When’s the last time software made you smile? (Doesn’t happen very often, right?)
So I was thrilled to hear that’s how Louise Griffin and her team responded to seeing Cayuse’s risk management solutions for the first time. Louise is the Senior Director of Research and Sponsored Programs Administration at University of New Hampshire, and she was kind enough to tell me why the university chose Cayuse over four other vendors to help them stay in compliance.
Bridging the communication gap
Louise said one of the biggest problems for UNH research administrators was having no easy way to communicate between their IACUC and IBC offices. “When a new researcher joined UNH, the IBC administrator literally googled them and their research to see if they had biosafety needs,” Louise said. There was no other way of getting alerted that their research might involve IBC protocols that needed to be reviewed. “It took so much time. It wasn’t efficient,” she said.
Obviously that was an obstacle to productivity as well as compliance. It wasn’t sustainable, and it was risky to just keep hoping nothing would slip through the cracks. UNH needed to have all information in one centralized place, instead of two systems that don’t interact. “We were looking for cloud-based IACUC and IBC solutions that would easily share data with each other,” Louise said.
That was one of the main reasons they chose Cayuse: Hazard Safety and Animal Oversight integrate. When using Cayuse, staff can easily enter an IACUC protocol and if there are biosafety-related components, they automatically transfer to Hazard Safety. No more lost information or communication breakdowns!
Eliminating time-consuming manual processes
As mentioned above, having info siloed between departments was making everything take too long, especially since processes were paper-based instead of electronic. “We entered everything manually for researchers in our system,” Louise says. “Commenting on protocols was very difficult. All reviews happened on paper, so we printed out protocol submissions and delivered them to reviewers.” They wrote down their comments, but that feedback wasn’t captured in a system anywhere, making it difficult and time-consuming to find comments again if necessary.
Unsurprisingly, nobody liked the process. “Our researchers have been asking for a new system for 10 years!” Louise said. Now they’re excited to have instant transparency into where submissions are in the review process.
Cayuse’s risk management solutions save time because they’re cloud-based, so Louise and her colleagues can use them anywhere with internet access. “Being in the cloud is a must-have for us,” she said. Software updates happen more quickly, staff who are traveling can still review and approve protocols, and everyone enjoys greater data security.
Decreasing IT burden with a cloud-based platform
Another obstacle to efficiency was having to call the university’s IT department to troubleshoot problems, install updates, and run reports. “IT was driving the bus, and we felt like passengers,” Louise said. In contrast, “Because Cayuse is in the cloud, it can be used off the shelf,” she continued. “It’s clear that Cayuse employees have hands-on experience in research administration and understand the practical side of it. You understand compliance and policies, and your products support that.”
Now Louise and her team don’t have to put in a ticket with their IT department and wait for assistance. If anyone at UNH does need help, Cayuse’s friendly support team is just a quick phone call or email away.
Supporting best-in-class research administration
We recently made major improvements to Hazard Safety, including adding reports for a variety of federal agencies, as well as the product integrations that Louise mentioned. My experience with her validates that our work at Cayuse is consistent with what customers need: improving communication between teams, giving PIs a way to self-serve, reducing reliance on IT, and automating what they’re doing manually. I’m excited to continue enhancing IBC to meet the evolving needs of the biosafety research community, reduce administrative burden, and deliver the industry’s best risk management software in the market.