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Hamburg's health kiosk to be included as part of standard care

KioskFocus on patient activation: One of the most important tasks of the health kiosk is to increase the effectiveness of medical recommendations and to support patients in changing their behaviour. Photo: OptiMedis

The health kiosk, conceptualised by OptiMedis and implemented through the dedicated integrator organization “Gesundheit für Billstedt/Horn”, is situated in two deprived areas of Hamburg, Billstedt and Horn and will continue to be funded after the financing it receives from the innovation fund finishes at the end of 2019. The relevant contracts were officially signed by the four participating health insurance companies (AOK Rheinland/Hamburg, Techniker, BARMER and DAK GESUNDHEIT) in December.

Hamburg's Senator for Health Cornelia Prüfer-Storcks, who supported the project in the East of Hamburg from the very beginning, emphasised that “as a flagship project that's one-of-a-kind here in Germany, the health kiosk has shown how successful cross-sector cooperation can be between social care, prevention facilities, nursing, GPs, specialists and hospitals, with the help of OptiMedis and innovative health insurances as the implementers of innovative medical care systems.” The high level of demand for the project confirms that the people in Billstedt and Horn were reached well and receiving early support – be that in the form of a doctor's visit, prevention or education.

The health kiosk collaborates with local physicians and around 100 district facilities

The health kiosk offering is diverse: The medically trained and multilingual team advises patients both before and after their visit to the doctor, with this advice being available in several of the languages spoken in the district. It also coordinates treatment steps and puts patients in contact with institutions and associations in the district. In this way, the project initiators and partners want to not only close existing supply gaps, but also strengthen the areas of prevention and health promotion in the districts. Another objective is to further the self-competence of patients. This will relieve the burden on doctors and, in the longer term, reduce treatment costs for health insurers. The health kiosk collaborates closely with a network of around 100 district facilities. These facilities include nursing homes, care homes, clinics, sports clubs, the adult education centre, specialist outpatient counselling centres, patient initiatives and social-psychiatric services. The community-oriented care and networking structure is revolutionising aspects of the health care system by dismantling traditional hierarchies and empowering patients to take a more active role in their own care.

More than 6,000 consultations in two years

The latest figures show just how high the level of demand is. “Since it opened its doors two years ago, the health kiosk has seen more than 6,000 consultations that have helped and informed patients with regards to their respective illnesses,” said Matthias Mohrmann, member of the board of directors at AOK Rheinland/Hamburg. The most important objective of the kiosk is to create the same health prospects for everyone, regardless of income, background and place of residence. Mohrmann continues: "This is of particular importance when it comes to Billstedt/Horn, as twice as many residents require a visit to the doctor in comparison with other districts in Hamburg. In addition, chronic diseases are much more common and often occur at a much earlier age."