and comprehensive views of students and the program overall, Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine is poised to shape the future of medical education, putting students at the forefront of their learning experience.

“Adopting One45 and MSPE Builder was a game-changer. It not only streamlined our processes but also significantly improved the quality of our educational delivery.” – Dr. Renu Boatright, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs

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