NAMCHI: Engaging ICCC as Covid War Room

January 19, 2022

Author:
navin_rai

NAMCHI: COVID WAR ROOM WITH DASHBOARD

 Problem Statement

With the onset of the second wave of COVID -19 pandemic, most of the cities lacked local data ecosystem and coherence with credibility across various Government bodies. Evidently, this was also observed in the South district of Sikkim. Administration including officers on COVID-19 duty and NGO volunteers were managing the situation in traditional pen and paper method with Excel file as their main data repository. This led to data loss, data inconsistency, erroneous reporting and unwarranted manpower utilization. COVID-19 helpline personnel relied on whiteboards and notebooks which had an inverse effect on response time and turnaround time to provide help to patients.

Background        

Namchi Smart City Limited (NSCL) explored the possibility of leveraging the smart solutions and facilities of the Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) in Namchi. NSCL conducted a meeting with the City Administration, led by the District Magistrate along with officials from Health and Police Departments which resulted in utilizing ICCC as COVID War Room and onboarding of NSCL & its technology consultants to support city’s effort to develop solutions for COVID-19 monitoring and management.  Consequently, several meetings were held with District Surveillance Officers (DSO) from Health Department and officials from District Administration to understand their data collection and reporting process.

Initiative

Key areas of improvement were identified by the NSCL and PMC team after reviewing and assessing the process being followed by District officials on COVID management. Innovative ideas were proposed to the district officials to make use of existing technology of ICCC for enhancing management of COVID related tasks and generating awareness to the citizens of the city.

  • Digitize data at point of collection by health workers
  • SOP for data ETL (Extraction, Transformation & Loading)
  • Digitalization of data in the form of a Dashboard application for South District
  • Dedicated 24×7 COVID Helpline number with support of 10 concurrent calls
  • Utilize existing technical components of ICCC

 Solution

Focus on implementing smart solutions commenced after identifying the fundamental actors who were providing data to District officials on COVID cases and moving down the link to form an end-to-end solution, right from data collection to transforming it into meaningful information using digital technologies.

  • Data Collection: ‘Google Forms’ was identified as the best fit application for data digitization primarily, due to its user-friendly interface and easy accessibility even to the far-flung rural health workers. It also helped in collection of accurate data by introducing more selectable values instead of manual typing by the user. Data collected on Google Forms can also be easily exported as an Excel file.
  • Data ETL: Standard Operating Protocols (SOP) were established after several brainstorming sessions with all stakeholders on data cleansing, extraction, transformation and loading it onto a database hosted on ICCC’s own Data Centre. Key actors from various departments were identified and were assigned with activities/responsibilities.
  • War Room Dashboard: The next step was to convert data into information to improve COVID management efficiency by using digital technologies. Initially, a third-party application was being considered but it was promptly discarded due to its limitations. Hence, a Dashboard application for the same was developed by the PMC team of NSCL. [Detailed features of the application are provided in the next section]
  • 24×7 COVID Helpline: COVID Helpdesk team under the supervision of District Magistrate were using multiple mobile phones which has its own shortcomings. Dedicated helpline number has been set up that can handle up to 10 concurrent calls at once. Existing Contact Centre solution of ICCC is integrated with this helpline number that facilitates overall management of calls inclusive of capturing reason for the call, call back option, call recording and reporting of daily and cumulative call details.
  • Existing ICCC Components: Various other existing components of ICCC were also leveraged to help the city overcome COVID.
    1. CCTVs: City surveillance has been setup for real time monitoring of COVID protocols
    2. PAS: Public Announcement System of Smart Poles plays recording of COVID information and instructions on a scheduled basis.
    3. Billboard: Billboard of Smart Poles and Variable Message Display (VMD) are setup to display important COVID related information with messages from district officials.

Dashboard Application:

COVID War Room Dashboard software for Namchi, South District of Sikkim is developed in-house by the PMC team of NSCL. The web application is built on .Net MVC5 with MySQL as a database. Both the application and database are hosted in the Data Centre of ICCC.

