Cooperations in Medicine – Lexicon for Medicine & Health

Collaborations in medicine

Pharmacies in particular have been calling for closer cooperation in medicine for some time. This was published by the Federal Union of German Pharmacists’ Associations in the perspective paper “Pharmacy 2030”.

Closer cooperation between doctors, hospitals and pharmacists is required

In particular, the changing patient structure, the increasing number of people in need of care, but also the enormous shortage of skilled workers are reasons that speak in favor of closer cooperation.

Doctors and hospitals are rather critical of this demand, because the reform could change the entire health system. Furthermore, experts fear that the competencies of pharmacists could be exceeded. The news magazine Die Welt discusses the view of doctors:

“[…] It is also clear, however, that the boundaries between the core competencies of each other should not be blurred.” (Andreas Gassen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians)

Gassen adds that the treating physicians are most likely to know about sensible preventive measures, since they are the only ones who know the details of the patient’s state of health. In addition, the cooperation between doctors and pharmacists is already good and does not need to be changed.

The pharmacies, meanwhile, hope that the reform will have more of an impact on the patient’s healing process. Another reason that speaks for closer cooperation is counteracting the shortage of skilled workers. Closer cooperation could relieve both sides elsewhere.

Healthcare industry particularly affected by the shortage of skilled workers

According to a study by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants Holding , the entire industry is affected by this situation. At this point, the hospitals should be mentioned, because according to the study, most of the staff is missing here.Around 80 percent of hospitals are already victims of the shortage of skilled workers. The pharmaceutical industry is no exception to this trend. Although the job offer is rich, there is still a nationwide shortage of trained people.

A critical look at the advertised positions confirms this. According to the job advertisements on , pharmacists and pharmaceutical employees are also currently being sought for highly qualified quality and product managers.

In the pharmaceutical sector, there are particularly regional bottlenecks in Baden-Württemberg, where vacancies are 44 percent higher than the national average. Berlin and Hamburg are also affected by this trend. The lack of qualified personnel is also noticeable in research, because the large pharmaceutical companies are constantly looking for specialists. Michael Burkhart, head of healthcare and pharmaceuticals at the management consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, warns of this development.

“From 2020 onwards, the shortage of staff will increase dramatically, both for doctors and for non-medical specialists”.

Studies by the Federal Employment Agency confirm the search for qualified personnel.

This problem could be countered by closer cooperation between the various sectors, because better cooperative preventive work on the part of doctors, hospitals and pharmacies would reduce the number of urgent cases of illness. The result would be a relief for the specialist staff.

Patient coordinators for relief within the hospitals

A constructive suggestion from those responsible are so-called patient coordinators, who take over the tasks of both doctors and nurses within the hospitals. These coordinators regulate the entire process from admission to discharge. In this way, adequate care for the patients would be guaranteed, and shifting the bureaucratic effort to the coordinators would relieve the burden on the specialist staff.

Pharmacies demand an involvement in the treatment

Basically, the pharmacies call for closer cooperation between the different medical areas. One example is the commission to involve pharmacists in diabetic care.

A cooperation between the German Diabetes Society and the Federal Chamber of Pharmacists has called for greater involvement of pharmacists in the treatment of patients with diabetes . This initiative was particularly due to Prof. Dr. medical Herman Ammon back. The aim was to increase the level of knowledge among pharmacists through certified further training programs and evaluations and thus ensure high-quality advice in the case of diabetes.

A similar integration is already established in the treatment of asthmatics. This is defined in the program for national care guidelines. These were compiled by those responsible for all medical areas and are intended to support those affected as well as doctors and pharmacists in the correct treatment.

Another initiative – the “future concept for drug supply”

A model project has been set up in Saxony and Thuringia to ensure further cooperation between doctors and pharmacies. Various health insurance companies are also involved in the project. The goal is a joint drug supply for chronically ill people or patients who are to take more than five active ingredients.

Because the more medication you take, the greater the risk of medication errors. The project aims to provide patients with the correct active ingredients and amounts. In this way, any communication problems between pharmacists and doctors can be solved constructively, because software offers those involved an up-to-date overview of the current medication. The concept is based on three pillars:

  • Active ingredient regulation
  • Medication catalog
  • medication management

The advantages of this initiative are, in particular, the avoidance of double medication and time savings for doctors. They then have more leeway to explain the intake and the side effects to the patient. A total of around 1,000 pharmacists and doctors have taken part in the project so far.

The recommendations relate to eight diseases, including hypertension , osteoporosis , heart failure , depression and Alzheimer’s dementia. However, the start of the project was rather sluggish.

In Thuringia, for example, 150 doctors are taking part in the initiative, which is only five percent of all doctors in the state. Nevertheless, the numbers have risen steadily over the last year. Experts therefore assume an upward trend.

The Federal Court of Justice accommodates the cooperation

Normally, the allocation of drugs is subject to strict rules. Nevertheless, the Federal Court of Justice has increased the scope for cooperation between doctors and pharmacists. Specifically, the judgment concerned a Freiburg pharmacist who, as a result of the judgment, is now a partner in a discharge management company.

He receives prescriptions from the university clinic shortly before the patient is discharged. This procedure increases the successful follow-up treatment after the hospital stay. However, the prerequisite for this cooperation is that the patient’s situation improves and that the patient agrees. In practice, this judgment could have an impact on the closer cooperation between the individual areas that was called for at the beginning.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.