Solutions to improve Philippines’ vaccine slots underway — Zuellig Pharma

June 29, 2021 - 7:42 PM
Residents of Quezon City line up for Pfizer vaccine during the inoculation for A1, A2, A3 and A5 categories at New Frontier Theater in Cubao on June 23, 2021. (The STAR/Michael Varcas, file)

Healthcare services provider Zuellig Pharma Corp. said that plans to upgrade its system are underway after the local government of Quezon City considered terminating its contract last June 16.

Daniel Laverick, head of SAP & IT Solutions Zuellig Pharma, said their development team is taking measures to improve the city’s system and provide efficient services to patients and healthcare professionals.

“We are committed to focusing on eZConsult. The development team was able to put in enhancements last week, [and] we have instant communication with Quezon City local government on its progress,” Laverick said during the Sapphire Now conference last week.

“eZConsult [serves as a] key channel for vaccine rollout depending on where you are in the Philippines. There are certain local government units that have their own way of handling vaccines,” he added.

Through SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation, the company was able to build bots that “continue the process of orders without disruption.”

“Even before the pandemic, we saw the importance of driving efficiencies so that we could grow, operate and support larger scale and more complex healthcare supply chains,” he said in a statement.

“With this in mind, we embarked on a digital transformation journey with SAP and were able to quickly activate our technologies to address the spike in customer orders from countries like Thailand when the pandemic hit,” he added.

Its digital transformation has led to an increase of approximately 100,000 sales orders processed daily and provided 60 automation across various markets.

Zuellig Pharma is the firm behind eZVax, a vaccine management solution for vaccine distribution and administration.

Built on SAP blockchain technology, the system features its proprietary eZTracker solution “to address the issue of counterfeit medical products in the healthcare supply chain.”

Technical difficulties

In 2020, the firm launched eZConsult, a virtual care mobile app to address the emerging need for teleconsultation amid restricted movements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On June 16, the Quezon City government considered filing charges and terminating its contract with Zuellig following technical difficulties from residents who used the service.

Mayor Joy Belmonte said the company has committed to providing “seamless service” but “failed repeatedly” since the start of the vaccine rollout in March.

READ: Belmonte warns vaccine registration app developer

Aside from Quezon City, Las Piñas, Quirino Province and Vigan are also using the eZConsult platform to handle the online appointments for the jabs.

Due to glitches in eZConsult, the city government launched “QC Vax Easy,” a new vaccine registration portal to accommodate more individuals to access its vaccination program.

READ: Quezon City opens new vaccine registration system

Those who have registered using the new portal will be given a schedule for their vaccination depending on the availability of the vaccine supply.

Belmonte clarified that this will serve as an alternative or additional mode to the current registration processes. eZConsult and the barangay-assisted booking schemes are still operational.

“Pending another round of online booking to test eZConsult’s system upgrade, we are offering QC Vax Easy as an option. With this new registration system, we are reducing the difficulty of manually booking your slots. Just register and wait for the city government to contact you for your schedule,” she said.

Disclosure: Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is a shareholder of Philstar Global Corp., which operates digital news outlet Interaksyon. This article was produced following editorial guidelines.