Key features of the application:

1.  Main dashboard: Consists of graphical representations of key performance indicators that provide a clear picture of the current COVID-19 situation in the South District of Sikkim.

Details of each visual starting from top left are stated below:

  • Total Cases: Cumulative cases till date.

  • Total Active: Total active cases at present.

  • Total Recovered: Cumulative recovered cases till date.

  • Daily Cases: Total new cases reported in a day.

  • Available Beds: Number of beds available in COVID Care Centers.

  • Vaccinated: Total single, double and booster dose administered.

  • Age-wise Vases Pie Chart: Active and cumulative age wise case distribution.

  • Gender Distribution Pie Chart: Daily, Active and total gender wise case distribution pie.

  • Infection Line Chart: Total positive cases per day since April Year for each block and entire South District.

2.  Containment Center: Details of all premises that are contained can be checked on this page. Logic has been built into the software that automatically calculates de-notification date based on the type of premise. Visual cues for Quarantine Progress and Quarantine Status have been integrated to enhance user experience.  Containment duration in days for various premises is configurable and a separate page is provided to update the values. This feature has been provided due to the versatile nature of the situation.

3.  Additional Information: Several other pages detailed below are also available on the software.

  • COVID Care Center: Center-wise monitoring of capacity and occupancy of all the COVID Care Centers. Additional information to assist Helpdesk personnel for prompt coordination and action are also displayed on this page.

  •  Hospitals: Details of hospitals in South District.

  • Sub-Centers: Primary Health Center and its sub-centers details.

  • Monitoring Teams: Ward-wise details of quarantine monitoring teams.

  • Government Ambulance: Contact number and vehicle number.

  • Taxi Ambulance: Details of private taxis assigned as emergency ambulances.

  • NGO-Volunteers: Details of all volunteering NGOs.

  • Important Contacts: Block-wise contact information of officers.

  • Configuration Page: User update of configurable value for containment days based on the type of premise and miscellaneous settings can be actioned.


Benefits

The official launch of Dashboard application for South District of Sikkim was done by Chairman of Namchi Municipal Corporation in the presence of District Magistrate on 29th of May 2021. The software was being used by helpdesk volunteers since the 3rd week of May. The software along with other technical components of ICCC has resulted in proactive management of the COVID situations in the city.

The major areas where the city and its Administration have seen improvement are as follows:

  • Digitization at the point of data collection through Google Forms eliminates erroneous and data duplication. Thereby, providing the City Administration with cleaner and accurate data.
  • Creation and supervision of SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) for overall COVID-19 management.
  • KPIs such as Total Cases, Total Active, Total Recovered and Cases per day helps District Administration to take key decisions on identifying major breakout areas and come up with a plan to isolate and minimize infection to other areas.
  • Vaccination details clustered by Gender and Dose type provide clean and precise statistics that enables the City Administration to plan for an effective vaccination drive and plan with the State and Central government for allotment of vaccines.
  • The Containment Page on the website provides visual indicators for containment information inclusive of remaining days. This helps in proper tracking and monitoring of containment areas, be it residential houses, commercial spaces or government premises.
  • Information on COVID Care Centers, Hospitals, Sub-Centers and Ambulances with contact information of Point of Contact on the COVID Dashboard website enables COVID War Room Helpdesk personnel to take prompt action for isolation, transportation and treatment of a patient.
  • The 24×7 helpline provides the citizens to get timely assistance for any COVID related issue.
  • Visualization of daily infection data, especially at Block level helps the City Administration to check for possible reasons for high infection and positivity rate of a particular area. This will help in formulating effective containment protocols.

Engaging ICCC of Namchi as COVID War Room has helped the district and health officials in tracking, testing, monitoring, creating/reviewing SOPs, isolating, quarantining and treating patients at the earliest, thereby suppressing the spread of the virus.


Visualizations & Pages of the Dashboard:

1.  COVID Care Centers of the City

2.  Health Sub-Centers of the City

3.  Quarantine Monitoring Team

4.  Taxi Ambulance Details

5.  NGO Volunteers Details

 

By Gnurse

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