How ALPR Speeds Up COVID Vaccinations at Univ. of Arizona
Univ. of Arizona administrators collaborated with Genetec and systems integrator Route1 to optimize a COVID-19 vaccine point of dispensing.
TUCSON, Ariz. — Technology may not be able to halt the onset of pandemics; however, it can help prevent the spread of disease, educate, warn and empower those on the ground to be aware of the situation, and plainly lessen the impact. Take, for example, the University of Arizona (UA) where administrators collaborated with Genetec and data-centric systems integrator Route1 to assist in deploying a distribution process to vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The task arose after the university was chosen as a COVID-19 vaccine point of dispensing (POD).
“We had already heard about how ALPR (automatic license plate recognition) could be used for tolls and monitoring traffic flow, and we were eager to see if the ALPR cameras could help us automatically track vehicles entering and exiting our POD,” explains Jim Sayre, director of operations – parking and transportation services at UA.
To build a solution that would not only offer valuable insights about their POD operations but would also be affordable and easy to set up, UA chose to implement the Genetec AutoVu Managed Services (AMS) solution with four ALPR cameras installed throughout the POD. This was paired up with the Genetec Traffic Sense Travel Times module within Security Center for added insight and functionality.
Having mounted the poles and set up the cameras beforehand, the actual setup was completed in under two hours on opening day. Because the entire Genetec solution is hosted in the Cloud, the university is able to use the software for as long as the POD remains open without draining budgets.
Using AutoVu, the UA operations team can see exactly how long it’s taking vehicles to get through the POD and for people to get vaccinated, and then identify what they can do to get them through faster. All ALPR data is sent back to Security Center, where the Travel Times module automatically analyses data and delivers insights the UA team can act on. This helps them immediately identify if there are random delays or potential issues that need to be further investigated.
As a healthcare-related operation, UA made sure the Genetec solution complies with all Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements. According to Sayre, “The cameras don’t know who the driver is, or the people in the vehicle. And we’ve made it clear that we’re not running this against a motor vehicle database or anything like that, so we’re ensuring privacy.”
Thanks to the Genetec solution, the UA team discovered early on that various team leaders had different processes for appointment check-ins. When UA standardized those processes, they could consistently get vehicles through the POD faster and maximize the number of vaccinations.
The team also noticed that on certain days of the week, cars were taking longer to get through certain points in the POD. After an initial inquiry, they realized those days often had mostly new volunteers who were still learning the ropes. The UA team was then able to adapt the volunteer schedule to ensure experienced personnel were always onsite to assist newbies and keep the throughput of vehicles high.
“This AutoVu and Traffic Sense Travel Times module within Security Center built by Genetec and Route1 has helped us make the vaccination process more efficient and was so easy to deploy. We’ve been able to increase the number of vehicles through the POD in the same amount of time, and consequently, we’ve given out more vaccinations. And that’s what this is all about — helping our community get vaccinated against COVID-19,” concludes Sayre.
“We never cease to be impressed by our customers’ ingenuity, resilience, and resourcefulness,” says Stephan Kaiser, AutoVu general manager at Genetec. “The University of Arizona is another shining example of the ways in which our customers are using their security systems as strategic tools to fight against the pandemic, and go beyond traditional applications to deliver more value.”
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