Published July 17, 2018
The prime point of entry for researchers seeking access to the services and resources provided by the University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Science institute (CTSI) is the online Service Request Portal. On June 29, the CTSI unveiled its Service Request Portal version 2.0, which features significant upgrades on both the front end and back end.
The portal is now integrated with the appearance and functionality of the CTSI website (which received its own substantial overhaul in January of this year). Importantly, visitors are no longer required to log in before accessing the list of services offered by the CTSI’s 10 service cores.
“The idea was to make the portal more efficient and simple to use,” said Joseph Ventresca, the CTSI’s information technology business analyst who, along with Michael Grogan, a programmer and analyst in the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, spearheaded the redesign. “Our goal has always been to connect principal investigators and their research teams to the right personnel with as few ‘clicks’ as possible, and we think we’ve managed to do that.”
The original Service Request Portal was launched in mid-2016. “We were developing the portal as we were developing the CTSI following the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award to UB,” said CTSI Chief Operating Officer Mary Sienkiewicz, MBA. “Two years later, this re-launching of a ‘new and improved’ portal reflects added CTSI services as well a more user-friendly platform for researchers.”
“The new request portal provides seamless integration into the CTSI website and eliminates the need for another login,” said Ventresca. “Almost every request goes to multiple people for better redundancy and a faster response time.”
“The portal was built in a way that we can add new cores in the future with ease to keep up with our current growth,” he added. “We've already added recruitment and biomedical informatics.”
The new set-up also improves the portal’s tracking and reporting capabilities, so the CTSI can keep tabs on services being used. It's now easier for CTSI faculty and staff to follow up with end-users in order to manage customer service and quality control.