College & Assoc. of Registered Nurses of Alberta
The CARNA Awards System
The College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) hold their annual CARNA Awards to recognize the work of Alberta’s most outstanding nurses. Previously, the process of submitting and judging entries was done by hand, making it cumbersome, vulnerable to error, and difficult for nominators, judges, and committee members.
We brought the entire submission and judging process online for the CARNA awards by building a website for submissions, with backend functionality that enabled the judges to score entries. The features of the site were built to eliminate risks that come with paper-based processes, such as duplication of effort and manual error.
The online system keeps all information in one place. Because every part of the process is done online, from nominating to scoring to winner selection, nominators don’t have to worry about missing documents in their submissions and judges don’t have to worry about misplacing single pieces of paper amongst the stacks and binders of documents.
Entry forms are now web-based which not only cuts down on time and makes them easier to manage, but also helps to enforce rules surrounding word-count, which eliminates any unfair advantage that might occur when a nominator includes extra information about a nominee.
The submission form and the judging form can both be saved in progress and worked on over the course of several days.
In the past, a copy of each submission had to be printed for each judge, creating multiple copies and plenty of paper waste. From there, scores had to be entered into a separate spreadsheet, leaving room for manual error. Judges also had to note if an entry had been submitted before the deadline. This is no longer an issue as the submission area of the CARNA Awards site closes automatically at the entry deadline.
Judges can now look at all documents in a submission in one spot and assign scores at the click of a button. As a judge is reviewing a submission, a persistent notepad sits at the side of the screen so that notes can be taken along the way. A link to the nominee’s resumé also sits at the sidebar for quick reference.
After a judge has completed scoring in each a category, a drop-down menu appears, prompting them to pick their first and second choice in that category. The system assigns a point value to top- and second-choice submissions and totals the score for each, revealing the overall top scorers in each category.
The site now shows the status of each nomination – which ones are missing supporting documents, which have been scored, and what their score is. It also displays the top scorers in a separate area from other nominees. This prevents awards committee members from having to comb through all nominees to view the top contenders.
Awards committee members then use the scores assigned by the system (based on top- and second-choice selections) to determine the winner in each category.
Administrators of the CARNA Awards now have to go through fewer steps to ensure that awards are going to the correct recipients, and that Alberta’s hard-working nurses are getting the recognition they deserve.
Photo credit: CARNA / John Ulan / Epic Photography Inc.