Ms Yan said the OGP team had to “dive in” and learn about case operations from scratch. They had to ensure that officers could keep up with the sheer number of cases, so they “attacked” the step that was taking the most time.
The team decided to use a customer service software called Zendesk – OGP’s “experimental” nature means it will use proven tools on the market to save time – and customise it for case management.
The system, eventually named Zendemic, automates and tracks case operations. The system automatically updates itself when a patient completes each step of the journey, from filling up a form with their personal details to being registered at a facility.
This means that MOH officers, including those at the call centre, could all log into the same interface and get an instant status update on a patient. Zendemic also automatically sends a health risk warning SMS to close contacts, further automating the contact tracing process.
“Our goal was that whenever someone calls into the call centre with a query that can be resolved very quickly, like where is my grandmother now, the call centre should be able to respond immediately,” Ms Yan said.
When everything was on Excel sheets, call centre officers would have to take down the question and call back because they had to go to the ops teams first, a process that could take a day or more, she said.
“I think what really made a big difference was the call centre being able to just log into Zendesk and look at all the status updates of where this grandma is at and immediately just say, ‘Okay, she’s in the facility, don’t need to worry.’ That saves so much work for everybody involved.”
WEBSITE FOR ALL THINGS COVID
Beyond helping the call centre, OGP also decided to produce an informational COVID-19 website, that broke down complicated policies, presented them simply and with infographics that were easily shareable on social media.
This would be especially for those who tested positive and were unsure what to do next. The idea come after a meeting with a Singapore Armed Forces team – which had been helping out with COVID-19 operations – in October 2021.
OGP software engineer Lam Kee Wei remembers that day, which was a Monday. He had recently got married and was fresh off a week of leave before being thrown straight into the action.
“It just shows OGP’s (way of working). Rather than put together a complete proposal, we just started working from day one and see what physical thing we can put out for approval,” he said, adding that his colleagues spent several days at the call centre working on it.
OGP immediately set out to find what exactly people wanted to know. The team sent out surveys, interviewed parents and chatted with MOH officers in the call centre. They even embedded themselves in a Telegram chat group for those on quarantine.
“We talked to people on the Telegram channel, we talked to the admins, we read through the chats, we monitored the chat to see what people were saying as well,” OGP product designer Natalie Tan said.
“We tried to cover as wide a range of personas as we could so that we will make sure that our solution was all-encompassing for all walks of life, essentially.”
This meant that they knew which phrases on the website needed tweaking, and were able to include other information like what family members of COVID-19 patients should do.
Source: Channel News Asia