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The Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences supports the philosophy and mission of the university and the College of Health Professions, and provides an environment that nurtures excellence in education, research and service. The programs offered by the department are dedicated to enhancing and promoting medical laboratory science.



Richmond, VA

Use cases

Clinical coordination

How Kaitlin Pierce automated clinical coordination at VCU

Frustrated by hours spent manually uploading files to student records and concerned about human error, Kaitlin Pierce turned to automation with


Managing and documenting VCU students’ clinical experiences is a highly manual process that takes coordinators hours every day during student placement cycles. Many departments employ expensive and rigid clinical tracking software packages, but they still require manual management on the backend. Kaitlin didn’t have a budget for expensive software and needed a cost-effective means to improve her systems using tools she already had.


With, Kaitlin automates flows across SmartSuite, Fillout, and Documint to significantly reduce the manual effort of documenting students’ clinical rotations. allows for smooth generation and upload of compliance documents without manual sorting and searching, and automatically updates Kaitlin’s tracking views to match current progress .


Saves about 16 hours of manual labor every week
Reduces the risk of accidental clerical errors in student records
Decreases time to determine which students need rapid follow up or intervention

Clerical errors can lead to medical errors

Kaitlin Pierce has been a Clinical Coordinator at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) for 5 years. She is responsible for managing and documenting student’s clinical experiences, like rotations with regional healthcare partner facilities. For years, Kaitlin has been bothered by the fact that a primary cause of medical errors in the US is clerical errors. Determined to avoid clerical errors when it came to her student processes, Kaitlin set out to find a better way for her department at VCU to manage their clinical coordination processes.

The processes Kaitlin oversees are multi-step and very manual. For example, if a new student is preparing to rotate in the hospital, they need to complete compliance documentation like filling out a Statement of Understanding before completing a background check and drug screen. Requesting, uploading, and carefully recording these documents for every single student was taking Kaitlin around 16 hours each week during the clinical placement cycle. How could she reduce errors and streamline the manual work?

“The number one reason for medical errors in the US is clerical errors.”
Kaitlin Pierce, Clinical Coordinator, VCU

A faster, more reliable way to manage student clinical rotations

As a first step, Kaitlin implemented SmartSuite so as to have one source of truth for student documentation. With this structure in place, she was ready to start automating. She tried Zapier and, but she ran into issues with run limits and found them overcomplicated for supporting the complex logic and data paths she needed. Then, she discovered

Kaitlin built a playbook to document clinical rotation paperwork automatically. makes workflow automation easier with human-in-the-loop automations and an intuitive UI. Our team met Kaitlin through a SmartSuite webinar, and since then, she has been one of our favorite customers to work with. As she developed her clinical coordination playbooks on, Kaitlin gave us fantastic feedback and feature requests that made both her processes and better.

Here is an example of how Kaitlin uses for managing medical students’ clinical rotation paperwork.

1. The workflow starts when a student submits a Statement of Understanding form in Fillout

When a student is ready to begin a new clinical rotation, they fill out a Statement of Understanding in Fillout. Fillout is a modern form builder for easy and professional information and signature collection.

The new form submission triggers Kaitlin's playbook to run. The student’s responses can then be referenced in other automations in

VCU medical students fill out a Statement of Understanding in Fillout as a first step to prepare for their pre-rotation drug screening and background checks.

2. Documint automatically converts the Fillout form into a signed PDF takes the information submitted in Fillout and automatically generates a polished PDF using Documint, a document generation tool for easy creation of customized professional documents. even makes it possible to include the student’s hand drawn signature in the Documint PDF.

The Documint template for generating PDFs for student records

3. The signed PDF is added to the correct student record in SmartSuite

Once the signed PDF has been created in Documint, it must be uploaded to the correct student record in SmartSuite. Kaitlin accomplishes this in by using the student’s ID from the Fillout form to identify the student’s record in SmartSuite. Then the PDF can be uploaded automatically to the matched student record.

Kaitlin uses a automation to update a student’s record in SmartSuite with the signed forms.

4. The next steps are emailed to the student

With the signed Statement of Understanding properly recorded, the student can be notified to start their background check and drug screen. Waiting to trigger these directions until the Statement of Understanding is on file adds another layer of compliance safety; each step in the process is a trackable checkpoint.

To send the instructions to the student, Kaitlin uses a Gmail automation. In addition to populating her email template with information from the student’s form responses, Kaitlin also takes advantage of a bit of AI to make her email more polished: Using’s built-in AI extraction tool to extract the student’s first name from the form, she can be sure she is always addressing the student personably, no matter how they formatted their name. No risk of “Hello Last, First”!

Students are immediately notified of the next steps in the process with a personalized email.
RESULTS saves hours and protects against mistakes

With, Kaitlin has been able to significantly streamline the clinical operations process for her department at VCU, saving herself 16 hours a week (and many headaches) during placement cycles.

Perhaps equally importantly, these automations also reduce the likelihood of the unintended clerical errors that are inherent to any manual documentation process. This is the kind of process improvement that needs to happen to make progress toward reducing clerical errors in healthcare operations.

If you’d like to see how can save you time, reduce manual work, and minimize errors, sign up for to get started for free.

" has returned hours to me that I can now direct toward more impactful activities than shuttling files. Knowing that everything is being directed where it needs to go gives me incredible peace of mind."
Kaitlin Pierce, Clinical Coordinator at VCU

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