More safety in the treatment of acute cardiac emergencies
The German Society for Cardiology (DGK) recently presented six new apps at its annual conference, which should help with acute cardiological diseases. The apps were developed strictly according to the current treatment guidelines and are quick and easy to use. The apps are intended to contribute to better and more accurate treatment for several acute heart diseases such as the key symptom of acute chest pain, ST elevation infarction, acute coronary syndrome, cardiogenic shock due to myocardial infarction, acute aortic syndrome and pulmonary artery embolism.
The apps have been specially optimized for hospital use. As soon as one of these emergencies occurs, doctors can be guided step by step through the critical phases of emergency treatment. This is to guarantee exact adherence to the guidelines. Many studies have shown that strict adherence to guidelines has a decisive influence on the quality of treatment.
Better treatment results
"We are certain that we can thus contribute to greater safety and better treatment results for acute cardiac patients," reports Prof. Dr. Martin Möckel in the DGK press release. Very specific event process chains based on the valid guidelines are the backbone of the apps. According to Möckel, it has often been difficult to implement the guidelines precisely in a specific work situation. The app's approach is to bring the quality specified in the guidelines into a realistic, easy to understand and understandable form for everyone.
So far, digital aids have been an exception
Prof. Peter Radke continues: "In the medical business, digital orientation aids are still rather the exception." A few years ago, the use of a cell phone was an absolute taboo in the hospital. Many doctors were of the opinion that the use of a cell phone could interfere with the sensitive devices.
Lots of guidelines, but all of them difficult to use
According to Radke, this skeptical use of modern communication options has led to the fact that guidelines from 177 medical specialist societies are available throughout Germany, but only 15 of them are available in interactive form. This is the reason why the DGK founded its own working group "Task Force, Medical Apps".
New medical ground
The developed apps are called Clinical Decision Support Tools (CDS Tools). With these tools, the DGK is breaking new medical ground because, according to Radke, they are the first digital aids that are based on clear, generally accepted and, above all, published rules. In addition, they would work on an individual patient basis, consider parallel processes and add the entire decision-making process to patient documentation.
Checklists for mandatory work steps
Checklists for safety-relevant work steps are already essential in air traffic. The new apps now want to establish similar checklists for the acute treatment of heart diseases such as a heart attack. The checklists enable quick and clear queries to provide an overview of which patients are particularly at risk and which processes have to be initiated when.
Adherence to the guidelines leads to better treatment results
"Treating patients with acute heart diseases based on the guidelines of the specialist societies leads to better results," explains Prof. Möckel. It is known that compliance with the guidelines can vary widely in hospitals. According to Möckel, many jobs are in need of improvement. The use of the apps leads to an improvement of the guideline compliance and consequently also of the clinical results in the cardiological care.
Studies on the guidelines
Professor Möckel refers to numerous studies that show that meticulous adherence to guidelines has a decisive influence on the quality of treatment. He cites a large study with around 40,000 patients as an example, which establishes a clear connection between high compliance with the guidelines and a low mortality rate.
DGK hopes for broad acceptance
"We very much hope that the digital support that will soon be available will be widely accepted," said Möckel. Finally, the recently presented digitalization report by the German Medical Association shows that every second doctor wants the rapid dissemination of medical knowledge digitally, and digital solutions for guidelines rank first with more than 600 doctors surveyed. (vb)