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N!CA: Care is revolutionisable

Everyone is talking about the challenges facing healthcare systems. The term "care crisis" has become an everyday occurrence. There is no quick and easy solution. In a project by the Medical University of Graz, JOANNEUM RESEARCH HEALTH and other partners from business and science, the aim is to rethink old-school processes and structures and relieve the burden on nursing care with digital support, among other things. Initial results from the N!CA project show that nursing practice can indeed be revolutionised. This is important because 2 hours of an 8-hour working day are currently spent on documentation. These are 2 hours that are important for working with and caring for patients.

Reprentatoren bei der PK vom N!CA-Projekt

From left to right: project manager Katharina Lichtenegger, State Councillor for Economics and Science Barbara Eibinger-Miedl, State Councillor for Health Karlheinz Kornhäusl and ÖGKV representative Karolin Riedler, Credit: LandSteiermark/Binder

"Human technology is a field of scientific and economic strength in Styria and contributes significantly to our position as one of the most innovative regions in Europe. With the N!CA project, we can once again show how we can create significant added value for people in our country through research and digital technologies."
State Councillor for Economics and Science Barbara Eibinger-Miedl

The aim of the research: more time for care

The N!CA project uses the bottom-up digitalisation approach. Digitisation steps are implemented in an agile, care- and people-centred manner. This allows nursing staff, with their extensive expertise, to be involved in the continuous change and development process. Factors at a social, legal, ethical and organisational level are taken into account throughout the project in order to generate a sustainable improvement in nursing practice.

Evidence-based care, lean management and bottom-up design thinking will guide the entire N!CA project and the end users will be at the centre of all considerations. Field observations, focus groups and semi-structured interviews will be used to record their wishes and needs. The feasibility of digital solutions will be analysed as part of studies. A standardised data format will be developed in order to develop and evaluate AI models.

Digitalisation in care - the N!CA project

The overall management of the N!CA project is the responsibility of Katharina Lichtenegger from the Clinical Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology at the Medical University of Graz. The N!CA project is divided into three sub-projects: The first project to simplify processes and (care) documentation is being led by the Medical University of Graz, the second project on the intelligent use of routine data by the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria and JOANNEUM RESEARCH. Project three deals with the empowerment of carers through digital decision support and is led by decide Clinical Software GmbH and the Medical University of Graz.

Current challenges: Staff shortages and demographic change

Healthcare systems are currently struggling with a shortage of carers. This situation will intensify in the coming decades due to demographic change. Stress, sick leave and high workloads mean that carers often leave the nursing profession after just a few years, which in turn increases the pressure on the remaining staff.


Scientific partners:

  • Medizinische Universität Graz – Klinische Abteilung für Endokrinologie und Diabetologie, Institut für Pflegewissenschaft, Klinische Abteilung für Anästhesie und Intensivmedizin 2
  • JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH – Institut HEALTH
  • UMIT Tirol – Institut für Medizininformatik
  • FH Oberösterreich Forschungs & Entwicklungs GmbH in Hagenberg – Institut für Medizin- und Bioinformatik
  • Universität Wien – Institut für Staats- und Verwaltungsrecht

Business partners:

  • Steiermärkische Krankenanstaltengesellschaft m. b. H.
  • decide Clinical Software GmbH
  • Ilvi GmbH
  • PH Predicting Health GmbH
  • Vetterli Roth & Partner AG
  • Die Gepflegt Wohnen Gruppe

Your contact

DI DI Dr. Franz Feichtner
Director HEALTH
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