HSC honored by University Business as Model of Efficiency
Texas A&M Health Science Center is one of eight colleges and universities nationwide being honored for its HSC eduSafe app by University Business magazine in its summer 2013 “Models of Efficiency” national recognition program. Sponsored by Higher One, a leader in providing services to higher education administrators and students at more than 1,600 campuses across the U.S., the Models of Efficiency program recognizes innovative approaches for streamlining higher education operations through technology and/or business process improvements.
“Texas A&M Health Science Center should be applauded not only for finding a solution to their own problem, but for coming up with a solution that works in a broader education environment,” said Tim Goral, senior editor of University Business. “Because of their ability to think more strategically, other higher education institutions will benefit.”
At Texas A&M Health Science Center, educating and informing the community on the best way to respond to emergency situations was historically done through printed materials, as well as through the center’s website. However, access to this critical information was difficult or cumbersome during an emergency. The team wanted to find a way to make the information portable and available 24/7.
In October 2012, members of the Environmental Health and Safety department began discussing a mobile app that would give the community instant access to emergency instructions and information.
The HSC eduSafe app, designed in-house and launched in December, is a free download through iTunes and Google Play and works on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. The app, which goes above and beyond safety, consists of nine modules: 1) one-button access to a safety and security contact on any HSC campus; 2) immediate access to emergency procedures even when offline; 3) the ability to report a hazard or concern; 4) instructions regarding disseminating information during emergencies; 5) instant access to the Clery Act annual security report for any HSC campus; 6) ability to request an immediate security escort from anywhere on campus; 7) the ability to purchase parking hangtags or appeal or pay a citation, 8) access to rules, procedures, forms, and registration information related to lab safety and research compliance, and the ability to order radiological materials; and 9) miscellaneous links to the homepages of the CDC, FEMA, and HSC security. New students would be trained in how to use eduSafe during orientation.
The reduced cost of flip charts, travel, information sessions, and information updates is estimated to be $35,000 a year, while savings on labor costs for the two hours per year members of the community had to devote to safety and security information sessions are $135,000. The app has been so successful that the Office of Technology created a start-up venture, m2s3 Holdings, Inc., to sell it publicly. HSC owns 20 percent of the equity in the company and is entitled to 37.5 percent of royalties, which are projected to be $250,000 over the next five years.
Models of Efficiency is an ongoing recognition program. Higher ed institutions can participate in upcoming rounds by visiting www.universitybusiness.com/moe. University Business is the leading publication for senior managers at colleges and universities throughout the United States, reaching 82,000 leaders who manage enrollment, technology, business, finance, facilities, and academic affairs. More information is available at www.universitybusiness.com.