FileMaker Provides Residency Program with Relief

June 13, 2019

FileMaker Pro is an easy to use database management system that users don’t need programming skills to configure or use. FileMaker applications work across mobile, cloud, and on-campus environments to help teams eliminate inefficient processes and consolidate scattered information.

To eliminate extremely labor intensive and complicated processes, the department of Internal Medicine switched to FileMaker Pro to help them manage their residency program. For the department, this application has become a critical tool in how they operate and meet the needs of the program.

The challenge

Bound by tight time constraints, the Yale Internal Medicine Residency Program provides over 100 electives each year to 380 residents. Each resident takes four to five electives, representing around 1,700 elective assignments each year. In the past, the department processed selections using email and spreadsheets. Additionally, a third-party consultant, using a proprietary single-user database, provided additional support.  

Using Yale’s IT services to solve the problem

How has this changed? The department leveraged FileMaker to create an application to solve their business challenge. As a full stack platform, FileMaker combines the database, business logic, and user interface into a single development environment.

The results

Now, in May, residents receive notification of the elective offerings available for the year. They can select and rank the electives that they are most interested in online. In early June, immediately following the close of the selection period, FileMaker’s rules engine is employed to automate the assignment of electives. If needed, FileMaker is nimble enough to allow the department to refine their business rules for elective assignment each year easily.  

Today, the system is used by 150 faculty and staff, 380 residents, resident coordinators from each of the hospitals (including affiliated), and three staff from Yale Internal Medicine. FileMaker provides them with the following functionality:

  • Elective creation
    • Departments create electives
    • Faculty signup to teach electives at various time slots
  • Elective selection
    • Residents select and prioritize the electives they would like to take
    • A rules engine evaluates and assigns the selection
  • Communication
    • Emails are sent to all residents when selections begin
    • Reminder emails are sent to residents who do not make their selection
    • Residents receive their final elective schedules
    • Doctors receive reminders of their elective teaching obligation

Using FileMaker has dramatically improved workflow. The timeline and staff effort for the entire process shrunk from two people focused on this for three months, down to two people supporting this half-time for one month. Residents can easily complete their elective selection in less than 20 minutes. Also, rules applied to complete the assignment are now applied accurately and quickly.

Interested in using FileMaker for your workflow?

Anyone can create a custom application using the FileMaker platform. Build your own application even without specialized programming skills or an information technology background. Learn more or request a consultation to see if this is the right tool to fit your needs.