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Elentra’s New and Improved Clinical Placement Scheduling Lottery “will save administrators time and headaches”

There aren’t many moments more significant in a medical student’s education than the move from classroom to clinical placement. That’s when it gets real — working in clinics and hospitals with actual patients. So, scheduling those clinical experiences is a very big deal, says Elentra’s Director of Product Management Carly Duncan.

“Medical students often have an idea of where they ultimately want to work — surgery, family practice, pediatrics and so on,” says Carly. “They hope for the more prestigious clinical sites for their discipline. And they want to do the clinical rotation that they’re likely going to do a residency in — the next big career event.”

In a lottery scheduling system students indicate their first choices of placement. Then computer algorithms eliminate preferential treatment while attempting to give students their number one picks. Previous iterations of the lottery, while effective, had room for improvement. For example, accounting for site capacity limitations, and moving away from time-consuming paperwork. Elentra’s new lottery feature, poised to launch early in 2022, accounts for capacity issues, and will be a huge time saver for administrators.

“It automates the process,” explains Carly. “We did extensive interviews with clients to find out what worked, what they liked and didn’t like. Their requirements were translated and put into development, and they provided feedback along the way. This new design really will save administrators time and headaches.”

The new feature will significantly improve the learner experience as well. Previously, the scheduling lottery was a one-shot deal, students ranking choices in a preferred order, the lottery generating schedules. Requesting changes was potentially cumbersome and stressful. Now, a multi-stage lottery will make it possible for students to take greater control, giving them the ability to share and swap schedules with peers, for example.

“We want to help reduce some of the stress for students as they’re starting their careers,” says Carly. “The new feature creates a really slick learner experience of participating in the lottery.”

The combination of a new, improved learner experience and greater efficiency for administrators (the lottery’s both simple to set up and run) means Elentra will have a stronger, more robust lottery product — a big win for all concerned.

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