Title: Medical service centres in Germany – a competence-based form of cooperation for general practitioners?

Authors: Josef Farnschläder; Harald Stummer

Addresses: Division for Organisational Behaviour Research and Workplace Health Promotion, UMIT – University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Academic Center Vienna, Opernring 5/2, A-1010 Vienna, Austria. ' Division for Organisational Behaviour Research and Workplace Health Promotion, UMIT – University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Academic Center Vienna, Opernring 5/2, A-1010 Vienna, Austria

Abstract: In Germany, general practitioners, as well as other medical doctors usually are self-employed entrepreneurs. Medical service centres (MSCs) have been created by German legislation in 2004 in order to facilitate cooperation of general practitioners, on one hand, and to establish a system near a policlinic, which does not exist in (Western) Germany, on the other hand. The aim of the present study is to investigate using problem-centred interviews whether MSCs are a useful tool to build up core competencies. According to the interview partners, the bundling of resources can lead to additional competencies. Reasons for this development are seen in a good exchange of expert knowledge and joint learning. By means of close cooperation, more knowledge can be created than benchmarking with competitors. The overlapping of different areas of expertise is also seen as an advantage in specialised MSCs. However, legislation also leads to a suppression of the entrepreneurial general practitioner.

Keywords: competence; cooperation; medical service centres; general practitioners; doctors; self-employed entrepreneurs; health legislation; laws; policlinics; core competencies; expert knowledge; joint learning; knowledge exchange; resource bundling; additional competencies; benchmarking; knowledge creation; competitors; expertise; medical specialisation; Germany; entrepreneurial practitioners; behavioural research; healthcare research.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBHR.2011.043419

International Journal of Behavioural and Healthcare Research, 2011 Vol.2 No.4, pp.395 - 401

Published online: 30 Sep 2014 *

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