Strategies of implementation and evaluation

Potsdam, 20 July 2017

The regional medical association hosted two further lectures in the series “Brandenburger Gespräche” on their premises in Potsdam. The focus of the last two talks before the summer recess was on aspects and strategies of implementation and evaluation.

MHB Dean Prof. Dr. Edmund A. Neugebauer, initiator of the series, demanded that health services research must reach the patient and bring tangible and measurable improvements in practice. Speaking to a large audience, he welcomed Dr. Ute Karbach (University of Cologne) and Prof. Michel Wensing (Heidelberg University) as two renowned experts in the field who were going to address the topic from different perspectives.

Dr. Ute Karbach (centre) and Prof. Michel Wensing (1st from right) had taken up Prof. Neugebauer’s (1st from left) invitation.

Prof. Dr. Michel Wensing, professor of health services research and implementation in health care at Heidelberg University, co-edited the book “Changing Professional Practice” and is active as editor-in-chief of the journal “Implementation Science” since 2012.

In his lecture the native-born Dutchman described ways to bring outcomes research into the day-to-day practice of care, the time dimensions required, the various strategies of implementation and dissemination, and also the role of financial incentives, laws and regulations and advanced training. Wensing also pointed out that it is still relatively unusual to include patients in this process, specifically in Germany. His conclusion: there is no single ideal method to transfer research results into practice. The complexity of projects and cases demands individual and tailored solutions, innovative ideas and a systematic approach.

Following this rather theoretical and conceptual discourse, Dr. rer. pol. Ute Karbach (University of Cologne, IMVR - institute of medical sociology, outcomes research and rehabilitation) addressed the practical side of the topic and presented reports from three different specific projects. Again it became obvious that the process of integrating, implementing and evaluating findings from outcomes research in practice is extremely complex and multilayered. The aim, so Karbach, is to evaluate concepts and quality of care in the health and social system, to shape and improve them via evidence based findings, and thus to avoid under-, over- and misuse. Most importantly, all actors involved in research and care need to be enlisted in the effort.

Both speakers are co-ordinators of recently initiated Master programmes: Prof. Wensing is in charge of an M.Sc. programme in health services research and implementation in health care (Heidelberg), and Dr. Karbach co-ordinates a combined Master course in health service sciences (Cologne). Their experience is therefore of particular interest since MHB is currently considering the introduction of a Master programme in health services research.

The lecture series Brandenburger Gespräche started on 15 February 2017 in collaboration with the regional medical association in Potsdam. Renowned speakers are invited to the regular monthly events to present concepts, methods and studies from the field of health services research. The regional medical association Brandenburg has certified the lectures (start 6 p.m., free entrance) as advanced training courses.