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OnBase application a critical tool in CU Boulder’s fight against COVID-19

COVID-19 hit hard and fast, everyone faced challenges to effectively respond. The University of Colorado Boulder’s challenges included tracking COVID-19 monitoring tests, notifying students of test results, tracking isolation spaces in use and more.

Despite diligent work, departments struggled to respond and report out at the pace required – manually updating spreadsheets daily to find out-of-date data and only reaching out to students who had signs of COVID-19, leaving many unsure of their test results.

UIS and CU Boulder joined forces to combine and consolidate all information to a single, accurate and accessible OnBase application, which now serves as a one-stop shop for COVID-19 data to be collected, processed and dispersed.

This application integrates data from multiple systems – HCM, CU Student Integrated Systems, Housing Services, Medicat for diagnostic testing and others – using OnBase’s scripting, workflow and WorkView functionalities.

The application even connects with the Buff Pass web application and Salesforce/Marketing Cloud to notify students of their COVID-19 monitoring test results. This integration enables accurate information and saves campus departments time and effort.

“UIS really dropped everything they were doing to help us build this application. We have been very thankful for their work, and this highlights a great collaboration between UIS and CU Boulder,” said Michelle Smits, senior IT business analyst for the CU Boulder Pandemic Response Office.

The UIS Enterprise Content Services, Integrations, Student IT Systems, Data & Business Intelligence and Database teams began work November 2020, after the Office of Information Technology sought out solutions to COVID-19 data reporting issues. UIS worked with multiple CU Boulder departments, including the Pandemic Response Office, Office of Information Technology, the Office of IT Security and the Office of Student Affairs Health & Wellness division.

The application’s first iteration was released Jan. 4, just in time for spring 2021 semester.

“A lot of the things we did were brand-new to us, and we got it all working,” said Larissa Armand, a business systems analyst for UIS. “We have done a few applications before but nothing this complex and on such a short timeline. I am proud that we were able to design this working model for CU Boulder.”

As the semester progressed, additional iterations and updates were made to include vaccine data. Employees and students could sign up, and UIS pulled demographics data in order to invite students, faculty and staff who qualified for a COVID-19 vaccine in each release phase to sign up for a vaccination.

CU Boulder anticipates this application being used throughout the summer, as the campus prepares for a greater in-person student experience in 2021 fall semester.

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