Protocols have helped students and teachers stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic
While virtually all organizations faced unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, educational institutions had a particularly tough set of barriers to overcome. Leaders within these institutions were tasked with balancing the need to educate students with a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy learning environment.
The educational institutions that were most effective at overcoming these challenges utilized a multifaceted approach. However, most entities can further improve their health and safety protocols by deploying the strategies below. These protocols should address pandemic-specific concerns and other factors that could impact the safety of students and staff.
Conduct a Hazard Vulnerability Assessment
A hazard vulnerability assessment (HVA) is a concept adopted by the Public Health Emergency Coalition. The PHE Coalition’s hazards vulnerability analysis was designed for healthcare organizations. Analyses are intended to identify vulnerabilities that could cripple a hospital, including both man-made and natural hazards.
However, other entities, including educational institutions, can benefit from conducting a hazards vulnerability assessment. A thorough HVA can help an educational institution identify serious threats that may pose a risk to students and staff.
Once an assessment is completed, firms like Juvare can implement tailored solutions to improve the safety and health protocols of the organization based on the finding of the HVA.
Utilize Technology Solutions
Innovative technologies can drastically improve the health and safety protocols of even the largest educational institutions. A few of these cutting-edge solutions include:
Facility Management Technology
Facility management software gives stakeholders and key decision-makers the ability to monitor the status of all locations. They can perform this monitoring from a single screen, making it easy to track all assets and structures within the institution’s network.
The best facility management technologies are fully customizable to each organization’s unique needs. This means they are suitable for single-site schools and multi-location institutions.
Contact tracing is one of the most effective means of controlling the spread of diseases such as COVID-19. In addition, the CDC has included contact tracing on its list of updated recommendations for Institutions of Higher Education.
Contact tracing technologies allow administrators to easily document confirmed cases and share this information with the appropriate agency, such as the state health department. This software is also capable of notifying individuals of a possible exposure via text message, mobile app, or voicemail messaging. The individuals will then be able to promptly self-quarantine before they incidentally expose anyone else.
Educational institutions must deploy highly organized, pre-built workflows as part of their health and safety protocols. These workflows are modeled after CDC and FEMA guidelines, as these entities have developed highly effective methodologies for incident management.
A fully customizable workflow can drastically reduce the workload of support staff while also facilitating easier information sharing. Collaboration is critical in the event that the institution encounters a disaster or other significant incident.
By using workflows that are supported by mobile-friendly apps, leadership can improve employee buy-in to new safety protocols. They can use these apps to oversee facility management, create a staff “check-in” program, and manage critical tasks.
Protect Your Campus With These Strategies
Cumulatively, these solutions will allow educational institutions to upgrade their current health and safety protocols. This upgrading will result in a safer and more enjoyable learning environment for both staff and students.
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