UT Southwestern Medical Center: Best Practices in Form Collection and Routing
Updated: Oct 29, 2021
Before adopting InfoReady, manual processes and long, convoluted email trails were the norm at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. This led to staff frustration and reviewer dissatisfaction, while also making it difficult administratively to track submissions, requests, and outcomes.
In a recent webinar, Michael Winemiller, Department Program Manager in the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, shared his experience with introducing InfoReady at UT Southwestern and expanding its uses: “We implemented InfoReady for the purpose of limited submissions and internal grant submissions, but we quickly realized that we could use it for any process that required an approval cycle...and needed to be vetted with an outcome.”
His department is responsible for many focus areas, including grants, contracts, administration, human resources, and intramural programs. Below are some of the use cases discussed in the webinar where InfoReady has been particularly helpful, as well as Michael’s tips for making the most of the system. The HR and Membership Request processes became much more viable after UT Southwestern added the General template.
InfoReady allows administrators to change questions and instructions quickly as policies/procedures change.
Initial intake of information to approve position description and make sure there’s funding for it before it’s posted through HR portal
For resignations, the form serves as permanent documentation of reasoning and dates.
RFA Posting Requests
Partners like Development or Provost submit information for SCCC to manage RFA on their behalf.
Encourages collaborative work and not duplicating efforts
SCCC has specific requirements and an approval process for members and trainees to join.
Michael notes: “You can set as many routing steps or routing scenarios as you need to, depending on...the approval needs of your organization.”
Commitment funding: SCCC can distribute funding to PIs for specific cancer-related projects.
No cost extensions: They collect reasoning and a new timeline, which is then routed to administrative and budget offices for approval.
Tips and Tricks
If there is no specific due date for ongoing processes, put one far in the future.
Limit forms to only those in your organization hierarchy that need to see them.
Set the number of allowed submissions per individual to “Unlimited” if the form needs to be re-used many times by the same user.
We want to thank Michael for sharing his tips on how to maximize InfoReady for form collection and routing use cases. As he shared: “It’s been an amazing journey, and we’re finding new ways to use InfoReady every day!”