The Work of 112 Georgia and Implemented Activities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
By standing and fighting together, all difficult challenges can be defeated. The team of 112 overcame those challenges related to the pandemic with tireless teamwork and effort.Giorgi Arsoshvili, Director of Public Safety Command Centre 112
In Georgia, since the first case of COVID-19 was reported, an important function was added to 112: every citizen could call 112 to register a case of the virus. During the pandemic, the centre became the first link between the citizen and the family doctor.
Messages related to the virus are classified by the operators according to the health protocol and are transferred as follows: acute cases – to the emergency medical centre, and non-urgent calls – to family doctors.
In order for family doctors to promptly transfer the information received and processed by 112, Public Safety Command Center installed software in about 100 medical clinics and insurance companies across the country, and a network connection was set up to programmatically transfer patient information and ensure smooth follow-up by family doctors.
It should be noted that the training centre of 112 carried out the training of family doctors regarding the software. Furthermore, 112 operators* were trained in the shortest possible time to handle virus-related messages. *During the pandemic, the number of operators in 112 increased by 115%.
During the pandemic, in 2020, the number of calls increased by 46% compared to the previous year and reached 7 million calls, compared to 5 million in 2021. Due to the sharp increase in calls, 112 was divided into three communication channels, namely:
• 112 – emergency medical assistance
• 112-1 – Police and fire/rescue services
• 112-2* – COVID-19 *Note: 112-2 is still maintained at this stage.
Moreover, an electronic portal was created – https://er.moh.gov.ge/, where instead of calling 112, a citizen can register a case of the virus online. The information received on the portal is processed by 112 and forwarded to the family doctor for further monitoring. This portal was developed by the Public Safety Command Center “112” of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the occupied territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia.
Due to the increased volume of incoming calls related to the pandemic, it was necessary to launch an alternative information/non-emergency telephone line. On the existing infrastructure, 112 organized and put into operation a unified governmental hotline – 144 – on March 30, 2020. The main function of the mentioned hotline was to provide information regarding the restrictions imposed during the pandemic. The implementation of an alternative non-emergency hotline was a significant alleviation for 112 by redirecting non-emergency, but medically necessary, calls.
During the pandemic, the implementation of the activities outlined in the action plan of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia produced significant results, the clear proof of which is the outcome of the 2021 customer survey, in which 84% of customers are satisfied with the services provided.
The main priority for us is to offer a more efficient service to citizens and to bring the work of the centre fully in line with the best international standards and practices. That is why, in parallel with the fight against the pandemic and working in an emergency mode, we were able to introduce other important projects as well. In particular, we implemented incident type and case priority determining American software – ProQA – which allows us to automatically determine the priority of an incident and provide citizens with first aid consultations before the brigade arrives. Moreover, we have successfully introduced international ISO standards (ISO 21001:2018; ISO 9001:2015) that will further ensure improvement in the quality of the work of the centre.Giorgi Arsoshvili, Director of Public Safety Command Centre 112
112 Georgia will continue to actively implement innovative projects in the future based on the best international practices, which will further contribute to immediate and effective delivery of emergency aid.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of EENA. Articles do not represent an endorsement by EENA of any organisation.
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