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Lääkäri käyttää pöytätietokonetta. Doctor using computer.

How the ERA KTKP system was implemented country-wide in a month

The EU COVID-19 certificate printing and recording service was introduced in the heat of the holiday season in summer 2021. How was the service introduced in just one month?

The coronavirus pandemic and the first vaccines brought on the need for a reliable system to facilitate free and safe travel in the EU. This is where the EU digital COVID certificate comes in. Provided for nation-wide use by THL and implemented by Atostek, the EU COVID vaccine printing and recording service (ERA KTKP) was designed for the needs of public healthcare organizations.

The main function of the ERA KTKP system was to ensure all citizens have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their personal status regarding the COVID vaccinations, possible past coronavirus infection, or COVID test results under coronavirus restrictions. The service was successfully introduced in one month amidst the busiest part of the holiday season in the summer of 2021.

An Agile System

The rapid implementation of the KTKP system was possible thanks to Atostek’s ERA service. The superior ERA technology makes building national data-based solutions fast and efficient.

Traditionally, software is configured and installed on an organization-by-organization basis. However, as a SaaS software, ERA is designed for use by multiple clients, so its configuration capabilities allow for adding a large volume of organizations and users while features of the same platform can be customized for the needs of each user.

The KTKP works via a web-based cloud service, so it’s easy to distribute. The only installation needed is for the ERA SmartCard card reader software, whose updates are always available for download online, and it didn’t require a separate channel for distribution.

What’s different about the KTKP system is that the goal was to provide users with the narrowest views and rights possible so implementation would be easy and lightweight for organizations. There aren’t many healthcare data systems that can implement both a three-function service or an entire patient information system on the same platform.

A Successful Deployment Process

In addition to the agility of the system, the rapid implementation was facilitated by a process of identifying relevant persons, materials, bottlenecks and available resources right away. Of course, we cannot take full credit for this. The authorities worked together seamlessly to eliminate any obstacles and slowdowns they could influence. THL project management was systematic and efficient, and Kela’s prioritization successful.

In addition to government agencies, the organizations implementing the system managed to successfully appoint the right points of contact to oversee practical arrangements and communication despite the numerous substitute arrangements of the summer holidays. Underlying the entire implementation was a common state of mind wishing for the system’s success. It’s been especially great to see that there were clear epiphanies and measures taken in bureaucracy during this project. Thanks to them, deployments have become smoother overall.

What turned out to be a challenge was ensuring similar scalability for implementation and support services. Parties didn’t have a precise forecast of how large volumes would grow to be and how each organization would centralize and resource users. Still, thanks to good materials, training and customer support, we achieved a level of service for which we are pleased to receive a lot of positive user feedback.

ERA KTKP in numbers

  • The first certificates printed through the KTKP service came out on the 19th of July, 2021, and the system saw 82 deployments in public healthcare organizations during the first month. The number has since risen to 129.
  • The fastest deployments took just one day. On average, implementation with all of its stages took around one week from the first correspondence.
  • By the 12th of April, almost half a million (485,870) COVID certificates have been printed.

Elina Hotti
Head of Customer Support