Reference projects


Clinical Decision Support and Benchmarking in Acute Geriatrics Units


Approximately 40% of Austrian facilities for acute geriatrics and remobilization (AG/R) participate in the cross-carrier and cross-state initiative ‚Benchmarking in Austrian Acute Geriatrics‘, which has been collecting Real World Data (RWD) for quality assurance purposes via the BARS (Benchmarking and Reporting) system ( since 2008. In addition, BARS is and has been used in Austria and Germany for structured data collection in the treatment of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or hepatitis C, since the beginning of the 2000s. More than half a million patients form more than 700 participating centres have already been documented.

Project content

Vision CDS-BARS. The Guidance System (1) outside the AG/R supports the identification of geriatric patients, the Therapy/Monitoring System (2) within the AG/R supports, among other things, the documentation of geriatric assessments. The collected data are used in the Benchmarking System (3) for performance control and comparison with other facilities.


As part of the CDS-BARS initiative, the benchmarking system is being modernized ( and linked to innovative eHealth systems for process and decision support in acute geriatrics. The goals are higher process quality, reduced workload and time saving by avoiding multiple documentation.

The vision includes a Guidance System, which supports the identification of geriatric patients outside the AG/R (e.g. in emergency departements), as well as a Therapy/Monitoring System, which supports healthcare professionals in the AG/R (e.g. in interdisciplinary team meetings, documentation of geriatric assessments, monitoring of individual goal achievement and discharge management). The collected data is automatically pseudonymized and transferred to the Benchmarking System, which can be used for performance monitoring and for comparison with other facilities.


The conceptual design and iterative development of the eHealth systems is carried out together with future users within the framework of a co-creation process. This includes interdisciplinary focus groups and interviews, as well as process observations and workshops.

Project key facts


Phase 1 (Benchmarking System):

  • Duration: 2018 – 2020
  • Status: Go-Live in October 2020
  • Funding: Health Fund Carinthia, Health Fund Styria
  • Partners: JOANNEUM RESEARCH, Association QiGG (Quality in Geriatrics and Gerontology), Geriatric Health Centres of the City of Graz, Medical University of Graz

Phase 2 (Therapy/Monitoring System):

  • Duration: 2021 – 2022
  • Status: Pilot testing in three Austrian states in 2022
  • Funding: Health Fund Carinthia, Health Fund Styria, Health Fund Vienna
  • Partners: JOANNEUM RESEARCH, Association QiGG (Quality in Geriatrics and Gerontology)

Phase 3 (Guidance System):

  • Duration: Conceptual design and development since 2018
  • Status: Demonstrator developed (TRL 2); ongoing thesis for algorithm development (2021)
  • Funding: current application for funding
  • Donsa, K; et al. (2019) User-centred development of an innovative eHealth system for comprehensive quality assurance and therapy support in Austrian acute geriatrics and remobilization facilities. Netzwerk Altersmedizin Steiermark 2019
  • Kopanz, J; et al. (2021) User-centred requirement analysis for a digital workflow and decision support tool in geriatric care. 25th Nordic Congress of Gerontology 2021
  • Donsa, K; et al. (2021) Konzeptionierung und Entwicklung eines eHealth-Systems für den Einsatz in der Akutgeriatrie – Co-Creation im Gesundheitsbereich. Geriatriekongress 2021
  • Donsa, K; et al. (2021) Die COVID-Pandemie aus der Sicht des Benchmarkings in der österreichischen Geriatrie. Geriatriekongress 2021