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College of Health Sciences IT Survey


The College of Health Sciences IT survey was compiled to help appraise IT needs in the College.  The survey asked for basic demographic data and sought input on a range of IT services.  This included asking individuals what services they required, how important they are to their ability to carry out their work, how well needs are currently being meet, and expectations about how needs will change over the next five years.  A copy of the survey is included below.

An overall summary characterizing survey response is presented here; detailed response data is available in Qualtrics for subsequent investigation of specific questions.

The survey was announced through the CoHS Zotmail list on May 29, 2019, with a reminder on June 5th; it remained open through June 11th.  Out of the approximately 4,000 individuals on the Zotmail list, a total of 311 attempted the survey.  228 individuals fully completed it, with another 20 getting through the key questions.  50% of the responses came from individuals located in Irvine, 40% in Orange, and another 10% in other locations.  Respondents proportionally represented the CoHS community for the most part, with the School of Medicine well represented as one would expect by its size.  Some areas may have been underrepresented, such as Nursing.  About 35% of responses came from faculty/physicians, and 65% from staff.  The overall response rate was sufficient to get a good sense of current status and issues, but not a fully comprehensive one.

Required IT Services

The majority of the community require occasional but robust assistance with desktop, email, calendaring, or general software issues (228, 206, and 201 respondents).  Approximately half require support in conference room spaces, or managing accounts (143, 127 respondents).  Slightly less require support for clinical devices, website creation, campus applications, and software development (97, 96, 94, and 86).  40 respondents indicated a need for Windows server support, and 17 for Linux server support.

77 respondents indicated a need for security planning, assessment or other services.  Within the education realm, the most common need was support for UCI educational and classroom technologies (84 and 79 respondents).  Somewhat fewer required support for third party tools and instructional computing labs (42 each).

Within the research realm, the most common need was for compliant access to UCI health data sources (84 respondents), followed by computing/storage for sensitive or HIPAA data (72 each), and large-scale data storage and managing specialized software (66 and 65).  44 respondents needed high performance computing, 36 access to cloud services, 28 machine learning, and 16 help with software containers.

The survey asked individuals to indicate how important each IT service area was to doing their job.  Over 70% of those responding indicated that email/calendaring, desktop support, clinical application support, compliant access to UCI health data, and large-scale data storage were extremely important.

With respect to expectations about how IT needs will grow over the next 5 years, there was no sentiment that needs would be at all lower across any IT service area in the future.  The most common response was that needs would be about the same, followed closely by an expectation they would be somewhat or much higher.  Especially high growth of needs was expected in the areas of machine-learning, large-scale data storage, access to commercial cloud infrastructure, and instructional computing labs.  Additional areas of expected growth include clinical application support, software development, website support, setting up servers, on-boarding and access management, security, compliant access to UCI health data, sensitive data support, and research applications.

How well are needs met now?

Individuals were asked how well their needs were currently being met in each area.  Responses ranged significantly, with an average of 13% finding the services they require overall as being extremely well met, 29% very well, 30% moderately well, 17% slightly well, and 12% not met well at all.  This would suggest that services have reasonable capacity and are being effectively delivered in many cases, but also that there are significant issues with what is available overall.  The services with the largest indication of unmet needs were website support and large-scale storage.  There was generally higher satisfaction for IT services from those in Orange than those in Irvine, with a few exceptions (conference room support, security planning, and high-performance computing).

Open Ended Questions

There were three free-form questions in the survey, giving respondents an opportunity to elaborate on support needs, current challenges, and offer other comments including services that were working well.  There were 38 generally positive comments for a range of services or individuals including the help desks, local support staff, the Research Cyberinfrastructure Center, and various other central support groups.  The two most common types of comments beyond these had to do with the lack of integration among Health Science and OIT environments and the need for more/better infrastructure and support (37 and 38 mentions).  Other repeated topics included email and shared drive quotas (16), on-boarding and access management (13), gaining access to UCI Google for UCI Health (12), the value of having local IT staff without going through a help desk (10), and the need for secure storage services (10).

Comments Representative of Those Received

Positive Feedback

Each time I have called the Help Desk, the staff has been very kind, courteous & helpful. My issues are usually resolved with the first call. Thank you!

The addition of Zoom meeting, and internal text messaging were beneficial.  //  Thank you SO much for changing over to Epic for the EHR/EMR!

I appreciate everything [our local IT supporter] does to make my life better here at work.  He always helps me whenever I ask.

The support I receive is always professional. When I have a computer problem, it is addressed rapidly. Scheduling service and equipment is easy.

The HPC support staff has been consistently fantastic.

OIT answers the phone quickly and problems are handled very efficiently.

In past, my concerns have fallen on deaf ears or was complicated to resolve.  [Of late]  we are seeing tangible solutions and our IT needs are better addressed.  The collaboration with campus OIT has been effective and appreciated.

