How to Increase the Quality of Health Care?

Photo: HCHE / Claudia Höhne In the new HCHE research training group, 24 doctoral
Photo: HCHE / Claudia Höhne In the new HCHE research training group, 24 doctoral researchers will be training for the next 5 years.

For research on improving the quality of health care, the Hamburg Center for Health Economics at Universität Hamburg has created a comprehensive doctoral program. The German Research Foundation will fund this program in the amount of €6 million for the next 5 years.

-After the last few years, not least throughout the corona pandemic, in which the quality of health care was not the main issue, we want this research program to strengthen the quality of health care,- explains Tom Stargardt, head of the new Research Training Group Managerial and Economic Dimensions of Health-Care Quality at the Hamburg Center for Health Economics (HCHE).

The focus of the research program now being funded by the German Research Foundation is the relationships and impact of different providers (for example, hospitals or doctors), payers (generally insurance agencies), and patients: what quality incentives, for example, do insurance agencies offer in contracts with hospitals or doctors- practices? How does patient conduct when using health services affect the quality of health care? What role do insurance agency offers play? And how does cooperation impact health-care quality?

The goal of the research program is to do comprehensive and systematic doctoral work on the changes, such as economic incentives, that can affect health-care quality. Researchers will be using large datasets and new methods. Areas of application include preventive and therapeutic services, emergency measures, diagnosis, long-term nursing care, and changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

University president Hauke Heekeren: -I congratulate my colleagues at HCHE on this grant. The new research training group will connect the important area of structured doctoral and early career research support with the future topic of health-care provision and its funding. The program will thus also play an important role at Universität Hamburg, especially in the emerging field of health economics. The researchers at HCHE play a vital part in numerous projects and measures.-

Young research team looks for better ways to provide health care

Starting in October 2023, the first 12 new doctoral positions will be set up and the candidates will be supervised by an experienced, interdisciplinary team of professors in economics and medicine. The research training group is set up such that in the first 5-year funding phase a total of 24 doctoral researchers can be trained.

For their research tasks, the doctoral researchers will enjoy a comprehensive qualifications program with a range of courses in different disciplines. Participation at conferences on health economics, workshops, and stays abroad round out their scientific training. -This research training group not only aims to do excellent research but also to train urgently needed early career researchers in the field,- says Stargardt.

About the HCHE

The HCHE is a joint research center of Universität Hamburg and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. With over 70 researchers, it is one of the largest centers for health economics in Europe. They study relevant and current policy topics in the German health system. Their research activities focus on the financing of the health system, health-economic evaluation, pharmaceutical markets, outpatient and inpatient health care, big data, digital health, and public health.

See https://www.hche.uni-hambur­­aduiertenk­olleg.html for more information about the Research Training Group Managerial and Economic Dimensions of Health-Care Quality (2023-2028).