Tip of the week: Navigating the ins and outs of ERAS

Residency Program Insider, November 24, 2009

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At this point in the recruitment season, you might be spending more time with ERAS than with your spouse and/or children. Make sure you’re getting the most out of the software with the following tips:

Set up local data fields. Although the software prepopulates many data fields, create additional ones specific to your program. For example, many coordinators add a field for residents to comment on applicants or another field for listing applicants’ research experience.

Use filter sorts. Once you get the hang of writing filter sorts, it’s really easy to pull anything you need out of several hundred files. The following are some filter sorts:

  • To find out which applicants attend schools nearby, sort by medical school.
  • To create a list of residents coming on a given day, sort by interview date. Faculty members can then easily find them for application review or scoring.
  • Before your program’s ranking meeting, sort your interviewees by score in descending order. Export the list to an Excel spreadsheet along with any other pertinent information. Add a column for the rank order and e-mail it to all of the people on the interview committee. It’s an easy-to-read format for study.

Get your faculty on ERAS. Consider allowing faculty members to score residents by logging into the software. This way you do not have to collect, store, and manage score sheets. There’s an advantage for faculty too. As the interview season progresses, a faculty member might realize he was scoring too generously at the beginning, and he can go back in and adjust his scores.

Limit access. Consider limiting faculty’s access so they don’t inadvertently change an applicant’s information as they enter scores. Program directors and coordinators typically have full access, so they can update the files as the interview season goes on.
Write notes. With so many applicants, remembering every detail is impossible. The note feature can help. Use it to record why you rejected someone with good scores or information specific to the applicant, such as whether they have family in the area.

This week’s tip is from Residency Program Alert, published by HCPro, Inc.

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