PREparedness and PAndemic REsponse in Germany

Project content and objectives

The aim of PREPARED is to develop a concept for a scientifically sound, cooperative, adaptive and sustainable infrastructure for pandemic preparation and management by university medicine. This is intended to ensure coordinated, rapid, targeted and evidence-based action and response to threats to patient care and public safety in current and future pandemic cases, as well as coordinated research on priority issues in current and future pandemic cases. Our vision is a future in which university medicine, in cooperation with other clinical centers, is able to provide
and scientific partners, ensures efficient, transparent, evidence-based and agile medical care, provides scientifically sound answers to urgent questions and provides appropriate advice and information to politicians and the public.

The challenge
The challenge lies in the necessary bundling, organization and coordination of the provision of clinical and scientific expertise in order to ensure fast, evidence-based and coordinated medical care in future pandemics and crises and to answer questions from politics, clinics and society quickly and in the best possible way.
to be able to answer these questions. As many perspectives, expert opinions and stakeholders as possible must be bundled and integrated in a structured manner. In addition, there are different regional structures and requirements that need to be taken into account when developing the concept. PREPARED therefore aims to identify the need for a standardized nationwide and regional
flexible pandemic management that can react flexibly to the course of infections and protect the healthcare system from being overloaded. In cooperation with the Robert Koch Institute and other national and international partners, PREPARED aims to make a contribution to German and European pandemic prevention and preparation.

Added value
PREPARED integrates concepts and results from the predecessor projects egePan Unimed (development, testing and implementation of regionally adaptive care structures and processes for evidence-led pandemic management), B-FAST (Nationwide Research Network – Applied Surveillance and Testing) and CEOsys (COVID-19 Evidence Ecosystem). A Rapid (Re)action and Response Platform (R3-Hub) will enable the university hospitals to prepare, act and react quickly and in a coordinated manner. In close cooperation with national and international partners, current and future pandemics can thus be combated effectively and jointly – always in collaboration with institutional partners such as the Robert Koch Institute. PREPARED provides contributions to (a) high-quality, crisis-proof patient care, (b) cooperative evidence generation and synthesis, (c) a consecutive derivation of recommendations for action and (d) implementation in the care setting. The result of the project is a holistic concept for pandemic preparedness, including a platform for exchanging expertise on future pathogens, prioritizing research topics, developing agile and rapid measures in the event of a pandemic and evaluating them through knowledge synthesis and transfer. The main pillars and quality criteria of the PREPARED infrastructure to be set up are interdisciplinarity, integration of clinical and scientific expertise, appropriateness of scientific methods, transparency and cooperation with national, international and regional partners.

Project structure

Within the framework of ten work packages (WPs), an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary consortium with partners from all 36 national university hospitals, consisting of clinically active physicians with scientists, project managers and other relevant stakeholders, works together at a strategic and operational level and thus bundles a broad scientific and clinical expertise of university medicine. PREPARED also cooperates with various external partners from non-university institutions that are of great importance for pandemic management.
The central structural unit will be the PREPARED Hub, a transparent and networked management body to be developed in WP1 together with the Robert Koch Institute, which will integrate and functionally bundle the critical components and best practice results to be developed in the various other WPs (2-10). This includes findings on population surveillance, infection prevention and hygiene in hospitals (WP2), testing strategies (WP3), patient safety and clinical risk management (WP4), modeling and risk stratification (WP5), evidence synthesis (WP6), rapid derivation of
Recommendations for action (WP7), clinical and regional implementation of recommendations for pandemic management (WP8), employee health (WP9) and personnel management (WP 10) into the pandemic preparedness concept to be developed. To ensure the sustainability of the concept, regulations, SOPs, protocols and curricula are developed and made available to the NUM network. The development will be cooperatively accompanied by other NUM projects and a joint use case with the NUM project COVerCHILD (also 2nd funding line) and tested for suitability and feasibility.

Project manager

  • Prof. Dr. med. Jochen Schmitt – Head of the Center for Evidence-based Healthcare (ZEGV) University Hospital and Medical Faculty of the TU Dresden
  • Prof. Dr. med. Simone Scheithauer – Head of the Institute for Hospital Hygiene and Infectiology (IK&I), University Medical Center Göttingen