Optimal@NRW – Optimized Acute Care for Geriatric Patients through an Intersectoral Telemedical Cooperation Network – around the Clock

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In the project Optimal@NRW, a central telemedical contact point, such as a virtual digital counter, is being developed in the Aachen region, through which nursing homes, nursing services, general practitioners, portal practices, rescue services and emergency rooms are networked. In case of a medical question, the nursing staff reports to the virtual counter. There, the urgency of the case is recorded and it is forwarded to the family doctor, the emergency room or to mobile care assistants. Further goals of the project are the establishment of medical teleconsultations and the development of an early warning system that, based on clinical observations and vital parameters, can better determine the urgency of medical care on site.

The efficiency of the virtual counter will be monitored during the project by means of a randomized
controlled study in which 6,000 people in need of care from 30 nursing homes at 50 locations of a nursing service in the Aachen region took part. In addition, the usability, perceived benefits and acceptance of the system are being examined, as are ethical aspects in the use of the system and the treatment of patients.

The Chair of Communication Science is in charge of evaluating the usability of the system, the perceived benefit and the acceptance on the part of the different stakeholders, such as patients, medical staff and nursing staff.