JMIR Publications recently released “Dissemination and implementation of a Google Apple notification system for COVID-19 risk reduction at a national public university: protocol for a pilot evaluation study in a real-world setting‘ in JMIR Research Protocols, who reported that this paper describes the protocol for South Carolina Safer Together, developed by Clemson University to facilitate multi-tier communication and dissemination and implementation (D&I) strategies in accordance with recommendations from government and educational agencies to design, deploy and evaluate to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Safer Together has been enhanced with the addition of the Google/Apple Exposure Notification App, an alternative strategy to support a recommendation of COVID-19 test results:
- contact tracing
- insulation and
This study aimed to describe the content and intended audiences of D&I strategies used to deploy recommended COVID-19 mitigation strategies on a large college campus; Determining the reach, acceptance, acceptance and use of D&I strategies among the target groups (university students, faculty and staff); and characterize barriers and facilitations to the implementation and application of recommended mitigation strategies.
The study team integrated elements of the Health Belief Model, the Technology Acceptance Model, the Communication and Social Marketing models, and the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance Framework to identify appropriate constructs and specific outcomes for inclusion in our approach Identify and develop Assess the communication, dissemination and implementation processes related to the introduction of Safer Together at Clemson.
Researchers provide a roadmap for adopting COVID-19 risk reduction initiatives in educational institutions @MUSCHealth https://t.co/sPLpQ8o2Nx
-; Medical Xpress (@physorg_health) February 1, 2022
At the local level, widespread adoption and use of Safer Together can help reduce COVID-19 transmission and sustain the university.open.” On a larger scale, the insights into how to influence student and staff behavior regarding the use of a public health outbreak prevention tool, including Safer Together, may have applicability in future pandemic and outbreak situations .
This study proposes a structured, theory-driven approach to assess dissemination and implementation strategies related to the use of Safer Together in a university environment from the perspective of students, staff and university management.
As SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, spread rapidly across the United States in the spring of 2020, higher education institutions (IHEs) faced numerous challenges associated with minimizing their risk of exposure to COVID-19 connected were students, faculty, staff and surrounding communities.”
dr Kathleen B. Cartmell, Clemson University
To implement the recommended strategy for implementing measures to support test outcomes, such as contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine, Clemson also leveraged a novel partnership between the South Carolina state health agency, the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, Google, and Apple.
Compared to traditional contact tracing based on “case“Recall that cellphone-based exposure notifications have the potential to inform people of exposure more quickly, identify a more complete set of true contacts, and better assess exposure levels.
The first round of student communications on recommended strategies and use of Safer Together was initiated by Clemson Student Housing on October 28, 2020 to students in the two residences.
Messages to students were sent via email to explain Safer Together and its ability to let students know if they have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19, encourage them to download the app, the app with Healthy Clemson United as Tigers app and understand what to do when notified of potential exposure.
Given the small size of this pilot, with students in only 2 dormitories, and the fact that campus isolation was not a burden to university staff, on November 20, 2020, Clemson’s administration emailed a message about Safer Together to all Clemson employees by encouraging them to download and activate Safer Together and advising them on efforts to evaluate Safer Together deployment strategies.
dr Cartmell and the research team concluded in their JMIR Publications Research Output, “This study proposes a structured approach based on the RE-AIM framework to assess dissemination and implementation strategies related to the use of Safer Together in a university setting from the perspective of students, staff and university management. The results of this study will inform future implementation of apps like Safer Together at major public universities.”
Melvin, CL, et al. (2022) Dissemination and Implementation of a Google Apple Exposure Notification System for COVID-19 Risk Reduction at a National Public University: Protocol for a Pilot Assessment Study in a Real-World Setting. JMIR Research Protocols. doi.org/10.2196/32567.