Overall CoHS IT Challenges in Irvine

I am HS constrained: Lack of access and secure computing for health data. Inability to use cloud storage e.g. Google; limited email storage; completely under resourced for staff support; unreliable access to remote computing; unreliable HPC performance; very slow building connectivity on HS side of campus. almost no coordination between HS and OIT services.

It is hard to get any IT support over here.  If I call OIT, they tell me it is a "courtesy" to provide any support to my lab or any other professional needs.  Once a ticket is generated on line, it takes days or weeks to get it solved.  overall, it has been a very frustrating experience to get support from IT on campus.  Recommendations: add more support personnel for this type of service.

  1. Restriction of SOM from using Google Suite, which prevents us from sharing documents within campus and to collaborators
  2. Ridiculously small email quota from HS IT
  3. Corruption of all URL links in emails when gets injected into all of our emails.
  4. Lack of HIPAA compliant storage solution on the HPC
  5. Lack of high-speed (10GB) network connectivity to most of the SOM buildings, and many of the buildings on main campus
  6. Concern about ability to fund CPU time and storage on the HPC for my research, when new policies are implemented
  7. Lack of Mac computers in the OIT computer classrooms

Health IS and OIT

It would be nice to have some resolution between OIT and HSIT, particularly the email and calendaring systems. I know you are working on it, but we have had some major challenges, particularly with new hires that erroneously got their email set up in HSIT and not OIT. In addition, some of the times I have asked for help from OIT, I get turned away and told I need to contact HSIT, which is not true (at least not yet). Also, I think people forget that PS, PH, and Nursing have undergraduate and non-medicine grad students, and we cannot be cutoff from main campus communication. I know this was recently resolved, but I just want to make sure all involved understand that not all of us only have a connection to the Med Center. Thus, I think the main thing is better communication among the IT staff about who does what and for whom and with the constituents who are serviced by them (if/when things fully switch from OIT to HSIT).

The issues around having an hs email vs one housed in OIT has been and continues to be an issue. One system for all would be ideal!

Having two Service now platforms is confusing when both HS and OIT refer their ticketing platform Service Now

Having faculty decide whether to "live" in the HS or OIT IT environments and then either having two accounts or not having access to instructional services in the other. Also, for staff - being able to access calendars of colleagues within UCI to set up meetings and events makes it difficult with two IT systems.

IT Infrastructure and Support Needs

We will have new faculty starting and setting up labs, so IT support will be imperative to get them up and running.

My email quota has been full for about 1.5 years. I delete emails daily to be able to send/receive emails.

UCI IT needs very serious infrastructure investment as it is lacking compared to other institutions even other UCs.

Start with basic my email limit is pathetically low no storage space for data so I regularly have to buy USB drive out of pocket and store them under lock and key in my office but would prefer to store them on a cloud (more secure than a drawer!)  There is limited infrastructure support development of software and communications between regular tools and prototypes

Lack of IT infrastructure and storage. I work with industry developing prototypes for imaging. The data is stored on a bunch of USB drive because IT cannot provide me with cloud or server space!!!!!!

It would be great if we have on-site IT support staff (even half time) in Irvine campus.

I find the help desk to be great for minor problems.  Unfortunately, as soon as it is a problem that they cannot fix by remoting into my computer or do not know how to address, and they need to refer to someone else, it takes FOREVER to get a response.  It is frustrating, it lowers my and my staff (research and admin) productivity, many times it is embarrassing when I have to apologize to outside collaborators for an ongoing problem that lasts for months, and sometimes it actually threatens our ability to meet important deadlines.  My whole enterprise relies on computers, including a large server with very large national data sets which are analyzed statistically.  I also collaborate with many scientists around the country, and virtual meetings and data sharing capabilities are crucial.  Hence, adequate support is crucial.


If I may suggest system integration/collaboration to make the on-boarding process of new hire clinical providers more efficient? It would be ideal if Medical Staff Office, OIT, HS Account, Epic Access, Telecomm TigerText account and badge access to relevant clinical areas could all talk to each other and once the new-hire is cleared through LiveScan, a domino effect triggers UCInetID generation, HS account etc. Then all would be under one Help Desk ticket. Similar to the process you have for ordering a computer Desk, it prompts you to add monitors, then keyboards, mouse, software, etc. Thank you!

I don't understand the onboarding process for visiting medical students. It seems as if there is always a different process for visiting medical student to gain email access and epic access.        

We need a better process to onboard visiting medical students: email access/ HS access / epic access.

Google/Collaboration Tools

As PharmSci adds clinical faculty, need secure research data storage. It is very important to be able to collaborate between OIT and HSIT supported units as we develop interprofessional education and faculty collaborations (such as Gsuite or similar solution) to share identified data sets securely.

I would appreciate having access to a uci google account, having the same tools as those working on main campus.

