Case study

Meeting with Dr. Nierhoff, occupational doctor in Germany

A significant proportion of occupational doctors in Germany is about to retire. For this reason too, it is important to benefit from each other’s experiences. Dr. Nierhoff, an experienced occupational doctor in Germany, has taken the initiative to set up an online network called ArbMedConnect”.

This network aims to enable seamless communication between healthcare professionals in the field, giving them the opportunity to easily network, share insights and much more in a secured environment to consult on various topics.

Promoting discourse on occupational health issues

Since many German occupational doctors are retiring, but also because there are currently only a few opportunities for direct personal networking combined with professional exchange, it is becoming increasingly important to establish contacts between specialists in this field.

This cooperation network is carefully designed to enable occupational health professionals of all generations to exchange their specialist knowledge and experiences as well as to exchange ideas with one another. The platform ensures the secure exchange and retrieval of information. Dr. Nierhoff explains: It is very different from an open forum or a mailing list. This dedicated private network maintains confidentiality and creates trust among members when sharing content”.

Online platforms in the medical sector for optimized communication

In the medical field, online platforms are being developed to simplify interaction between doctors while ensuring secure communication. These networks serve as knowledge dissemination channels for healthcare professionals, facilitating the secure transmission and retrieval of information. Dr. Nierhoff emphasizes: In this protected framework, the entire project takes on special significance”.

Dr N
It is very different from an open forum or a mailing list. This dedicated private network maintains confidentiality and creates trust among members when sharing content.”
Dr. Nierhoff

Share workplace health insights

The network ArbMedConnect currently has 84 members who take part in discussions on topics such as maternity leave, musculoskeletal system and vacancies in the field of occupational medicine. As part of the network, digital events are organized to promote networking and communication among members. The doctor’s goal is to reach 100 users by the end of the year. The question arises: How can this goal be achieved? Dr. Nierhoff explains: I created a simple website (https://​arbmedconnect​.de) with concise instructions that makes it easy for people to understand the download process or where to click”.

Also she uses her offline network to encourage new members to download the application. Many people are excited but don’t install the application. Several reasons can be responsible for this, including forgetfulness, unfamiliarity with the tool, or a misunderstanding of its purpose. Dr. Nierhoff recognizes the value of networks as a source of knowledge, explaining: When you ask a question, you can trust that numerous people will read it and, based on their expertise, offer solutions that enrich your own learning”.

Challenges of digital communication in the medical field

During our interview, we delved further into the challenges practitioners face in introducing these novel forms of interaction. Effective communication and persistence are proving to be critical factors in promoting these new services. Dr. Nierhoff emphasizes the diverse advantages that digital tools such as networks offer doctors and indirectly also patients. 

Using ArbMedConnect as an example, these modern means of communication go beyond exchange platforms, they promote personal networking and eventually develop into educational resources.