• Implementing new technology successfully requires a partnership between a research institution and the technology provider. For the team at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP), a partnership with Cayuse led to not only a smooth implementation of Human Ethics but also an on-time delivery of their new functionality to all stakeholders. RMUoHP is a private proprietary institution, located in Provo, Utah, that is focused on graduate healthcare education. Although they had already made the initial transition from manual to digital for many of their processes, there was still opportunity for improvement, specifically in efficiency, submission completeness, and overall control and flexibility over the experience.  

  • “We wanted to get away from documents. We were using an upload/download online system and wanted to get to a more efficient system that would prevent incomplete submissions. We needed to get away from assessing which forms are needed every time a proposal is submitted. Human Ethics allows you to require those attachments so they won’t be missed,” explained Darcy Hammar, Director, Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) at RMUoHP.  With Cayuse, the team at RMUoHP has achieved greater control and flexibility over their processes and experience. They are able to quickly pivot and make adjustments to questions and truly make their experience with the Human Ethics solution their own.

  • “With Cayuse, we own the process and experience more. We can make changes immediately and continue to refine our submission forms, as needed. For example, when we found an error in the display logic, we were able to fix it in 10 minutes,” Darcy added. 

    On-Time Implementation

    The implementation process for Cayuse Human Ethics took nine weeks, from start to finish (note: most customers average 12 weeks for full implementation). With their previous vendor contract ending and some personnel leave coming up, the team at RMUoHP was focused and motivated to see a quick and successful outcome in this implementation. 

    “The implementation was pretty straightforward,” commented Shilo McIntire, IRB Analyst at RMUoHP. “We had weekly meetings with set tasks, enabling us to easily work through the implementation process. It made it really easy to stay on track and get things done.”

    The team already had many supporting documents ready at the start of the implementation process, which helped them focus more on the display logic and refining their questions. This allowed them to build from a solid foundation versus starting completely from scratch. 

    “We weren’t trying to rewrite everything,” noted Darcy. “We went through our materials and essentially tagged questions by types, such as an open text box or checklist or radio button.”

    The team transitioned approximately 60 legacy files to Cayuse. 


    With regard to training, the team at RMUoHP has already conducted some faculty training and will continue to support faculty members through additional training to ensure everyone feels confident in the new system. For students, they receive training as part of coursework as well on a more one-on-one basis. 

    “Most of the feedback I’ve received about Cayuse has been positive, with comments like—ooh, I like the new system better,” Darcy shared. 

    Looking Ahead 

    When looking ahead toward the future with Cayuse, the team at RMUoHP is most excited about all of the improvements and efficiency gains, like no more unsigned submissions and faster review processes. 

    “I’m finding the review of submissions faster and completion of revisions much easier,” Darcy noted. “I don’t have to pull up two documents on two screens to compare them.”

    The overall visibility and transparency into the process has already proven to be a big positive for the team. For example, with Cayuse, letters are in-system, which has been helpful. They also can see what is in draft easier and gain a snapshot view of their workload in process and on deck. 

    Cayuse and Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions truly partnered to deliver an on-time implementation of Human Ethics that has already proven to be beneficial for the team. That’s what it takes—a partnership and commitment to achieving a successful, on-time implementation.