Israeli Ministry of Health accelerates response to COVID-19 pandemic
Gaining rapid insights into the vaccination status of nine million citizens to help reduce community transmission with IBM and ABP
Medical scientists using microscope in laboratory

To help it steer Israel through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Israeli Ministry of Health aimed to determine the vaccination status of more than nine million citizens. Working with its trusted IBM Business Partner Agile Business Process (ABP), the organization deployed IBM® Operational Decision Manager—helping it to make well-informed public health decisions throughout the pandemic and beyond.

Following the development of effective vaccines against COVID-19, Israel raced to vaccinate its population as quickly as possible. In parallel, the country adopted social distancing measures to help slow the transmission of the virus and prevent subsequent waves of infection.

To reduce the risk of community transmission, Israel introduced COVID-19 vaccination passes. These passes gave permission for vaccinated and negative-testing citizens to enter public spaces such as shopping malls, bars and restaurants, where the risk of community transmission was relatively high.

Miri Altshuler, Project Manager at the Israeli Ministry of Health, explains: “To implement COVID-19 passes on a national scale, it was first important to understand the vaccination status of the entire population—some nine million people. Achieving this goal presented complex technical challenges. We needed a way to collate and analyze public health data from a large number of source systems at speed and scale.” 

Through our work with ABP, we saw that we could use the decision-making engine in IBM Operational Decision Manager to help us rapidly assign certificates to fully vaccinated, recovered and negative-testing citizens. Miri Altshuler Project Manager Israeli Ministry of Health
Building a platform for rapid data insights

Working with its IBM Business Partner ABP, the Ministry quickly determined that IBM Operational Decision Manager—included with IBM Cloud Pak® for Business Automation—offered the technical capabilities to help manage data on the COVID-19 status of millions of citizens.

“We worked with ABP through a series of proof-of-concept scenarios, which demonstrated how we could use our data to automate and accelerate decision-making,” says Altshuler. “Through our partnership with ABP, we saw that we could use the decision-making engine in IBM Operational Decision Manager to help us rapidly assign certificates to fully vaccinated, recovered and negative-testing citizens.”

The Ministry collaborated closely with ABP to deploy the new solution and integrate it with multiple data sources—including the Israeli immigration authority, healthcare providers and vaccination centers.

Altshuler recalls: “ABP had significant experience in deploying IBM Operational Decision Manager. We also greatly appreciated that we could call on local support whenever we needed it.”

Working with ABP, the Ministry successfully implemented its first digital product: a set of automated rules to determine the vaccination status of the entire population. Building on the success of this initiative, the organization has greatly extended its use of the IBM solution—supporting additional use cases around COVID-19 and beyond.

“During the later stages of the pandemic, we began closely monitoring the emergence of COVID-19 variants,” says Altshuler. “To effectively track the evolution of the virus, it was vital to determine the optimal COVID-19 test samples to send for genomic sequencing. With ABP, we quickly built a set of rules in IBM Operational Decision Manager to automatically prioritize the samples to send for genomic sequencing analysis each day—helping us to track new variants and mutations of the virus.”

In addition, the Ministry of Health uses IBM Operational Decision Manager to calculate Polio vaccination status and track the relevant population for Polio vaccination campaign management.

30 minutes

Enables changes to business rules within 30 minutes, ensuring rapid responses to stakeholder requirements

ABP had significant experience with deploying IBM Operational Decision Manager. We also greatly appreciated that we could call on local support whenever we needed it. Miri Altshuler Project Manager Israeli Ministry of Health
Reacting fast to mitigate public health risks

Looking ahead, the Ministry is confident that it is building effective digital capabilities that will enhance the country’s preparedness for future pandemics and other public health emergencies.

“ABP provided excellent support to the Ministry throughout the pandemic, which enabled us to significantly improve the effectiveness of our response to COVID-19,” concludes Altshuler. “We plan to work with ABP on training and knowledge-transfer, helping us to grow our skills around IBM Operational Decision Manager and develop new digital products ourselves.”

About the Israeli Ministry of Health

The Israeli Ministry of Health is responsible for ensuring the health of the population. The ministry determines the policy on matters of health and medical services, and is in charge of planning, supervision and control, licensing and coordination of the health system’s services.

About Agile Business Process

Agile Business Process (ABP) is a Business Process Management company that specializes in developing tailored automation solutions. Headquartered in London, UK, ABP has deep expertise in a wide range of process management methodologies and technologies, including business process management (BPM) and robotic process automation (RPA).

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