On behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG), a consortium consisting of Roland Berger GmbH (RB), the Nursing Faculty of the Philosophical-Theological University of Vallendar (PTHV) and the German Institute for Applied Nursing Research (DIP), which has a second location at the PTHV, has conducted a study on information and communication technologies (ICT) in the nursing sector. (DIP), which maintains a second location at the PTHV, conducted a study on information and communication technologies (ICT) in the nursing sector, or “ePflege” for short. The focus was on recording the current situation in the use and development of digital ICT offerings in care. It also focused on identifying current and future needs and analyzing existing barriers to the use and dissemination of digital solutions in care. A number of concrete proposals for action were derived from the study’s comprehensive data basis.

The results of the ePflege study are based on an online survey of 63 relevant players in the care sector, an analysis of 217 projects in which ICT approaches related to care were developed and tested, and a series of four expert workshops. The perspectives of key groups were focused on: Service recipients, service providers, technology developers and political actors. The results of ePflege point to a need for action in the user and everyday orientation of digital solutions and in the networking and information of all stakeholders. Likewise, there was potential in the further development of funding policy, research and evaluation, and the improvement of market conditions for the sustainable introduction of ICT in care.

The study describes the central need for action as the stronger anchoring of care ICT in the healthcare system and impetus for the further spread of ICT in care. Specifically, the establishment of an “ePflege initiative” and an “ePflege office” are proposed, as well as lighthouse projects for the district-based dissemination of ICT solutions and an “education campaign on digitization in care”. At the same time, these approaches are intended to tie in with funding programs and project results that have already been completed.
The study was prepared under the direction of Thilo Zelt (RB), Prof. Dr. Manfred Hülsken-Giesler (PTHV) and Prof. Dr. Frank Weidner (DIP) and their teams.

The study can be downloaded free of charge here.

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