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Client | 5 min read

Clinked Client Stories: California Academy of Family Physicians

In early March, Deputy Executive Vice President Shelly Rodrigues sat down with us to share how California Academy of Family Physicians (“CAFP”) has been using Clinked. Today we’re sharing her story and how Clinked helps CAFP deliver “Strong medicine for California” by bringing the Heart of the Revolution.  

“It’s really simple. It’s really user friendly.” - Shelly Rodrigues

California Academy of Family Physicians began in 1948 solely dedicated to advancing the speciality of family medicine in the state of California by championing the cause of family physicians and their patients. Since it’s founding, CAFP has built a membership of more than 10,000 family physicians, family medicine residents and medical students. It is the largest primary care medical society in California and the largest chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians. 


In 2019, CAFP started a program called California Primary Care Residency Program Collaborative - a year-long program with 30 residency training programs across California addressing education around substance misuse disorders, opioid use disorders, and medication assistance training and treatments. The geographic spread and professional commitments of the participants was a key identified challenge before the program started, as they wanted to nurture and build a community for the physicians-in-training to use going forward to meet this deepening health crisis. Luckily for Shelly, she knew the right digital platform to enable the participating physicians-in-training to remotely access all facets of their program in 1 place - from education materials and webinar videos to discussion boards and chat functionality - this platform was Clinked. 

How did she know about it? As Shelly says:

‘Sometimes happenstance just works!’

Completely happenstance, in this case, equals a switched-on IT consultant, OPTeTech and a global Family Doctors project. CAFP and Shelly joined the World Organization of Family Doctors (“WONCA”) in 2018 on a project to help address mental health in the Asia Pacific region given the topic’s stigma. With 35 groups participating across 8 different countries, the project required a flexible, cloud-based platform that would provide secure access to physicians in countries with various qualities of IT infrastructure. OpTeTech suggested Clinked as the platform to create the digital home that could be branded to coordinate and house all of the project’s activities. They worked with Shelly to build out the portal based on the project’s requirements and Shelly quickly took over ownership after that. Over the next months, she managed the platform with OpTeTech as they enabled participants to collaborate together - uploading and downloading materials, posting discussions and more - without the fuss of dealing with proprietary logins or heavy IT restrictions. 


When planning the California Primary Care Residency Program Collaborative, Shelly knew she had in Clinked the right platform to setup quickly which would meet the program’s needs. And, she knew that she could manage to do it all going forward on her own. She shared: 


“So when it came time for this new project, I didn’t need the consultant. It was simple enough for me to take it on and build it myself. I knew the product. It worked for my WONCA project and, I thought, this is perfect for my new project.” 


To learn more about Shelly’s story by watching the below video of her conversation with our Clinked team in San Francisco.


Here are highlights for the conversation: 

What are you using Clinked for today? 

“We are offering physicians-in-training the opportunity to advance their education and training both of treating patients and when they go out to full-time practice to be able to bring these skills into their practice.”

“We’re using Clinked as a repository and as a discussion board for them. Because they are at 30 different programs, that’s 30 different platforms they all have - some are .edu, some are .org, some of them are .coms - and Clinked is a very central location for us to use to place the files they need, to upload videos they might want to watch, to use for their calendar of events to know when the webinars are on, when reports are due, when I have 1-1 phone calls with them. And it’s a place for them to have discussions - so they use the discussion boards to ask questions of each other in a private, safe location.”


How are the 100 program participants interacting with each other and with CAFP?

“We’re using the platform to engage them in documents they need. So for example, say they had their first face to face meeting with me in October 2019 then everything that they needed from that meeting is in an October file - that’s the slides that were there, the videos that we showed, even the reimbursement form and the map to the hotel - that’s all there. 

The webinars that we do - the first one was in October so the video of that webinar, the MP4 of that webinar is there so that they can go back in to watch it or give the link to their colleagues unable to attend to watch it. So that is there for their reference. 

The newest piece we’ve just released is an online performance improvement module - which you can see we’ve just announced on Clinked. For their board certifications in the United States, they are required to do a performance improvement module. They have to begin with measures, a clinical measure - they pick a measure, work through a process and show they are testing improvement over that and do a reflection. That’s now available for them as part of this project. The actual module is not on Clinked, it’s on another platform by our partner IPMA, but we can talk to them about it, register them here, and put all tools & resources here. So they are ready to rock and roll.” 


Does Clinked help with the community side of the program?

‘Absolutely. And, it’s good for the entire team. It is not a one on one module where 15 people all have to go in individually to register and do the work. Instead, a team can do it because they practice in teams. Clinked supports the way they practice.

External teams are all able to come together on a particular topic and improve our care and educational awareness around this topic.”


Any surprises from our conversation today? 

“Learning about the mobile application - thank you so much for bringing that to us today - I think that will be really helpful for this group (California Primary Care Residency Program Collaborative) we’re working with now.”


At Clinked we are immensely grateful to be able to provide support to organizations addressing challenging health and societal challenges. Thank you Shelly for taking the time to speak with our team and share your story. 

We strongly believe in the power of Clinked to help organizations achieve goals, whether commercially motivated or community-oriented. With the health pandemic underway due to COVID-19, we committed $250,000 in free software to those initiatives addressing this global challenge and the impact they bring to communities near and far from our physical home in Cambridge, UK.

If your organization is working on a COVID-19 specific medical response programme, medical research initiative, or community-facing initiative we want to offer Clinked for 12-months free. Learn more here and contact our team below.

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Sarah Broderick

Sarah is the Chief Revenue Officer at Clinked. She joined Clinked with 15-years experience in financial services, private equity, and software focussed on client experience, engagement, and delivery.

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