When the University of Arizona (UA) was chosen as a COVID-19 vaccine point of dispensing (POD), they wanted to put in place a distribution process to get the vaccines out to as many people as possible as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

“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,” said Jim Sayre, Director of Operations – Parking and Transportation Services at the University of Arizona.

To build a solution that would not only offer valuable insights about their POD operations, UA used integrator Route1 Inc. to implement 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 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 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 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.