South African charity used SIMUL8 to more than double the number of HIV patients treated per day.
The HIV epidemic in South Africa is complex, entrenched with deeply-rooted cultural and societal beliefs that can challenge public health progress. Despite these complexities, a staggering 390,000 people have gone for an HIV test, placing them in the path of effective treatment to manage the disease.
This is a significant milestone for the charity and highlights the importance simulation brings to process improvement. Their achievements were recently recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) for best practices in HIV counseling, testing and care for adolescents.
We hope you enjoy the workshop. If you’d like to learn more about Shout it Now's work using SIMUL8 read the case study.
Are you going to use the simulation to monitor the current process and further improvements?
We're a very data driven organization. One of the things we have deployed will be reviewed in the next week and look at the variances between what was going to happen and what actually happened. Then we'll look to see how we can tweak the model to continuously improve our processes.
Did you use any of the built-in optimization tools, or was your experiment based on intuition?
One of the SIMUL8 consultants walked us through the process so we were able to watch and learn how to use the functionality within the software to further revise and optimize the processes. This helped us to ensure we had the right resources and the right services in the right place at the right time.
How did the validation process work? Did you test the model against real life scenarios?
We monitor each team's performance on a daily basis and have targets. We measure and monitor each team's success based on the number of people seen in a day and combine all of the data for what should have happened and compare to what actually happened. Mostly what we focus on quarterly results and I'm so pleased to say that we are very close from what we thought was going to happen to what is happening.
We talk a lot about client-sectored approaches. Do you think you would be able to transfer the same approach in the same way to hard-to-reach groups?
One of the things we have discovered is that Shout It Now's cultures is very different to that of other NGOs and when we have worked with them and tried to provide them with our processes and data models it has not been successful. What many people do not realize is that using the software is relatively easy to user - it's implementing change that is the difficult part. We'd like to be able to provide the services to government clinics and other NGOs but to share our processes is a difficult thing to do at this point. So we are not sure how we can integrate our approach for other at-risk populations.
How do you secure the client data? Are you worried the data may be accessed by third parties?
The first thing we do is look at the fingerprints. We don't keep the image of the actual thumbprint and instead create a vector of it. We keep all data separate and encrypted so that no-one can gain access to the sensitive data. We recognize that client data must be kept confidential.