UC San Diego Delivers 65,000 COVID Tests a Month Via Vending Machine

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Brett Pollak, Director of Workplace Technology Services at UC San Diego, joined the podcast to talk about using vending machines to create a self-administration protocol for 65,000 COVID tests a month this spring.

Classes started this week and thebending machines were deployed over the holiday break. We've got a total ofeleven deployed with additional vending machines coming online over the nextcouple weeks: You're listening to enrollment growth,university from helics education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Romant at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh and romant growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to Enroman GrowthUniversity, a proud member of the connect Edu podcast network, I'm EricWolson with helics education and we're here today with breat Polleck, directorof Workplace Technology Services at UC, San, Diego Brett. It's great to haveyou har thanks fory much for having me good to be here. I met Brett about tenyears ago at a highed web conference...

...where he was doing some trulypioneering work in the responsive web design space. He continues to lead theinnovation charge and higriht today, Brent, so excited to talk with youabout how you figured out how to safely create a selfadministering testingprotocol for sixty fivethousand covid tests a month so that your campus couldopen safely this week and how new covid test bending machines played a criticalrole in this. Before we dig in. Can you get the listeners a little bitbackground of both Uc San Diego and your rule? There yeah absolutely thanksagain: BREAD POLEK director, Workplace Technology Services at UC, San, Diegopart of our central it services area with UC, San, Diego Highrid institution,with about thirtyhsand students and all told between faculty staff and studentsabout Sixty housand plus looking at both the Medical Center and the campusat large, so yeah definitely focused in on our workplace technology services.So this would be anything. That's...

...provided campus wide for our facultystaff in students, so it allows us some flexibility in terms of where we focusefforts and obviously, as you kind of point out with the pandemic going on,we've certainly focused on insuring that we have a safe place for ourcampus constiituents to come back to as we're starting to plan more and more toget more of those folks on campus safely. The planning and strategy wassuper impressive bread to kind of kick us off and give us a foundation to jumpoff of. Can you give a high level overview of UC San Diego's return tolearn plan? Yeah? Absolutely you know really. Once we realize the pandemicwill change the shape of how we deliver education at UCSD for some time to come.Our chancellor put forth a lofty goal to members of our cabinet to ask themhow we could leverage kind of the unique brain power at UC, San, DiegoClenicians, epidemiologist, folks and bio inframatics information technology?How could we implement a comprehensive...

...plan to safely bring students back tothe campus? So we looked at a multifaceted approach based onscientific models which were developed to identify and minimize exposure tothe virus, and if we can ensure those on the campus are free from the virus.That'll put us in kind of a better position to begin a safe return to somelevel of imperson activities. So, as a part of that plan, it was laid out.Over the summer we tested fivetousand, undergraduate and graduate studentsresiding on the campus during the summer session is kind of aintroduction into this. The program was designed to think about how we might beable to scale it up to accommodate the periodic testing of population. Youknow ten to fifteen times of what we had IU in the summer, so project teamswere formed to quickly carry out the planning and implementation. A proposedprocess of setting up remote testing sites across the campus and geographiclocations near where the students lived...

...was pretty unique, and so we had toquickly support a structure of wackup and kind of test yourself. You knowkind of programs and formats we hade daily meetings with each of the site.Points of contact where the labstaff went over, what worked, what didn'twork and how we can improve in streamline the process, we madeadjustments and refined and improved and a couple years ago, a topdowninitiative to train staff and len six sigma was implemented, which reallykind of helped our court team kind of get on the same page. About this youknow iterative process, and so, as we began to scale this up for the fall, werealized that the remote testing sites were difficult to operationalized, sowe commendared our central price center ballroom and transform that into a acovid testing center. If you will in subsequent phases, we launched otherinitiatives. One of those was deploying wastewater testing receptacles on topof manhole, covers and other sewage collection sites, and with those we candetect traces of the virus and based on...

...the sewage flow we can determine whichbuildings are initiating the signal. Email notices then go out to theresidence in those buildings. You know knowing that a positive detectionoccurred and we could get them in, for you know, testing very quickly afterthat, some other things we did was we piloted the California notify mobiletechnology that assists with contact tracing efforts. The technology usesindividuals, Mobile Bluetooth, signals determined if they were in closedproximity of individuals for a substantial period of time, and if youtest positive you're, given a key which is input into the phone and then securemessaging is initiated to individuals which you've been in close contact withletting them know, they've potentially been exposed to the virus. So at thispoint really that program now has gone statewide, and so we were happy to kindof be a part of that, and I think you know to your point. The most recentprogram that's been deployed. Is these covid testing bending machines acrossthe campus, where faculty staff and...

...students could obtain andselfadminister or covid test without scheduling to come to that CentralPrice Center facility? I love hearing about how you had to kind of organizeand team together to figure out a summer plan how that led into your faltplan, and now you we're talking about how to even improve our educationalengagement this spring. So in San Diego Brett, you have the weather luxury tosupport outdoor homely classes and I believe only about ten percent of yourcourses are opening back up in person on campus and all outdoors this term.How were those ten percent, of course, is determined yeah exactly. Wedefinitely benefit from the lovely weather we have here in southernCalifornia, but the yeah, the outdoor learning facilities have really been ahuge Shek with BAC cumtein students. We've got four large ten structures andwhen I say a tent, it's not like your, you know backyard or your camping. Ten.I mean these. Are you know high quality ten structures constructed toaccommodate around fifty students...

