COVID Services Front Door

The Covid Services Front Door Portal (CSFD) has been created to simplify and improve a citizen’s interaction with the HSE when requesting a Covid related service by providing them with a simple user-friendly interface to capture and pre-populate some of their information. 

Of more significance, by assisting the Citizen to complete the information accurately, the CSFD Portal maximises our ability to securely identify, contact and correspond with the citizen and ultimately ensure that the service they have requested is delivered as efficiently as possible.

In response to the Covid19 pandemic many disparate technical solutions were rapidly developed and deployed across the Covid Care and Response pathways. These solutions were Agile in their delivery, demonstrating the capability to rapidly implement the technical solutions that were critical to responding to the pandemic.

The development of CSFDP provided an opportunity to front-end these solutions with a clear and consistent single-entry point for citizens who need to avail of the various Covid Care and Response Services.  Front loading the repetitive tasks and processes involved for the various existing technical solutions in this way has helped to improve on:

- The Citizen experience by:

  • Clarity of information
  • Pre-population of addresses for e.g. with Eircode
  • Provision of multi-lingual information (Irish & English)

- Identification and Security

  • IHI (Covid-ID)
  • Multi-factor Authentication

- Data Quality

  • Validation of fields for e.g. addresses, mobile phone numbers, PPS numbers.

- The provision of accurate data to systems supporting these services

- The provision of richer health and operational intelligence about demands and trends.

 

While there are several Covid related services that are targeted for future releases, the Covid Services Front Door Portal currently accommodates 2 services:

- PCR appointment bookings

- Antigen Kit ordering

Our next release will include the ability for the citizen to save their information so that the next time they login to the Covid Services Front Door Portal to avail of a service their information can be pre-populated. This is effectively becoming the foundation for us to develop the Citizen Health Portal which in time will extend to non-Covid related services.

On May 4th the Covid Services Front Door Portal went live. To date over 40,000 Covid Tests have been booked. Averaging 1500+ tests per day. The site has had no downtime.  The Chart below shows the volume of tests ordered through the site from launch to May 25th .

A major positive outcome for the CFSD Portal is that we have seen a significant improvement in our ability to capture the IHI.  We are getting approximately a 96% match rate up from <40% previously.

Graph-1

Another positive outcome is the ability now to provide Health and Operational Intelligence back to the HSE - for e.g. the chart below shows the current breakdown of “reason for booking” a PCR Test.

The average time for a citizen to book a test on the site is less than 5 minutes. With 80% of all device traffic coming through mobile phones, of which close to half of that number is for iPhone. Traffic is consistent through the week, with Mondays and Wednesdays showing most activity. We have seen highs of 150 users with a peak of 320 users concurrently per minute on the system. System performance is rated and tested to 500+ concurrent user per minute (30k+ per hour).

Graph-2

Now for the science bit ….

Our Technology Pillars – Resilient, Secure, Scalable and Performant! 

The Covid Services Front Door Portal is a Microsoft Azure Cloud Hosted Solution. The application is written in C# with Razor pages. It extensively utilises internal A2I-HIDS APIs (IHI, Covid, Eircode lookup and Mobile Phone and PPSN validators). The application has a SQL Server Application & Reporting Database. The environment is fully scripted and can be stood up rapidly (15mins). The firewall protection has additional geo restriction to IRE & UK. The application has an implementation of DDoS and Redis Memory Cache.

While this is the first citizen facing service that the A2I-HIDs team have delivered, it is a foundation for developing the Citizen Health Portal for non Covid Related Services. 

From a technical delivery perspective, the CSFD portal has been a great success for our team in conjunction with many internal stakeholders that have been invaluable in this process. We could not have achieved this without the support and hard work of our HSE colleagues in the HSE Digital Team, CCT, IIS, Test and Trace and HSE Live who worked with us on content, design and public health information. It demonstrated the power of cross-functional working and bringing together the skills, experience and expertise, not only within eHealth and disruptive technologies but across the HSE.

Chart below showing booked tests May 4th-25th - IHI (from IHI reports).

 Graph-3

 

Covid Services Front Door - Scrum Team

David Reichental – Technical Lead & Architect

Colm Ryan – Software Developer

Peter Foran – Software Developer

Paul Hammel – Technical Architect

Darren Cullen – Database/Software Developer

Keith Cohalan – Project Manager & Scrum Master

Nicola Morley – Business Analyst

Stuart Anderson – Security Architect

Tomas Domagala – Tester

Covid Services Front Door - Project Board

Marie Lalor – Programme Manager

Róisín Doherty - Project Executive

Fran Thompson – Project Sponsor

Published July 2022