customer story


Going to classes safely thanks to rapid coronavirus testing

Send a message, get yourself tested and 30 minutes later you know if it’s safe for you to go to your class. If the pilot of the coronavirus testing site in which ROC Noorderpoort (regional education centre) is participating proves a success, this might become the practice that allows other schools in the Netherlands to open up further. TOPdesk is supporting Noorderpoort in registering its testing data. Security and privacy are the top priorities.

With coronavirus rapid testing, we can make a difference to education.

Cor Klomp

‘Our students are eager to have more in-person classes again, studying online all week isn’t working,’ says Cor Klomp, IT Manager at Noorderpoort. ‘This is especially true for MBO (secondary vocational education) in which practicals play a major role.’ Noorderpoort is therefore participating in a pilot of a coronavirus rapid testing site, in collaboration with the University of Groningen (RUG), Hanze University of Applied Sciences and University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). The pilot is an initiative of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The aim is to investigate how rapid testing can facilitate more in-person education.

Students testing students

Students who take part in practicals in hospitality industry or beauty services programmes and all Noorderpoort employees have been invited to participate in the pilot. Participation is voluntary and easy. When you arrive at school, you request a test via the ROC app. At the reception desk of the testing site, you receive a number and are directed to the testing location.

Within 30 minutes of being tested, you receive an email stating that your test results are ready. You can then view your results securely online. If the result is negative, you can attend your classes. If not, you have to return home and the company doctor will contact you by phone. A nice detail: the reception desk staff and lab assistants are Noorderpoort students. Cor: ‘This means that in the absence of internships they can still get practical experience.’

Protecting personal data

The entire testing process – from requests to results – is supported by TOPdesk. Cor explains: ‘At Noorderpoort, we’ve already been working with TOPdesk for years for various service processes. To us, TOPdesk seemed a suitable solution for the coronavirus rapid testing site since the process involves a request, creating a ticket and registering data.’ With TOPdesk, Noorderpoort would also be able to protect students’ personal data. ‘Medical records are privacy sensitive and storing such data securely has to be taken seriously.’ TOPdesk allows you to anonymize data automatically,’ Cor explains.

Seeing only what you need to see

It took TOPdesk consultants just three days to help Noorderpoort set up a good solution for the coronavirus rapid testing site. During that process, Noorderpoort’s Privacy Officer and TOPdesk’s Legal Officer jointly monitored the security and privacy requirements. For example, a student making a test request goes directly to TOPdesk from Noorderpoort’s app. Cor: ‘When you log in to the app, the system immediately knows who you are. This means you can’t make an appointment for someone else.’ Separate workflows then ensure that the three types of operator – reception desk staff, lab assistants and the company doctor– can only see the data they need to see. Within each workflow, ready-made text blocks help operators to register data in a uniform way. ‘They don’t have to spend time thinking about it,’ says Cor.

Deleting personal data automatically

After receiving the email, to view your test results you log in to TOPdesk via the app. The data does not remain stored in the system. Cor: ‘All personal data is deleted automatically. We only store the data that is needed for the pilot regarding the number of tests and the results.’ Before the data is anonymized, it goes to the company doctor via the secure data export functionality. ‘The company doctor is responsible for the testing process and is also legally obliged to store medical records for twenty years. When setting up a testing site, it’s therefore important to involve them from the outset,’ Cor advises.

Opening up education further

Noorderpoort has only just started testing. In the space of 2.5 days, some 100 students and staff passed through the testing site. The feedback was positive. ‘The operators find TOPdesk nice to work with and the same goes for students and staff. It’s quick and easy,’ says Cor. He hopes that as many people as possible will get tested regularly. ‘If the coronavirus rapid testing site works well, we hope to be able to use it for more programmes. In this way, at Noorderpoort we’re making a difference to education.’