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I:CAMS, the fully-hosted online recruitment and applicant tracking system from healthcare IT solutions and services specialists, Hicom Technology, has been used to successfully complete the first round of junior doctors applications for NHS Education South Central. The system has been hailed as secure and confidential, providing both cost and time savings to its users.
I:CAMS which was deployed across 11 of the 13 recruiting Deaneries in England for Round One applications, provides the sector with the ability to develop individual application forms on top of a robust underlying infrastructure that offers greater visibility and access to information throughout the application process. Its modular format allows individual Deaneries to tailor the application form to their specific requirements and quickly identify the suitability of each applicant to the specific posts.
NHS Education South Central (NESC) incorporates the Wessex and Oxford Deaneries and the NESC Dental School. NESC was established on 1 April 2007 as an integrated organisation delivering the development needs of the healthcare workforce in NHS South Central. Its role is to lead the education and training agenda on behalf of, and in partnership with, the 24 NHS Trusts and Primary Care Trusts across South Central as well as five NHS Trusts in Dorset and South Wiltshire across the South West. From 2009, the Oxford and Wessex Deaneries are using I:CAMS as a single online system to support all its specialty recruitment.
I:CAMS is a specialist application for the healthcare recruitment market which has been specifically designed to reduce duplication and administration, and to improve the speed of the process. The system is user-friendly and flexible allowing for reduced paperwork and improved efficiency. This gives key recruitment staff within the NHS more time to concentrate on the development of doctor training programmes rather than the administrative tasks associated with the application process.
Sheeba Kidd, Information Officer for Oxford Deanery, comments, Prior to I:CAMS we had recruited via the mandatory MTAS recruitment system, which having been deemed unsatisfactory nationally meant we had reverted back to a paper-based application process in subsequent years. I:CAMS is our first experience of a local online recruitment system and the immediate contrast to our previous paper-based application system is stark. The entire process from putting an advert live to processing the offer letter to the successful candidate is so much more efficient.
Kidd continues, For example, for core medical training last year we received 450 applications with each candidate sending in 10 copies of a paper-based application form. As you can imagine, the management of that many paper-based applications, together with the storage, handling and processing was a huge task not to mention the environmental issue of using so much paper. The I:CAMS system saves us a huge amount of time.
The I:CAMS system not only provides time savings but quantifiable cost savings also, particularly for Oxford Deanery as Kidd explains, Last year in Oxford, we had to recruit a high number of temporary staff working most evenings to manually input data for our national statistics returns to MMC. Now, through I:CAMS the data is inputted by the applicants themselves and in literally the press of a couple of buttons, is ready to go instantly. Kidd continues, This has saved an awful lot of work, data entry time and also cost in temporary staff. There is also less room for error as all the data is automated and entered by the applicants themselves.
Commenting on the fact that I:CAMS reduces errors, is a fully audited online system and a more secure and confidential system for users, Kerry Brown, Recruitment Manager, Wessex Deanery explains, As an online system, I:CAMS is a lot more secure and confidential than the previous paper-based systems. All details are secure in the system and accessed via a login, in contrast to having details on paper passed through the various touch points of the old process. The short-listing process is by far the most drastic change for Wessex we now do this all online through I:CAMS whereas previously, we would have to print off all the applicant forms and courier them down to the consultants where they would be collated and processed providing yet more time and cost savings.
Brown continues, Were now on a bit of a green mission in Wessex where we are burning applications to CDs and taking those into the interviews to further cut down on the need for paper. After use the CDs are either destroyed or wiped and used again.
Through the audit trail provided by I:CAMS, NESC is able to track users activity and see where amendments have been made to applications, record notes against certain aspects of each application and also have full visibility of who has accessed each record. This provides an advantage for both applicant, whose data is safe and can only be accessed by those with the relevant permissions, and for NESC who is able to trace submission dates and user activity.
Kidd concludes, Moving forward, we will be using I:CAMS for Round Two applications in the same way, together with some system enhancements that Hicom has made. Having worked with Deaneries for many years, Hicom  is more than familiar with us, how we work and our requirements this history means we are already familiar with the style of the system, which provides us with the confidence that I:CAMS will continue to work for us and will develop with us as our needs and requirements move on.


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