April 29, 2024

As discussed earlier this month, we continue to spotlight the excellent submissions to this year's CU Innovation & Efficiency (CU I&E) Awards Program.

We summarized a number of submissions in previous OUC News posts on new submissions and saving staff time/resources. Now we turn to another set of outstanding innovations that help CU work better.

Fix Bloody Mess: Developing an On-Call Provider Dashboard

At the Anschutz Medical Campus, the Vascular Surgery unit recognized the importance of establishing clear guidelines for scheduling surgeons and authorizing time off. Both were essential in order to minimize last-minute cancellations and potential impact on patient care. Responding to a “collective sense of burnout experienced by providers and administration,” a team composed of Chandra Beard, Jacky Bonds, and Zachary Eliason set out to develop provider dashboards. The new streamlined system empowers effective management and accountability by providing a clear snapshot of each surgeon's workload and contributions. Each surgeon can now compare their own quarterly call commitments to the divisional average. Furthermore, the Division Chief now has a comprehensive overview of individual call distribution and sharing. The result is a positive cultural shift that promotes provider-to-provider communication and eases stress on the scheduling team.

Flow Magic: Quantifying Business Value and Time Saved with Salesforce Automations

The Student Success Technology team at CU Boulder has developed and been managing over 150 Salesforce automations (“Flows”) that support various areas related to student success. Inspired by recent research in business process efficiency, Kelly Stritzinger and Jessica Sharley, PhD, determined to develop a new Flow to calculate and classify the minutes saved each time one of these automations is triggered. Nicknamed Flow Magic, this tool allows the office to troubleshoot automations, identify processes that are contributing most to business process efficiency, and provide real-time reporting on resources saved. The results have overwhelmingly confirmed the value of automation work, and the team has been pleased to share their project with colleagues at various conference events.

Fund 80 Chartfield Setup Automation

Ever since being introduced to robotic process automation, Hart Jarrell has been on the lookout for possible applications. Given the low variability and highly repetitive nature of setting up Fund 80 ChartFields, the Anschutz Medical Campus accountant felt this would be a perfect candidate for automation. The previously manual process is now accomplished using Microsoft Power Automate (PA), a low-/no-code software kit that allows users to automate processes that they perform on their computers. This reduces the amount of time that the financial services team has to spend on time-consuming, monotonous tasks – and lets them focus on tasks that are more variable and require higher decision-making abilities.

Implement Conflict of Interest Management Solution for UCCS HR

At UCCS, the Human Resource (HR) team needed a solution to improve tracking and accountability of Conflict of Interest, or COI, disclosure – a compliance process to ensure integrity via disclosure and management of significant financial interests of key personnel involved in research activities. The COI mechanism in place at the time involved a lengthy annual disclosure collection process followed by extensive manual tracking. Enter a team composed of staff from the campus and from System Administration’s University Information Services (UIS) – and including Kelly Kim, Valerie Carricato, Jordan Wight, Joshua Hernandez, Manali Agrawal, Kaley Espindola, Cindy Rhoads, and Nancy Mars. Their solution: Implementing COI in InfoEd eRA software. The new COI module provides a self-disclosure form for reporting financial interests, includes compliance checks, and streamlines central office reporting. The project was accomplished within six months.

Leveraging Automation to Improve the Online Flexible Course Experience

Online Flexible is an asynchronous program in the Boulder Campus Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies that allows students to start courses at any time, with six months from their start date to finish. However, instructors had no easy way to verify when students had exceeded that time frame for completing assignments, and when final grades were due. The associated problems and confusions required extensive manual administration and negatively impacted student success and retention. To address these challenges, a team from Academic Technology Development – Bryan Melville, Jason Black, Quang Do, Anita Antony Samy, and Ahman Woods – launched two new processes. The first is a custom Canvas integration that calculates and displays the end date and final grade due date to instructors. The second is an automated email notification that reminds instructors to submit their final grades once a student’s end date passes. Since fully online, flexible courses may be strategically critical to CU in the future, the team is delighted to be able to deliver a low-cost, straightforward solution for this course modality.

Want to learn more about these, and other submissions to the CU I&E Awards Program?

Check out our CU I&E Current Submissions website. And look for our next article on five more outstanding submissions ...