How to improve health services

Neuruppin, 12 October 2020

Last Friday, the second Brandenburg Congress for Health Services Research took place in digital format due to Corona. Organisers were the MHB Centre for Health Services Research (ZVF-BB) and the section for health services research/e Health of the Brandenburg Faculty of Health Sciences (FGW). The meeting was attended by 40 participants, primarily clinicians and researchers.

Two keynotes introduced the topic “Health services in rural areas”: Lena Ansmann from the Oldenburg University (professor of organisation-based health services research) gave a speech titled “Patients in focus?! A question of organisation” to indicate possible improvements in health services if existing health care procedures and structures are reviewed and adapted to patients’ needs.

Professor Neeltje van den Berg (Greifswald University, Institute of Community Medicine, section Care Epidemiology & Community Health), spoke about the role of eHealth in ensuring health care supply in rural areas. She used an example from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and described how the shared use of a data platform can simplify the flow of information between care providers and thus improve health care specifically in rural regions with a high proportion of elderly citizens.

Subsequently, short presentations on a total of 23 current research projects gave an overview of the state of health care research in Brandenburg. They addressed thematic areas such as “health care research with a focus on eHealth”, “rehabilitation medicine”, “Covid-19 pandemic”, “complex interventions and care structures in the health system” and “participation and patient involvement”.

The final discussion served to sum up core issues and ideas how to develop health services research in Brandenburg. One point was the need to involve and connect all relevant stakeholders in the field - the general public, representatives from politics and science – to ensure progress. Some eHealth solutions are currently in a test phase; but a general culture of digital structures needs to be developed with a stronger focus on health-related and patient-oriented outcomes.

MHB president Prof. Edmund Neugebauer, co-organiser of the digital congress, was satisfied with the successful meeting and excellent presentations. He demanded concerted efforts and suggested a round table with participants from the Ministries of Science and Health and the Regional Office for Health.