The digital health Pilot Region ‘Dreiländereck’ (DMGD) and the HealthRegion CologneBonn (Digital Health Rheinland Ecosystem Coordinator) held a joint virtual workshop on 19 November 2020; together with over 100 participants a high-level panel of experts discussed the urgent need of rural health care and the challenges and benefits of implementing integrated care approaches.
“I am convinced that we can help shaping the future of digital healthcare in rural areas”, said Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h. c. mult. Wolfgang Holzgreve, MBA (Chairman of Health Region CologneBonn, Medical Director and Chairman of the University Hospital Bonn).
“Challenges must be mastered collaboratively and opportunities must be seized.” Together with Prof. Dr. Christoph Strünck (Founding Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, Chair of Politics/Social Policy at the Philosophical Faculty of Humanities at the University of Siegen), the hosts emphasized the synergies of DMGD and HealthRegion CologneBonn in their welcoming remarks.
Keynote speeches were delivered by Dr. Olaf Gaus (Managing Director of FoKoS, Institute for Advanced Study, Siegen University, Project Manager of DMGD) and Dr. Ursula Kriesten, MBA (Nurse Scientist, Member of the HealthRegion CologneBonn Board), highlighting work in progress and barriers when adopting intersectoral care processes.
Dr. Kriesten in particular stressed the ‘missed opportunities’ when not involving nurses and professional carers when designing and implementing integrated care processes. The subsequent panel discussion gathered further experts on regional health also highlighted the acceptance of digital health solutions by citizens and the necessity of trust in data protection.
The HealthRegion CologneBonn and the Pilot HealthRegion Dreiländereck stressed they will engage in collaboration in order to foster measures for intersectoral and interprofessional health care: “This is not the first and will definitely not be the last exchange regarding integrated care initiatives; we should learn from all our experiences and further include the relevant stakeholders from all sectors”, concluded Dr. Alexia Zurkuhlen (Managing Director of HealthRegion CologneBonn GmbH and Head of gewi-Institute for healthcare studies e.V.).
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Caption: Digital health Pilot Region ‘Dreiländereck’ (DMGD) of the University of Siegen and Health Region CologneBonn talk about how intersectoral and interprofessional boundaries in healthcare can be digitally overcome together.