Koordinierte Versorgung geriatrischer Patientinnen und Patienten aus ärztlicher Sicht: Erfahrungen aus einem kontrollierten Modellversuch in zertifizierten Praxisnetzen

Translated title of the contribution: Coordinated primary care of older patients with complex needs. The perspective of family doctors in the light of a case management project within practice networks of independent physicians in Germany

Fabian Engler, Felicia Fröhlich, Katja Götz, Karola Mergenthal

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary care and case management can contribute to an improved integration of the primary care for patients with geriatric characteristics. Following this approach, the pilot study RubiN (Regional ununterbrochen betreut im Netz / Continuous Care in Regional Networks) implemented a specific geriatric Care and Case Management (CCM) in five certified practice networks of independent physicians in different regions in Germany. As part of the accompanying process-based evaluation of the project, a survey was conducted among general practitioners and other specialists from these networks in order to find out how, in their view, collaboration with case managers can improve medical care of geriatric patients and contribute to closing possible gaps in primary care structures.

METHODS: The overall project RubiN, which was designed as a pragmatic controlled trial, compared patients from five practice networks where CCM has been implemented (intervention networks), with patients from three networks where the intervention was not taking place (control networks). Physicians of all eight participating practice networks were included in the present survey. The survey was conducted via a self-developed questionnaire.

RESULTS: A total of 111 physicians participated in the survey, 76 of whom were part of an intervention network and 35 part of a control network. The calculated response rate was 15.4% (networks reported a total of approx. 720 members). 91,1% of the participants from intervention networks, who had joined RubiN with their patients, reported satisfaction with their collaboration with case managers (n=41 of 45). 87.0% of the physicians from intervention networks stated that care for geriatric patients had improved as a result of their participation in the pilot study (n=40 of 46). When asked about the overall quality of care provided for their geriatric patients, the assessments of participants from intervention networks were more positive than those of the participants from control networks (MV 3.48 vs. 3.27 on a scale of 1=poor to 5=very good). Agreement with whether external case managers could provide certain services was higher among participants from intervention networks compared to participants from control networks. This was the case, in particular, of services related to medical data collection and test procedures. Overall, both comparison groups showed a high level of willingness to delegate tasks to a CCM.

DISCUSSION: Delegation of tasks to geriatric case managers seems to be more readily accepted by physicians in intervention networks than by their collegues from the control networks, especially as regards medical assessment methods and advanced advisory tasks. The results suggest that interventions in this domain were able to convince physicians of the value that case managers can bring to medical practice and help resolve reservations and skepticism. Especially, the implemented CCM seemed to be an effective way of generating geriatric anamnestic data and fostering the flow of general patient-centered information.

CONCLUSION: From the point of view of general practitioners and other specialists participating in the intervention, CCM has been successfully implemented in their practice networks and seems to be a worthwhile approach that will help provide better coordinated and more team-oriented care to their geriatric patients.

Translated title of the contributionCoordinated primary care of older patients with complex needs. The perspective of family doctors in the light of a case management project within practice networks of independent physicians in Germany
Original languageGerman
JournalZeitschrift fur Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualitat im Gesundheitswesen
ISSN1865-9217
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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