With fifteen hundred research laboratories on Emory University’s campus, making sure that the research complies with regulatory requirements is no small task. Before implementing iFormBuilder as their mobile data collection platform, compliance specialists were using paper inspection forms. These forms were sometimes as long as fourteen pages. After spending the day visiting different labs around campus, the compliance specialists would then have to come back to their desks, sift through the hand collected data, and manually complete a report.
“iFormBuilder and the iPad platform has revolutionized our whole audit program,” proclaimed Patricia Olinger, Director of the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Office. “It made it much more meaningful both in the data collection, the use of the data, and then on top of that…not spending the amount of time just out in the field checking boxes. They’re doing those inspections, they’re actually interacting more with the people in the laboratory, and they’re able to then spend a lot of their time doing things that they normally wouldn’t get to.”
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The ability to capture media is one of the teams favorite features. Users simply take a picture on their device and it is formatted and placed into the report. “It’s really neat to be able to go do your inspection, take the picture, incorporate it immediately into the platform, and be able to forward that on.” Patricia Olinger continued. “People can say, “Oh, OK. Well, I understand now what it is that I have a problem with.”
By running the platform on their iPads, iPhones, and other iOS devices, inspections are completed and within the next fifteen minutes the report is instantaneously sent to the investigator. At the time, the technology was very new and the team was a little nervous using the touch screens. However, they were pleasantly surprised to experience how intuitive it was. “It’s a checklist, and you get through it, and you’re done. It’s synced and it’s already in your database that you need,” described Seth Salinas, Social Media Specialist.
The audit program went overnight from simply checking boxes to collecting meaningful research and data. Emory can now easily utilize the data to identify gaps in the program and continually improve. At first iFormBuilder was only used for the lab inspection program. However, it became rapidly popular and has grown into the data collection platform of choice for all of Emory’s programs.
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