International Journal of Integrated Care, 31 December 2009 - ISSN 1568-4156
Conference abstract
Regional product factory: a format to address regional health care deficits by developing innovative integrated care models
Matthias P. Schönermark, Professor, Institut für Epidemiologie, Sozialmedizin und Gesundheitssystemforschung, Medical University Hannover, Hannover, Germany
Kristin Greif, RN, BSN, Schönermark.Kielhorn+Collegen, Hannover, Germany
Markus Prestin, Schönermark.Kielhorn+Collegen, Hannover, Germany
Correspondence to: Matthias P. Schoenermark, E-mail:, Kristin Greif, E-mail: and Markus Prestin, E-mail:

Purpose: The purpose of the project was to develop a new format that accelerates the process of solving structural, regional health care problems and the translation of innovative medical processes into broad clinical practice.

Content: The format ‘Regional Product Factory’ (RPF) realizes this objective by uniting the different stake holders of health care transactions, e.g. clinicians, statutory and private health insurances or medical technology industries, during three successive workshops. In these workshops identified health care deficits are presented and solutions are developed conjointly, which are then evaluated regarding to their potential and feasibility. That includes the verification of financing opportunities on the part of health insurances. The most potential and feasible solution will be developed to marketability. In many cases solutions will be innovative integrated care models.

Case description: The theoretically developed format was tested in pilot workshops which showed that the prospects could be fulfilled. This led to a new integrated care model for the aftercare of cochlea implanted patients, which is now considered for financing by statutory health plans.

Conclusions: To unite all the necessary stake holders on the basis of trust and referring to a specific health care topic—especially health insurances that are able to bring in own identified care deficits—are the essential pre-conditions to develop marketable solutions successfully. The RPF is an innovative format that identifies and solves regional care deficits systematically, effectively and unbureaucratically.

regional health care; integrated care models; innovation