IT teams deliver a solution for safer YARC lab use
April 30, 2020
The Yale Animal Resources Center (YARC) is Yale’s comprehensive source for laboratory animals, responsible for managing operations and safety of all on-campus animal lab personnel supporting Yale’s critical research. As new social distance safety guidelines emerged in response to the pandemic, YARC turned to IT for help to address a new need.
YARC contacted IT for assistance to help them find a more efficient solution to an emergent COVID-19 response and need—automating the scheduling of lab space and use of equipment by lab personnel. They had previously managed this process manually via Excel spreadsheets, which was time-consuming, complicated, and error-prone.
Members of the Research Enterprise and Web Technologies teams cross-collaborated to find a solution to replace YARC’s manual process. These two IT teams quickly responded to the request and, after discussing multiple options, proposed the use of the existing Room Reservation System (RRS). As an already in-place service, IT could implement RSS quickly and with no additional cost to the department or University. The teams could pre-populate the new system with individuals who were previously using the Excel-based process and distribute a quick guide with tips and guidelines, so those individuals could quickly book a room through the new system.
The YARC RRS implementation went live on April 20. The RRS service aids in the adherence to social distancing guidelines for scheduling of research staff in animal labs, and allows husbandry, rodent services, and veterinary staff to complete their assignments. This will help ensure the safety of all lab and research personnel by avoiding crowding in both animal rooms and corridors. The new solution also delivers improved efficiency for YARC operations and administration in support of critical research.