Innovation Fund project NeTKoH
Staff members of the Institute of Public Health, under the direction of Prof. Tobias Kurth, are evaluating the Innovation Fund project NeTKoH together with the University Medical Center Greifswald.
NeTKoH stands for a Neurological TeleConsultation with primary care physicians to strengthen specialist care in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
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Scientific evaluation of the Innovation Fund project NeTKoH
NeTKoH establishes a telemedical network between the University Medical Center Greifswald and general practitioners in structurally weak regions in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The primary care physicians can directly access a specialist consultation during the consultation hour and receive recommendations for further neurological treatment according to a defined and regionally coordinated standard. In this way, patients can receive faster care close to home in their familiar family practice.
A prospective intervention study in a "stepped-wedge cluster design" is conducted. The intervention takes place at staggered time points in all participating GP practices, with data prior to the start of the intervention serving as a control and being compared with data obtained during the telemedicine consultation. The respective start times for the practices is randomized. The study includes patients over 18 years of age who have public health insurance and for whom a neurological consultation is deemed necessary. Among other things, the proportion of solved neurological questions in the general practices, the time that passes until the initiation of a specific diagnosis, as well as the number and length of subsequent hospitalizations are compared.
The detailed study protocol can be found at the following link: "Effect evaluation of a tele-neurologic intervention in primary care in a rural area in Germany—the NeTKoH study protocol of a stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial".
The evaluation of the measures with regard to effectiveness, implementation and costs is conducted by staff of the Institute of Public Health according to international standards.
If successful, the new form of care can be adopted in standard care and contribute to accelerating the diagnosis – and thus the start of targeted therapy – for people with neurological complaints. Such cross-sectoral care in the sense of improved care could be transferred to other rural and structurally weak regions and extended to other diseases.