Algeria wins the ISSA Special Distinction for Innovation

Algeria wins the ISSA Special Distinction for Innovation

The National Social Insurance Fund for Employees (Caisse nationale des assurances sociales des travailleurs salaries – CNAS) of Algeria has won the first ever ISSA Special Distinction for Innovation, as part of the Good Practice Award for Africa competition.

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As part of a strengthened focus on transformation and innovation in social security management and service delivery, the International Social Security Association (ISSA) launched the Special Distinction for Innovation as a new award category for the 2023–2025 triennium. The first of four regional competitions was organized in Africa and attracted a record 137 entries from 46 member institutions in 30 countries. With the good practice “Electronic medical records”, CNAS of Algeria has become the first ever winner of the ISSA Special Distinction for Innovation.

“We are very happy to deliver this first ever ISSA Special Distinction for Innovation to the National Social Insurance Fund for Employees of Algeria for their important project on the digitalization of medical records”, said Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano, ISSA Secretary General.

The electronic medical records

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The electronical medical records (EMR), which are challenging to implement worldwide as they involve advanced expertise and data management capabilities, are part of the CNAS’ overall objective to continuously improve the quality of services provided to insured persons and their dependants through process digitalization.

The paper-based system was no longer fit-for-purpose, as insured persons had to travel to their home branch for medical checks, sharing information between medical advisers in different locations became impossible, the processing of claims was unnecessarily long, and filing and storage required a lot of space and resources.

By the end of 2023, CNAS aims to have digitized 100 per cent of social-insurance-related medical records. This will improve the quality of care for insured persons and their dependants by reducing the time it takes to process benefit claims and the number of trips that beneficiaries need to make. It will also provide reliable statistical data for studies as well as referrals for medical checks.

In its comments, the international jury noted that “The solution is cost effective and takes advantage of institutional adaptations to integrate digital solutions in recording medical diagnoses based on a standardized taxonomy of the medical and social security ecosystem.”

Relevance of the ISSA Guidelines

The ISSA Guidelines are the only recognized international standards in social security administration and cover 15 different areas. In this project, CNAS refers in particular to the ISSA Guidelines on Service Quality, and specifically: Guideline 11, Delivering excellence; Guideline 12, Creating an effortless experience; Guideline 17, Moving towards digital by default; Guideline 25, Embedding innovation and change management; Guideline 26, Continuous improvement.