Automated processes increase efficiency, adding up to a game changing 20% time savings for Providence

Increasing proposal submission productivity made possible with Cayuse

Challenge

Providence, headquartered in Renton, Washington, spans 51 hospitals in seven states with 1000+ clinics, rehab facilities, and administrative offices. The organization’s research activities span clinical, translational, health services, and bench research. A significant focus is placed on Cancer, Heart, and Neuroscience research areas.

The System Office of Research Administration operates under a shared service model since 2019 and has managed significant research growth in recent years, overseeing a current portfolio of $90+ million in research funding that covers both pre-and post-award support.

Significant growth in research across Providence outpaced the ability of their existing homegrown systems and manual processes to provide adequate support. Processes and systems in place couldn’t systematically provide the data needed to track and report on proposals submissions and portfolio metrics. “The critical challenge we faced revolved around a lack of accessible data. We couldn’t efficiently monitor what proposals we submitted last year, didn’t know what our success rate was, and couldn’t evaluate our portfolio mix. Finding documents and extracting metrics was really difficult,” says Charlie Resare, System Director of Grants and Finance. Corroborating information and data often required going into federal systems to compare information.

Providence Health

“The critical challenge we faced revolved around a lack of accessible data. We couldn’t efficiently monitor what proposals we submitted last year, didn’t know what our success rate was, and couldn’t evaluate our portfolio mix. Finding documents and extracting metrics was really difficult.”

Charlie Resare
System Director of Grants and Finance

Solution

Recognizing they needed a new Pre-award system, Charlie worked with a search committee to begin looking at a range of providers including InfoEd and Kuali. He had extensive experience with the first solution while employed by another organization, but he wasn’t pleased with the customization required to suit Providence’s requirements. He was concerned with the challenges of a highly customized system for bug fixes and upgrades and the administrative support to successfully implement the upgrade around all the customizations. Consequently, there are generally bugs in the system that don’t get fixed.

“The other solution we looked at said their platform could be whatever I wanted it to be, but we didn’t actually want that. We wanted an expert to tell us what the platform should be, and that’s what Cayuse did. Cayuse said ‘here’s our platform and here’s how it works’ and that was perfect,” says Charlie.

The team made the determination to move forward with the purchase of Cayuse Proposals (S2S) and Sponsored Projects. “We went with Cayuse because it was configurable and cloud-based, so we didn’t have to worry about upgrades breaking customizations,” Charlie says.

“We increased our bandwidth as far as how many proposals we can submit with the FTE that we have. Cayuse has a great way of tracking throughput and making sure things don’t get dropped.”

Charlie Resare
System Director of Grants and Finance

Results

“I rely on Cayuse for the fact that it is a single point of entry,” says Charlie. “Without Cayuse we would all be sending emails back and forth and then I’d have to constantly figure out whether or not I already did that specific pre-award process, or not.”

Cayuse Proposals (S2S) and Sponsored Projects have helped simplify Providence’s proposals and awards management from proposal creation to close out in a number of important ways: 

Increased timesaving and efficiency

The time savings and increased efficiency are a tremendous boon. When submitting proposals, Cayuse provides Charlie and his team with immediate access to creating proposals in the system; there’s no need to set people up in grants.gov. Cayuse’s automated processes have been tremendously beneficial and, in fact, Charlie estimates that his office has achieved a 20% time savings using Cayuse. “The tool automates processes that were previously manual and takes what we had in a PDF form, turns it into an automated form and a process that sends out review and approval emails. The automation is fantastic.”

Greater visibility to award processes

“Now we have visibility into all our research proposals and documentation in one central place, so oversight and reporting are much easier and quicker,” says Charlie about Sponsored Projects at-a-glance insights into awards, budgets, accounts, personnel, and more. “In the past, it was not clear where proposals had been created, whereas now, they’re all consolidated into one system.”

Improved regulatory and institutional compliance

Charlie appreciates the visibility and ability to catch and resolve compliance issues. For example, real-time error validations in Cayuse Proposals helps ensure accuracy and compliance. “One of the parts that I like so much, that makes me feel a lot more comfortable, is knowing that no proposal gets submitted without all errors and warnings having been checked and resolved,” says Charlie.

As for the Sponsored Projects app, it allows Charlie to proactively monitor compliance. “Getting the PIs to confirm that the research team listed in Sponsored Projects has completed their conflict of interest and research disclosures, as well as the required training reduces the risk of being non-compliant.”

Ease of implementation and training

Charlie found Cayuse to be extremely user friendly because it doesn’t require a lot of training. “Basically, the system will teach you how to use it,” says Charlie. He also appreciates the implementation process. “It was easier than expected—smooth and straightforward.”

Charlie has received resounding positive feedback from end user groups using the system. In fact, they’ve been pushing to discover even more ways to drive value from Cayuse with the robust functionality these apps offer right out of the box. Cayuse is very happy to support the Providence team and their vision of ‘Health for a Better World’.

“Cayuse has been a game changer automating processes that were previously manual as well as helping with checking for compliance-related issues.”

Charlie Resare
System Director of Grants and Finance

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