On February 26, Georgia commemorated a year since the first positive case of Covid-19 was confirmed on its territory. In the course of that year, Caritas Czech Republic has been developing IT solutions to assist Georgian authorities to monitor, and manage the pandemic.
In the first months, Czech Caritas developed a COVID Lab system, which allows setting up and controlling the entire COVID-19 testing process – from registration to tests, not only simplifying the registration process, but also preventing unnecessary testing. Currently, Caritas team is developing a new software through which the COVID-19 vaccination process will be organized and which will help to prioritize risk groups and prevent the disorganized flow of patients
All of those solutions are created based on active consultations with the Ministry of Health of Georgia and National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC), and thanks to the financial support from Czech Development Agency.
COVID Lab helps to take the right steps to cope with the pandemic
The COVID Lab system is a unified information system and a golden standard for laboratory staff, epidemiologists and statisticians-analysts, as well as for all doctors and medical institutions. The electronic laboratory system gathers the data on the detection and spread of the virus on a single virtual platform. This enables Georgian epidemiologists to see the big picture and take the right steps to cope with the pandemic, give trusted and accurate recommendations, and make effective decisions.
Just when the Coronavirus pandemic broke out in the world and the first cases of virus spread to Georgia as well, Caritas Czech Republic was carrying out the Primary Healthcare Strengthening Project financially supported by the Czech Development Agency. Czech Caritas reacted immediately to the urgent needs and and tailored the project according to the new priorities.
As a result of active consultations between Caritas Czech Republic and the Ministry of Health of Georgia, Czech Caritas came up with a unified electronic laboratory system - COVID Lab with the aim of strengthening COVID-19 surveillance capacity of the Georgian government.
How does COVID Lab work?
The COVID Lab system allows people with access the right to search and edit the information they need to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to simplifying the registration process and recording the reliable data of laboratory tests and their results, it facilitates the management of clinical processes needed for the electronic logistics of samples between institutions and laboratories. The COVID Lab system is also a means to prevent unnecessary testing.
“In order to manage the process and make effective decisions, you need to have all the information. The importance of the issue is even greater when it comes to human health, especially during a pandemic. The COVID Lab system has played an important role in managing COVID-19. Based on it, the Georgian government has made a number of important political and technical decisions, and this process will continue in the future. I would like to thank the Czech government for this assistance,” said Aleksandre Turdziladze, Deputy Director of NCDC.
What is the significance of the COVID Lab system for Georgia?
With the development of the COVID Lab, the country has acquired the key instrument for pandemic management.
“If we observe the international practice, we will see that the first step taken by the developed countries of the world in order to manage the pandemic, was the development of specific and comprehensive information technology (IT) solutions. Case tracking through the integrated electronic laboratory system is the best practice in order to manage the epidemiologic situation and ultimately to reduce the spread of the virus. It is really appreciated that Georgia has acquired this important tool through the Czech Development Agency," said Rusudan Chkhubianishvili, project manager at Caritas Czech Republic.
Caritas Czech Republic will help with the vaccination process in Georgia
Georgia is currently preparing to start the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination. After the success of the COVID Lab, the Ministry of Health of Georgia underlined the urgent need of further IT solutions, which would help the healthcare system to manage the planned immunization phases in a right and effective way. Considering already planned E-Queue and E-Referral systems development within PHC strengthening project, the Ministry addressed Caritas Czech Republic with a specific request to use the IT product for COVID-19 vaccination purposes.
“It is extremely important for the Ministry to develop the unified software system of the primary health care electronic queues and electronic referral management in the near future, so that it can be used in the process of the COVID-19 vaccination to control the flow of patients. The Ministry will continue to work closely with the project and its team and experts to create a product that meets the requirements of the Ministry and the needs of the country,” said Tamar Gabunia, First Deputy Minister.
Based on this request, Caritas Czech Republic in Georgia, in close cooperation with the NCDC, developed a new software in order to launch the COVID-19 vaccination process in a consistent and organized manner from March 2021. https://booking.moh.gov.ge This integrated IT system will help the Ministry of Health to prioritize risk groups and prevent the disorganized flow of citizens.
All the above-mentioned initiatives, funded by the Czech Development Agency, are carried out by Caritas Czech Republic within the framework of the ongoing Primary Healthcare Development Project. It started in 2020 and will last until 2023 with budget of more than one million euros.