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Case Study

Future-Proofing for a Growing Workforce in a Time of Crisis

How one Hospital Group Used InPlace Network to Increase Clinical Placements by 27% 

Increasing Clinical Placements by InPlace Network

According to a 2022 report from the Ontario Nursing Association, Canada is facing a nursing shortage crisis. In Ontario alone, an estimated 24,000 nurses are needed to meet demand this year. More than ever, hospitals and care facilities need qualified nurses to complete their training and join the workforce. 

Because of this, hospital groups, like Health Sciences North, are searching for tools like InPlace Network that will allow them to future-proof their systems and prepare for a growing workforce. 

The Challenge

Before implementing InPlace Network, placing students was a manual process for Noreen Nichol, the Clinical Placement Coordinator at Health Sciences North (HSN).

HSN is a tertiary care center with 25 sites across Northeastern Ontario. Historically, Noreen placed roughly 1,500 clinical placements yearly from over 60 academic institutions. 

This laborious placement process, which consisted of uploading and downloading multiple versions of spreadsheets, communicating with partner institutions, and tracking and placing all 1,500 students, was untenable.

Occasionally, Noreen would spend several weeks following up with a single student to secure the required documentation. On top of this, there were challenges with disseminating information effectively to key stakeholders, and university partners needed visibility into placement capacity and the process. 

Just thinking about the hospital’s goal of growing that 1,500-placement number seemed unimaginable. 

The InPlace Network Solution

InPlace Network provided a one-stop-shop solution for Health Sciences North.  

All required student information and documentation for placement available in one system.

Users could see if all documentation was completed in real-time.

Supported student placements across all disciplines, such as nursing, allied health, social work, and business.

Academic coordinators, HSN placement coordinators, and students had one central "hub" to track progress, documentation, and view placements. On-site managers, supervisors, and preceptors could also access this data if desired.

Approve students for placement in less than five minutes.

The ability to run real-time reporting directly from within the system.

Discover Powerful Results with InPlace

Success for Health Sciences North

With the use of InPlace Network, Noreen and HSN were able to increase total placements by 27% in one placement cycle. Primarily by taking what was once a multi-week process and whittling it down to as little as 5 minutes for some placements.

–  Noreen Nichol  –

InPlace has future-proofed our placement process to allow us to handle more and more placements each year as schools grow their programs.

Noreen is now seamlessly managing 1,900 clinical placements annually across various disciplines, including nursing, social work, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, medical imaging, pharmacy, laboratory, and administration. 

The InPlace Network solution has also alleviated concerns from university partners by providing near real-time feedback on their students.

The nursing shortage in Ontario and other Provinces will not disappear overnight. But a solution like InPlace Network can help to scale nursing programs as schools increase enrollment to meet the need for these high-demand positions. 

Planning for the Future

InPlace Network continues to add valuable features for network partners. In the Spring of 2023, we will roll out real-time capacity reporting. This feature will allow HSN to set a flag for university partners regarding capacity to avoid surprises and bring consistency to how many placements partner schools could expect to receive year to year. 

Long-term, the data within InPlace Network can be used as a talent pipeline tool for in-demand fields. 

What Our University Partners Are Saying

Several Ontario universities use InPlace to manage all facets of work-integrated learning. According to Shahn Butt, Clinical Placement Coordinator at Cambrian College of Nursing: 

InPlace encompasses so many facets of clinical coordination. It is extremely powerful but at the same time readily malleable to fit the needs of an institution. It does what it needs to do in the most efficient way.

From health requirement verification, placement requesting, student interaction, and other functions such as surveys, log books, etc., there is just so much you can do, and at the same time you do not feel forced to learn everything, only what you need.

The website itself is very fast, and if any technical issues arise, InPlace is always there to help and to tailor the website I see in front of me to my comfort.

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