New residency Web tool tracks learning progress

June 18, 2007

ASHP has released ResiTrak, a Web-based tool expected to enhance the mentoring of pharmacy residents enrolled in their residency learning system while facilitating the administrative process for preceptors and program directors.

ASHP has introduced ResiTrak, a Web-based tool expected to enhance the mentoring of pharmacy residents enrolled in its Residency Learning System (RLS) while facilitating the administrative process for preceptors and program directors.

ASHP currently oversees 873 residency programs. Each program will typically have two to four residents, with six to 10 preceptors, and could be located at a hospital, community pharmacy, managed care organization, clinic, home care, or hospice, according to Teeters. About 1,400 residents graduated last year; the 2007 number will not be known until the end of June.

Kim Mattox, Pharm.D., who will become residency program director at James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, Tampa, Fla., on June 25, particularly likes the e-mail reminders ResiTrak will send out to prompt residents and preceptors about tasks that are due. "I'm hopeful this will get evaluations done in a more timely fashion, so the director doesn't have to remind people to do things," she said. No longer will people have to look for "lost" paper forms; the e-mail prompt will link to the proper Web form.

In addition, Mattox believes ResiTrak will help in updating customized plans. "As residents go through the year, you need to modify their original plans according to their progress and struggles. Changing forms on paper takes more of an effort to make sure everyone has an updated version." Having the forms more central on the Web, where everyone involved sees the changes at once, is going to be easier, she hopes.

Sherri Ramsey, R.Ph., director of pharmacy at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, sees the time-savings aspect as ResiTrak's greatest value. "It drives the process. You don't have to stop and think about how you're supposed to set up your program or what you need to do-it walks you through all of that."

Ramsey also expects it to help monitor progress. "It will absolutely be easier for me to monitor what's going on with the preceptors and to make sure they're up to date on their evaluations. It will also help to ensure that the preceptors are giving the specific type of feedback they need to give, because they will be prompted to do so. They don't have to stop and remember every single thing that's happened."

The templates will be a godsend, according to Ramsey. "All we have to do now is put in resident-specific information. Prior to this, we had to develop each piece, each evaluation instrument, each tool that we used, on our own." These templates will force standardization, which Ramsey considers a major plus. "Before, you had a lot of variability-not only from preceptor to preceptor but from program to program." Having standardized evaluations will give residents more consistent and meaningful feedback, she believes, and make it easier to share information within a program from preceptor to preceptor. "It will also help us as programs better track what we're doing. Are we on track? Are we doing what we need to be doing?"