On 16th and 17th March 2017 a meeting was held of the IFIC Executive Board at the offices of OptiMedis AG in Hamburg, Germany to discuss the Foundation’s future focus and direction.
A highlight of the meeting was to take a site visit to a new project seeking to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Billstedt and Horn. These districts of Hamburg have a challenging socio-demographic profile which mean that local people have lower health-related chances. These habitants become sick earlier, are more likely to have a chronic disease, and have a lower age at death. At the same time, there is less access to primary care physicians and services with a knock-on impact related to rising, but preventable, hospital admissions.
Based on OptiMedis AG’s success of its work to improve population health in Gesundes Kinzigtal, the approach has been to take the same philosophy in care but adapt it to meet a different, city-based, population. By developing a broad alliance of health, social care and other sectors the project seeks to work more actively with the community to: stronger integrate patients and engage the community; reduce the workload burden on physicians; use resources more efficiently; and increase the quality of care.
The design of the project has significant flexibility in how it works across sectors, but it is based on three key interventions:
• A ‘health kiosk’ based at a central location to enable insures to use their mother tongue to help discuss and co-ordinate their care;
• Integrated health care management for chronically-ill and multimorbid patients, including a focus on medication management; and
• The development of electronic data files and mobile communications to enhance information exchange on people’s health between doctors and patients.
The three-year project began in January 2017 using €6.3 million innovation funding from the Federal Joint Committee. The project is accompanied by an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of its interventions, as well as transferability, by the Hamburg Centre for Health Economics.