Detection and prevention of disease outbreaks in university residence halls.
In student residence halls germs and diseases can spread quickly. Every day students share bathrooms, kitchens, lounge and study spaces. One or two undetected cases of noro-virus or influenza can infect an entire floor or building in a very short period of time.
The challenge is to catch potential outbreaks before they gain momentum.Download Case Study
Residence Wellness Alert is a symptom tracking and disease outbreak notification system that helps University Health Services and Residence Services quickly identify and get ahead of potential outbreaks in residence halls.Download Brochure
Sample Campaign Poster
A comprehensive promotional campaign in the residence halls encourages students to self-report any symptoms they are experiencing in order to help keep themselves and their fellow students healthy.
Students can access the reporting tool by texting a number on their smart phone, logging in through the university website or mobile app, or by calling into an interactive phone system. They provide their student ID, residence hall and room number and are guided through an easy to follow symptom screen that takes just a few minutes.
Existing algorithms screen for norovirus, influenza and common cold-like symptoms. However questions can be quickly and easily modified to include other diseases. Students who report receive follow-up emails for up to eight days to check whether their symptoms have changed.
Sample Screening Questions
Sample Wellness Alert Dashboard
When Wellness Alert detects a rapid escalation in the number of students reporting or a cluster of symptoms in a particular residence, automatic alerts are sent to designated personnel advising them of the nature and location of the potential outbreak. Authorized staff can login to the Wellness Alert dashboard 24x7 to see what symptoms are being reported and where trends or hotspots are developing. At a glance staff can see the increase in the numbers of cases reported by illness type over the past four days on a building by building and floor by floor basis.
Clinicians can pinpoint the exact location of all reported cases on 3-dimensional renderings of residence buildings.
The progression of reported cases in a particular residence hall or floor is available in real-time and can be quickly assessed.
Epi curves show the incidence of reported cases of a disease over time, and when reported symptoms start to drop off, give an accurate picture of how long an outbreak lasted. Remedial events e.g. cleaning protocols can be plotted.
Wellness Alert can reduce the chance of students getting ill as a result of a disease outbreak in residence. With over 15% of university students reporting that a sore throat, flu or cold negatively impacted their exam results and academic performance during the previous school year¹ the benefit is clear. Policy permitting, Wellness Alert can be configured to enable students who are ill to order meal delivery to their room thus preventing them from mingling with others. Access the University's exam deferral policy and forms can also be enabled.
Universities and Colleges spend a great deal of time and effort promoting their brands to attract and recruit new students and retain them once they have enrolled. Wellness Alert can help Universities and Colleges avoid the impact of the negative publicity associated with disease outbreaks in residence and reduce the potential they have for causing students to drop out when their academics are affected.
It can also help Universities and Colleges avoid the real dollar costs associated with outbreaks such as extra cleaning services, making modifications to food services or even closure of cafeteria facilities.