By Tal Frankfurt
After months of quarantine and stay-at-home orders, many states and provinces across the US and Canada are now easing their COVID-19 social distancing restrictions and gradually reopening businesses. It’s clear that we all are eager to restore some semblance of normalcy, a sentiment confirmed by over 70% of US higher education institutions announcing their plans to resume in-person education, or at least hybrid operations, for the fall 2020 semester. With the restorations of pre-pandemic life coming quicker and quicker, new technology has emerged as an integral component of safety for those reopening plans.
Following conversations with many of Cloud for Good’s higher education clients, the consensus confirms that effectively implementing new technology protocols on campuses has taken on added importance. Many CIOs are seeking to ensure that their data is protected, ethically utilized, and provides them with the ability to take immediate action in the case of emergency. COVID-19 has overstayed its welcome in many different ways, and these institutions want to make sure they implement technologies with a shelf life longer than any emergency scenario, whether that be another pandemic, a natural disaster, or on-campus protests. Utilizing these perspectives and insights, our team has adapted Work.com, Salesforce’s new solution designed to facilitate the safe reopening of workplaces and communities within the higher education space.
A Look Inside the Work.com Solution
The foundation of the Work.com solution is known as the Command Center. Through a dashboard that enables quick decisions from your leadership team, the Command Center analyzes and monitors the health and wellness status of students, faculty, and staff populations both safely and securely. Initially designed as a data model utilized to track the statuses of locations and employees within each area, Cloud for Good has adjusted the application to accommodate the scaling needs of higher education institutions. Our customized solution includes filtering features that comprehensively cull employee information and analyze the health and wellness of your institution’s population. You’ll also be able to monitor the wellness status of entire residence halls or program buildings. All the while, campus staff receive real-time alerts through the Command Center dashboard used to inform safe decision-making during specific crisis scenarios.
Another component of Work.com is the ability to track Employee Wellness to further support your student population. Our solution architects have customized this application, using Salesforce Surveys, to collect data and populate the Command Center’s dashboards. Beginning with initial consent to health surveys, your institution will be able to support the self-reporting of your students, faculty, and staff to condense this vital information and determine their fitness to return to campus. This survey data can then be passed on via an integration or export/import to your main campus security, ensuring that only those that successfully completed the health survey are permitted access to your campus.
In the case of a student, faculty, or staff member testing positive for COVID-19, the Contact Tracing application accelerates analysis on the movement of that person. This analysis identifies contacts, events, and/or classmates who might have come into contact with, and been potentially exposed by, this individual. Through Contract Tracing, staff, faculty, and students receive notification of the exposure, allowing them to take safe, appropriate action. The tracking process itself is manual and relies on honest self-reporting by the compromised contact(s). Their reporting can then be augmented with the data captured across your entire campus, including parking information, entrance monitoring, and class attendance. Finally, all that data is then visualized and traced through a visually-intuitive map, revealing a network graph of relationships that can better monitor and understand spread.
Are You Ready to Reopen Your Institution?
The decision to reopen your campus is one that should be well-thought-out and revolve around the overall safety of your institution. With deadlines for fall semester looming, the Cloud for Good team would be more than happy to schedule time with you and your institution to help you navigate this new tool and discuss how to position your institution for reopening success. Here are some of the questions we would address with you and your team:
- Do you have a defined strategy in place for how you intend to reopen?
- Are you considering a hybrid of virtual and remote classes?
- Do you have a process in place to track your employees, students, and visitors?
- What level of data would you like to track within each group?
- What is your current ability to map people to the desired level of major or location hierarchy for monitoring purposes?
- Are there any approval processes that need to be built into the application? For example, think about your processes for when someone is not fit to come back to campus.
- Will you need to integrate with your Student Information Systems to get real-time information about students and their classes or your central security protocols to make sure you prevent ill people from entering?
- Will you have Contact Tracers on campus?
- How will you train your staff on the application and who will manage the application after go live?
Interested in learning more? Let’s create transformational value with Work.com, today!