Change and Transformation in the Public Sector Finalist 2022: IBM Consulting with the Health Service Executive

Change and Transformation in the Public Sector

Accelerating the establishment of a national vaccines

HSE provides healthcare and social services to Ireland’s approximately 5 million citizens and has regional vaccine systems. But, for COVID-19 vaccination, HSE needed a national program that could quickly and safely support the entire Irish population’s vaccination.

“On March 23rd, 2020, we had our first case of COVID-19 in Ireland,” said Fran Thompson, CIO for Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE). “There was no time to plan, no time to evaluate, just a call to action.”

HSE was facing an enormous challenge: the hospitals were near capacity with COVID-19 patients, and there was a large population of vulnerable people who desperately needed to be vaccinated. With the imminent arrival of the first COVID-19 vaccine, there was a pressing need to vaccinate HSE and healthcare workers within a short two-week window, enabling a once in a lifetime national vaccination programme to commence. From there, the new vaccination solution needed to rapidly scale while ensuring the security of each citizen’s health data.

The citizens of Ireland were relying upon the HSE to deliver vaccinations as fast as possible. There was no playbook, no guidelines, and no time. Every day lost meant lives lost.

IBM Consulting was appointed as the Strategic Delivery Partner on December 14th, 2020. Over the next nine working days, our team worked tirelessly to create a national COVID-19 vaccine management system, enabling HSE to vaccinate their staff and healthcare workers before year-end, in line with the initial availability of a COVID-19 vaccine. Over the next 12 months, we provided the skills and know-how to support HSE in responding to the challenging and everchanging pandemic, allowing individuals to understand their vaccine journey and the overall progress of the vaccine rollout programme, and to help change the face of Irish healthcare.

HSE chose IBM Consulting to build the platform using Salesforce, the industry-leading cloud technology, utilising our garage methodology — a collaborative framework for transformation that combines people, processes, and technology. Our all-remote team was able to bring in top talent from around the world, from the UK, Ireland, Israel, Egypt, the US, and India. Team members included medical clinicians, solution architects, developers, designers, technical experts and HSE employees who understood the agency’s needs.

The COVID-19 vaccine management system has managed delivery of over 10.6 million vaccines, and 84.38% of the population is fully vaccinated. The system has supported 2.8M boosters and continues to evolve and scale with needs and regulations.

Creating the vaccine management system has helped transform the lives of all Irish citizens, accelerating the delivery of their COVID-19 vaccinations. The HSE fully appreciates the pace at which innovative cloud-based systems can be created, underpinning future healthcare projects.

“No challenge was too big for the IBM Consulting team; their ability to adapt, adopt, and deliver as our business needs changed was impressive, but it was also essential in a programme dealing with the Covid pandemic.”
– Fran Thompson – Chief Information Officer, Health Services Executive of Ireland

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