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Corona Crisis: How digital solutions must relieve doctors and nursing staff in further crises.

Years of drastic savings in hospital personnel without the creation of compensatory digital measures are showing their effects in the current Covid-19 situation.

At the moment many people are expressing their solidarity and gratitude to doctors and nurses around the globe. We all know the images from social media of Italian people in quarantine on their balconies singing the national anthem, in Portugal there is collective clapping at 6 pm every day and from China, we see images of hospital staff in Wuhan crying with joy because the number of infected people has dropped significantly. We want to read more of this positive news and above all motivate each other to deal with this crisis in the best possible way. To all the doctors and nurses out there who are pushing their limits every day in the fight against the virus: You have earned our utmost respect and gratitude.

We at medudoc are all the more motivated to bring our product to hospitals even better and, above all, faster, to save doctors valuable time which they currently still have to spend on trivial bureaucratic tasks. We want to give them the digital tools with which they can focus completely on treating patients effectively.

Overworked, understaffed & psychologically emaciated doctors and nurses are fighting on the front line against the spread of Covid-19.

For too long, hospital staff have been cut without creating compensatory measures. There is a huge lack of digital and modern technological solutions that sufficiently relieve hospital staff and effectively support them in their daily work.

The news that we receive from Italy show pictures that are like out of a apocalyptic movie and that we would never have imagined becoming a reality in Europe. Doctors have to decide hierarchically who they will help first based on the severity of the illness and nurses do double shifts in the intensive care unit. One thing is clear, the corona epidemic is bringing Italy’s clinic staff to the end of their tether. Over 10,000 sick people are being treated in the clinics there. A nurse from one of the most severely affected risk areas in Lombardy paints the following picture: despite all the efforts of doctors and nurses, his clinic is overburdened with the task of providing adequate care for all seriously ill corona virus patients. The beds in the intensive care unit are not sufficient to adequately care for all infected patients. The intensive care unit is running at full capacity, but it is not enough to cope with the number of sick people. In the coronavirus crisis, it is becoming apparent that hospitals in Italy have been cutting equipment and staff in recent years too drastically without establishing respective counter measurements, says Michele Vannini of the CGIL trade union in Italy.

In Germany, too, the numbers are increasing. While the German health system is generally of a high standard, the question arises whether we must expect conditions similar to those in Italy. Bernd Mühlbauer, expert for health management, does not see the number of available intensive care beds as the most critical factor but rather the number of nursing staff. According to him, there is already a shortage of approx. 4100 nursing staff in intensive care units today. Politics must take into account the fact that there has been a shortfall here for decades. The problem has simply been put in the hands of the hospitals. The clinic management should make sure that something changes in the working conditions. Hospitals in Germany have an investment requirement of 7.4 billion euros. In fact, only 2.6 billion euros are currently being made available. There is a big gap here. The investment costs, which are currently not financed, the hospitals have to earn from surpluses. And they do this by reducing costs. This applies to both private and non-profit hospitals. The entire supply and financing system needs to be put to the test.

There is a lack of basic digital solutions in the everyday work of clinical staff. Hospital software, IT infrastructure, appointment scheduling, communication, organization, patient visits and education — all these areas in the hospital have not experienced any real innovation for years and lack modern tools.

In view of the crises we are experiencing right now, we have to make it our business to relieve the people who are constantly fighting for our survival at their personal limits. New digital solutions for voice, video and text communication between doctors within health institutions must be created as well as solutions for more effective doctor-patient communication. To achieve this, IT infrastructures must be created to enable this type of communication and organization. Hospital information systems have to be state-of-the-art and actually work intelligently and automatically with physicians instead of just being operated by them. Processes must be automated in such a way that they significantly increase support for clinical staff. Here are just some examples of how doctors and nurses could be relieved:

  • Automatic voice recording for doctors to save them time
  • Digital patient registration with comprehensive information on their health status
  • Direct communication via secured messaging platforms for doctors to discuss issues and questions regarding the patient’s treatment process
  • Intelligent hospital information systems that actively communicate with doctors and nurses
  • Effective Patient-Doctor communication tools in hospitals
  • Tele-health platforms to get help faster, save time and not get sicker by sitting at a doctors office with other ill patients
  • Video education of patients to save time for doctors

When we see how hospital staff are suffering from this crisis and still push themselves to the limit, we are even more ambitious in our efforts to make the lives of these very health heroes easier and faster with digital solutions. We are working even harder to optimize our product and integrate it as quickly as possible into everyday hospital life. Only in this way can we guarantee that in the event of further crises, doctors and nursing staff will no longer have to waste their valuable time on trivial bureaucratic tasks, but will be able to focus entirely on saving lives.

While we continue to make the job of all the hard-working doctors and nurses easier, we want to say thanks to them and all other people who have dedicated themselves to the fight against Covid-19. We know that every day you push your limits. You have earned our utmost respect. Hang in there and stay healthy.

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