Health Service Executive helps combat the pandemic and advance public health with cloud-based vaccine management system
Combating A Pandemic
Prior to COVID-19, Thompson and his team had begun discussing early reform plans in an effort to bring more modern, digital tools and processes to the services HSE provides. These plans included things like: how HSE might be able to inform and engage the public on topics of interest more frequently, community-based care delivery, maintaining data compliance requirements, and so on.
“But again, we suddenly found ourselves being called into action overnight. Our reform plans jumped off of PowerPoints and Excel sheets, and were put into action immediately, turning what easily could have been a traditional, reactive response into a transformative, strategic approach,” said Paul Reid, CEO for HSE.
It was very important to the HSE that citizens were kept informed of both their individual vaccine journey and the overall progress of the vaccine rollout programme. “We needed a way for people to get vaccinated in non-HSE sites, and remove the kind of superfluous barriers that didn’t align to the ‘all hands on deck’ situation we were in. We also wanted all staff -- both our own teams and frontline healthcare workers, which included the many dedicated retired healthcare workers who rejoined the HSE to contribute to this effort -- to be vaccinated within the same 2-week timeframe as our own employees so that they were safer while working the frontline,” Reid continued. “At the end of the day this was about people; their lives, their families, and their communities.”
“This is where IBM came into the picture. We became the tactical partners that helped Fran and team bring these strategies to life,” said Paul Murphy, Country Leader, IBM GBS Ireland.
Saving Lives Through Teamwork
Broadening the Scope
To date, over 250,000 of Ireland's healthcare workers are registered on the system, along with over 500 care homes, 50+ hospitals, 4,000+ vaccinators and 2,000 support staff. Approximately 3.7 M people have been registered via Salesforce, an additional 2.2 M people have self-registered via the public portal, and over 7M vaccines have been administered. “In other words, we have vaccinated three in five of Ireland’s population,” said Thompson.
And this number only continues to grow; watch these numbers increase daily since time of publication, here.
As HSE continues to take a risk-based approach, the team prioritised especially vulnerable groups first, such as the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, followed by 50 acute hospital sites and about 500 care homes. They also set up ‘pop-up clinics’ to give the general population access to the vaccine as more people become eligible. At peak time, the HSE had 43 mass-vaccination centres and 4 satellite clinics, which together used Salesforce to administer up to 50,000 vaccinations per day.
“The work we have done here has solved today’s COVID-19 vaccination challenges, and will pave the way for years to come,” said Thompson. “This strategy gives us a model, a framework, for linking doctor systems to hospitals, portals, and patients. This strategy gives us a framework for delivering a modern patient experience, regardless of ordinary days or extraordinary times.”