(ATHENS, Ohio — Dec. 8, 2014) After years of handling admission
applications and inquiries largely on paper, the Ohio University
Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine recently launched a new
online application management program that promises to streamline
the process and make it much easier to track and reach out to
current applicants and prospective new students.
constituent relationship management (CRM) system, called Enrollment
Rx, is in the process of replacing the OsteoAdmit software, which
the Office of Admissions has been using since 2010.
The new system allows for a true online application experience
for both the medical college and its summer programs such as Summer
Scholars and the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Under the
old system, according to Director of Admissions Jill Harman, “Our
version of an electronic application was, ‘Here’s a link to a .pdf
of an application, which you download and fill out and return to
This new CRM system allows the Office of Admissions to create a
computerized file on a potential applicant from the time of first
contact, and to track and analyze data from the entire applicant
pool on an ongoing basis. Enrollment Rx automatically incorporates
information about each applicant from the application form of the
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, which
everyone applying to an osteopathic medical college must submit.
While the admissions office still handles some enrollment-related
tasks manually, Harman said, more and more tasks will be automated
as the system gets fully implemented, with the aim of making the
office as close to “paperless” as possible. Whereas
enrollment-related fees, for example, formerly had to be paid by
check, the new system will allow online credit card payment.
“We’re still doing some things manually on this system,” Harman
reported in late November – adding that as the switchover to
Enrollment Rx becomes complete, “there’s a lot that’s just going to
happen automatically.” She said that even with only a partial switch
completed, the system is already providing improved ease and
efficiency for the office.
“So far it’s amazing,” Harman said.
Kapil Bajaj, an analyst with the college’s Office of Medical
Informatics who has played a major role in introducing the new
system, said the efficiencies it brings to Admissions officials are
mirrored on the students’ end.
Bajaj noted that in a test run of the system, a group of 20
applicants were chosen to receive messages telling them they had met
minimum requirements to submit a secondary application and giving
them access to a portal allowing them to do so. “We thought it might
take them a while to respond to that,” he recalled. “But there was
one student who was done with everything in two hours – without
calling, without emailing, without any questions.” Under the old
paper-based system, he said, this process would typically take two
or three days.
The portal for submitting secondary applications “is extremely
customized,” according to Bajaj, “so it guides them through every
step of the process.” If and when a student is accepted to the
Heritage College and agrees to enroll, the information gathered from
the beginning of the admissions process is transferred into Ohio
University’s Student Information System.
While getting a CRM system working for the Office of Admissions
was the first priority, Bajaj said, the planning, which began about
two years ago, has also included the Office of Communication and the
Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE). The system
will allow these offices to store and access information about their
relationships with constituents in a single cloud-based location,
accessible from anywhere through a laptop computer or mobile device,
and make it possible for them to track and update all constituent
contacts as they occur in real time.
“In system terms, a CRM system is known as a system of
engagement,” Bajaj explained. “It helps us manage relationships with
our constituents – that is the primary goal.” He added that it is
possible the system could be provided to other college units as well
in the future.