...sitting socially distant from oneanother. Each one is outfitted with AV networking, it's got zoom capabilities,you know, lecture capture for undemand replay and the criteria for determiningwhat classes are taught in the tent. Of course, we're class size, the type ofmaterial being taught and then the course schedule the quarter we thisquarter, we have about four tenths, and then we have five smaller ones that arealso being stood up for seminar activities and so obviously, with thetents. You know this is more for lectured type formats. We can't do youknow labs and those types of things at this point now, but we're certainlythinking about that for the future, because the tents have been so popularwith faculty and students were determining how we might be able tomake this part of our long term strategy for delivering course,materials to the students postpandemic so Brett to make this spring worksafely. You need to process about sixty five thousand covid tests a month. Howare those new bending machines across...

...campus, helping make that happen? Yeah?This is gotten a lot of press recently and so we've been responding to it andit is. It is pretty neat n innovative. You know, classes started this week andthe bending machines were deployed over the holiday break. We've got a total ofeleven deployed with additional vending machines coming online over the nextcouple weeks, and I was just checking the stats. Yesterday, we had just northof twothousand people selfadministered test using the bending machines wereplanning some machines to come online at the outskirts of campus next, sostaff can do drive by where they could quicklyselfadminister a covid test. cand get that get the results within kind of our.You know target of twenty four hours for each of those tests conducted soknowing how technologically innovative you and your team have been as long asI know you can you walk us through that really interesting, integratedtechnical integration involveteer with how does it work where the machinerecognizes the student? How do they...

...link the student ID car to the test?How does that link back to the student and yourself beig notified of theresults? How does that technical intigration work yeah? It definitelyhas been a working process and change throughout this whole cycle. Initially,with the with the vending machines, the idea was to not only include covidtests, but other PPE equipment so masks shields gloves. Those kinds of things,but because we wanted to move from by weekly, to weekly testing for studentsand staff. On the campus beginning this January, we focused on supplying themsolely with covid test to begin with over the summer in end of the fall, wepiloted adding Barcode scanning functionality to the UCSD MOBIL AP,which allowed students to log in and scan test kids to associate theirtestcit with their identity. Part of this test kits were preassigned toindividuals, but we knew this one in scale to the model where we had testkits distributed throughout the campus, since we had fairly brought adoption ofthe mobile APP already for the students.

This wasn't a huge hurdle for them.Students are pretty tech, savy and most got it right away. As we broiled thisout to staff. Now, we've had to do a little more handholding, so that's beena little transition for us. So you know the workclot is to have the individualretrieve the test kit out of the vending machine they log into the UCSDAPP. They scan the kit, they'll self selfadminister, the nasal swab test andthen they'll drop it into the collection Ben. Our logestic team Mikesruns around the campus to retrieve the kits and drop them back at the lab oncampus. Once the lab process of the test, the student or staff gets anotification on their their my chart APP letting them know about the result.If they have a positive test, our campus contact tracing efforts kick inif they are a student living on campus they'll be moved to an isolated dormthat we have set aside for these purposes and on the staff side. Ourecompliance folks will handle those...

...workflow efforts and obviously there'sa lot of other factors involved with staff, depending upon where they'reliving, where they're working and things of that nature. On thecompliance side, we've identified the student population that's required totest weekly, which include students living on campus students that have atleast one in person course or our scholar, athletes, and so now,beginning gay for from their last Covid test, they received a daily emailreminder to get another test, and then, for those that haven't received thetest in nine days, we start matcheting up the communications from our studentconduct Tyou, so we're definitely keeping a really close eye oncompliance, especially on the student side of things and we're just makingsure that people are following the rules and we're doing the right thingto make sure that we're keeping the campus as safe as we can r at the workyou and your team are doing- is incredibly incredibly impressive. Anynext steps advice for institutions, similarly looking to get where you'vegotten this spring and administering...

...mass testing. What are the technologynext steps, or even first steps for making this happen? Yeah, and I wouldsay on that, you know ucst really. Is it a unique position of having amedical center in a top ter research lab? As part of our family, so I Icouldn't say the model we've deployed could be mimiced at any institution. Ido understand there are many universities doing very similar thingsto what we are. Some Ha've done. It in house like we are others haveoutsourced the program to a third party, so whatever programming university endsup deciding to use just making sure that you have byin from the top, whichreally helps coordinate the effort amongst all the departments that needto support the program. You know I can't think of a Department or aprogram we haven't touched in rolling this out. So at the end of the day youknow it really needs to fit the model of the school, with their kind of risktolerances. In terms of understanding you know, students being on campus andall the different considerations along...

...those lines, but then it also needs tohave buying at the top and just making sure everyone's on the same page forroll out deployment, and then modifications breath thanks so much foryour time today. What's the best place for listeners to connect with you ifthey have any followup questions yeah, absolutely they can find me on twitter,I'm at Brettsey, Polak or you can just search on twinter for Brett polack feelfree to reach out to me that way, you can send me an email at be puolllack atUCSD DOT Edu. That's BPO, ll AK AT UCSD THAT EDU happy to share our experiences.We've done that with other universities, and we have learned from one anotherduring this whole. It's definitely a collaborative effort. So definitelywould appreciate any outreach and comments from others, the upsides ofbeing in such a generous community during such unfortunate times.Absolutely amazing bread thanks so much for joining us. Our thanks ter tookcare attracting today's new posttraditional learners means adoptingnew enrolmant strategies. Heliks educations data driven enterprise, wideapproach to enrollment growth is...

...uniquely helping colleges anduniversities thrive in this new education, landscape and Helix has justpublished the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook, with fiftypercent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's mostpressing andromant growth challenges download it today for free at helocs,Educationcom playbook you've been listening to enromentgrowth university from helicks education to ensure that you nevermissed an episode subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcastplayer. Thank you so much for listening until next time.

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