Basic Science/Research Support

HSIT does not differentiate between employees who work in Irvine in a basic science setting versus a clinical setting. An employee in a SOM basic science environment shouldn't have to deal with the clinical administrative backwards poor service that they receive from HSIT.

There are no research IT that can usually assist with research-related questions or support. I was not aware of some of the groups that were on the previous screen. It would be helpful to have the research related IT group present at the QRAM meetings to introduce themselves and services that they cover.

Other Comments

I don't understand the process of getting IT projects approved, I have submitted a request, but never heard anything back

OIT supported faculty do not currently have an option for storing identified data. Specific to PharmSci, since we are managed by OIT and not HSIT.

There's no intranet for CoHS. UCI Health Intranet does not help the CoHS audience. We tried to work with UCI Health IT and Marketing but all they could say was to include us in phase 2 back in January and phase 1 was supposed to launch in March. It is now at the end of May and they are launching a "new intranet" for UCI Health and does not take into consideration our needs at CoHS. No follow-up communication either. We decided to build our own intranet now moving forward but what worries me is the access to through OIT credentials and it might limit those who might only have HS credentials. I feel that making decisions to host and maintain something like this intranet is very difficult.

The Building 53 auditorium needs new AV equipment and podium. We also need one more large space to accommodate presentations. This is heavily impacting the quality of education being provided. We do not have enough access to classrooms to accommodate our programs and we do not have AV equipment that works well with basic capabilities, like recording lectures.

Sample Survey Questions

[Background Info Omitted]  The survey will ask you to identify the types of IT support and services that you require and give you an opportunity to represent the importance of each, along with how well you are currently being served, and your expectations about how your needs will evolve. 

What is your primary work location?

  • At or near the UCI Medical Center, Orange (1)
  • On or near the main UCI campus, Irvine (2)
  • My location varies too much to provide one answer (3)
  • Other (4) ________________________________________________

Which of the following best represents your role at UCI?

  • Faculty member and or physician
  • Staff member
  • Student
  • Other

What is your organizational affiliation? Note: If you work with multiple areas, please choose the area that is the best available option.

Please indicate what computing environments you use (check all that apply).

  • Apple MacOS
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Linux
  • Apple iOS (phones and tablets)
  • Android OS (phones and tablets)

What IT support and/or services do you use now or expect you may require in the future? This survey will continue with follow-up questions about the areas you pick here. 

  • General software purchase, installation, and/or usage help (3)
  • Email/calendaring (5)
  • Desktop/laptop computer, phone, tablet (6)
  • Clinical applications/devices (12)
  • Application/software development (13)
  • Website creation, management, and/or hosting (7)
  • Setting up/managing windows servers (8)
  • Setting up/managing Linux servers (9)
  • Campus web applications (e.g.: the campus online benefits portal) (10)
  • Conference or meeting space technology (e.g.: projectors in conference or meeting settings)
  • Staff/student account access/creation/management, on-boarding (1)

IT Security

  • Security plans/assessment for research or other activities (2)
  • Other IT security issues or concerns (3)

Educational Computing

  • UCI supported educational technologies (e.g.: the Canvas learning management system) (1)
  • Third party educational technology (e.g.: tools provided by textbook publishers) (2)
  • Classroom technology (e.g.: projectors in classroom settings) (3)
  • Instructional computing labs (4)

Research Computing

  • Compliant access to UCI health data sources (11)
  • High performance/cluster computing (1)
  • Machine-Learning/Deep-Learning/GPU-based computing (2)
  • Large-scale data storage (3)
  • Computing/data storage for sensitive data (6)
  • Computing/data storage for HIPAA data (7)
  • Installing/managing specialized research software applications (8)
  • Assistance with building software containers (9)
  • Access to commercial cloud infrastructure (10)

How important to your success and ability to do your job is the IT support / service in each area you selected? 

  • Extremely Important
  • Very Important
  • Moderately Important
  • Slightly Important
  • Not at all important

Approximately how often would you estimate you currently need IT support in each area you selected?

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • On Occasion
  • Never

How well are your IT support and service needs currently met in each area?

  • Extremely well
  • Very well
  • Moderately well
  • Slightly well
  • Not well at all

How do you anticipate your need for IT support and service in each area may change over the next 5 years?

  • Much higher
  • Somewhat higher
  • About the same
  • Slightly lower
  • Much lower

Please share any additional comments you have regarding your IT support and service needs.

When you need IT support, where are you most likely to start?

  • Health Affairs Information Service
  • Office of Information Technology
  • Research Cyberinfrastructure Center
  • Local IT staff

You indicated that you contact local IT support for at least some of your needs; whom do you contact?

Please share any IT support and/or service challenges you are currently facing that have the greatest impact on your work / time, as well as any recommendations you may have for resolving those challenges.

Please share anything else you’d like to add, including any current services that are working well that are important to continue.

OPTIONALLY, you may provide your name and preferred email address.


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