Through the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for specialised intensive care has increased dramatically. Medical expertise, particularly in the field of intensive care and infectiology, are in great demand everywhere – including smaller medical units in rural areas.
The initiative „Virtual hospital“ is a digital platform for the transfer of special medical expertise from medical centres such as university clinics to smaller hospitals. This platform connects more than 200 hospitals in the region of North Rhine-Westphalia, thus allowing for more decentralised special medical care.
This ensures an easy, up-to-date knowledge transfer about the best treatment methods to smaller medical centres and a greater number of medical staff. The intensive care units throughout the region can be used more efficiently because patients can be treated in smaller medical units and the number of patients that need to be moved can be reduced.
The ministry of health in North Rhine-Westphalia announced this initiative in 2019 and started the implementation process. Due to the coronovirus outbreak, the process has been speeded up and started on 30 March. More information can be found on the website of the City of Muenster and in this news article.