Supporting regional pandemic management by enabling self-service reporting-A case report

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic revealed a need for better collaboration among research, care, and management in Germany as well as globally. Initially, there was a high demand for broad data collection across Germany, but as the pandemic evolved, localized data became increasingly necessary. Customized dashboards and tools were rapidly developed to provide timely and accurate information. In Saxony, the DISPENSE project was created to predict short-term hospital bed capacity demands, and while it was successful, continuous adjustments and the initial monolithic system architecture of the application made it difficult to customize and scale.

METHODS: To analyze the current state of the DISPENSE tool, we conducted an in-depth analysis of the data processing steps and identified data flows underlying users' metrics and dashboards. We also conducted a workshop to understand the different views and constraints of specific user groups, and brought together and clustered the information according to content-related service areas to determine functionality-related service groups. Based on this analysis, we developed a concept for the system architecture, modularized the main services by assigning specialized applications and integrated them into the existing system, allowing for self-service reporting and evaluation of the expert groups' needs.

RESULTS: We analyzed the applications' dataflow and identified specific user groups. The functionalities of the monolithic application were divided into specific service groups for data processing, data storage, predictions, content visualization, and user management. After composition and implementation, we evaluated the new system architecture against the initial requirements by enabling self-service reporting to the users.

DISCUSSION: By modularizing the monolithic application and creating a more flexible system, the challenges of rapidly changing requirements, growing need for information, and high administrative efforts were addressed.

CONCLUSION: We demonstrated an improved adaptation towards the needs of various user groups, increased efficiency, and reduced burden on administrators, while also enabling self-service functionalities and specialization of single applications on individual service groups.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0297039
Number of pages14
JournalPloS one
Volume19 (2024)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2024

External IDs

PubMedCentral PMC10829976
ORCID /0000-0002-8671-7496/work/152545158
ORCID /0000-0003-2126-290X/work/152545372
ORCID /0000-0002-1887-4772/work/152545584
ORCID /0000-0002-9888-8460/work/152546061
unpaywall 10.1371/journal.pone.0297039
Scopus 85183804900
Mendeley 9776685b-40de-3455-bbb2-810d95a3aacf



  • Humans, Pandemics, Information Storage and Retrieval, Data Collection, Germany

Library keywords