08 Feb 2022
Jaiane Moraes
Business Development

Covid-19: the waves, the variants, the disruptions… our world knows just how challenging the pandemic has been, and continues to be, and the changes to our lives since Covid-19 appeared. Today, more than a year after the most critical phase, we share how PSA Marine Peru carried out a project to automate the follow-up of Covid-19 cases – at a time when they did not even know the extent of the problem.

PSA Marine Peru offers towing, pilotage, and launch services for operations with merchant vessels as well as underwater operations and maintenance of marine installations. It operates in ten ports in Peru, one of the Latin American countries hardest hit by the pandemic. PSA Marine Peru, which has been using Helm CONNECT for three years, used the platform to improve managing a pandemic.

Headed by Jorge Vidal, Manager of QHSSE (Quality, Health, Safety, Security and Environment), the project’s objective was to automate monitoring of Covid-19 cases of their staff (approximately 600 employees) using the Compliance module of Helm CONNECT. Jorge told us about the trajectory of the project in a recent (and most enjoyable) interview.

The Problem

How to quickly adapt and respond to new regulations, deliver reports, follow up on new cases, know the evolution of each case, and add critical details.

The risks were significant. In addition to legal compliance and risks that could lead to fines – there was the operational risk that an entire crew on a vessel would become infected, making it necessary to disembark them and obtain new crew members authorized to operate the vessel. It was important the follow-up identified who had the disease, who did not, when they had it, when they recovered, and who was available to crew on the fleet.

Due to the nature of its business, PSA Marine Peru has an occupational health team made up of a doctor and two nurses who spent most of their time dealing with the pandemic.

The Idea and Setup

At first the health and safety team tried to track the cases in the traditional way using Excel; but they wanted to automate functions, keep the information organized, and have a historical record – that was practically impossible manually.

“After understanding the natural process of Covid, it was necessary to put the ideas in order and collaborate with the Helm team on a solution. The vast majority of the forms were created by the Helm team with lots of input from our entire team as PSA. We showed them the ideal report, what we had in mind. Helm made it a reality by connecting it to the platform,” said Jorge.

When asked: why did you contact Helm’s team to undertake the project? Jorge replied, “…as users, we knew how to create a form, how to create a report – we knew how to connect the form to the report, but what we didn’t know was how to link one form to another, or that the report has information from two or more different forms.”

How it Worked

Several forms were created to feed a report that is sent weekly to PSA headquarters in Singapore. “For us it is also important to be able to give them this information on time and clearly,” said Jorge. The new forms included:

  1. Health Declaration – Before visiting any company facility (be it a ship, office, or warehouse) workers must complete this form to indicate their state of health. This is a legal requirement and has the functionality of a certificate valid for 14 days.
  2. Request for PCR test – In order to be tested, all workers must first fill out the request form. It serves to know the number of tests carried out and keep track of the related costs. It also serves to send the information the laboratory needs to process the test. “Before we used to do it with Excel. Each worker filled out their data, shoreside we consolidated that information, put it in an email and sent it. Now we simply copy the report box, paste it in an email and send it. By itself, the necessary personal information is already in the forms or in the Helm database. We no longer have to consolidate anything,” said Jorge.
  3. Positive Case Registration – This form is used to move the records to the next stage when a worker has been diagnosed with Covid-19.
  4. Daily Follow-Up of Positive Cases – A daily follow-up tracks how the patient is progressing and to assist with understanding when the staff may be able to work again, or in the unfortunate scenario, records if the case is worsening.
  5. Outcome of the Case – This form is used as a transition from the daily follow-up. The outcome could be full recovery or the development of major complications.

The Result

For Jorge, the greatest benefit PSA Marine Peru obtained from the project was the team’s ability to return to daily duties without the pandemic occupying most of their workday. The project reduced hours of report preparation and allowed workers in the health area to fulfill the balance of their responsibilities.

We asked Jorge: “how easy it is to update the report?” The answer was: “Obviously it’s not magic, the worker still has to fill out the form. But, updating and providing the report is as easy as pressing a button.”

When asked why he wanted to do such a detailed follow-up beyond what was required from a compliance perspective, Jorge replied: “The main thing is that we consider that each worker is extremely important in the organization, and we wanted to be sure that we are meeting all the requirements to take care of each one of them.”

Looking Ahead

Extremely satisfied with the result, Jorge is encouraged by the advantages and benefits they have learned from this project. He’s been eager to share with Helm ideas to build on (coming soon!). PSA Marine Peru had two external audits review this flow and the project caught the eye of the auditors – they congratulated the team for the work that was done, and the way in which it has been sustained.

Regarding the added value that Helm has brought to his organization, Jorge said: “Agility in our processes is the main thing… there are gaps to close, but it is something that I believe we should never stop having. The gaps are there precisely because we identify new ways of doing things or different ways of doing them better.”

To the questions: What would you say to anyone considering working with Helm CONNECT? Would you recommend it? Why or why not? Jorge answered: “Definitely yes, I would recommend it. A fact, it is very easy to use, it is very friendly, very intuitive, very versatile also to integrate with other systems, that’s why yes.” He then emphasized that his favorite part of working with the Helm team is the people, he said we’re so much fun!

Jorge mentioned the biggest challenge was to make a project based on something they did not know, but he stated: “However, we overcame it by working as a team and putting ourselves in as many situations as possible.”

Helm Operations thanks PSA Marine Peru and Jorge for sharing that experience with us and allowing us to be part of that team!

Quotes of Note

“…definitely without them (Helm’s team) it wouldn’t have been possible. In all the projects that I have had with Helm I have felt very comfortable and fairly well cared for. They go to great lengths to understand our company and our needs.”

“We wanted to automate the flow and leave a historical record…because it has ever happened to me in my life, they ask me, do you have a record of what happened a year ago? And not because I screwed it up, because I lost it, because I didn’t even think about saving it. So, so that this does not happen to me again, I also wanted to have a historical record”

“The main thing is that we consider that each worker is extremely important in the organization, and we wanted to make sure that we are complying with all the requirements to take care of each one of them.”

“I feel safe. Safe because the information is there (in the system) and it is easy to access it.”

“Something very beneficial is having the information in an orderly manner, and this is not only for this project, it is useful for everything.”

“We are convinced that innovation has to be part of our lives”