The German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is putting EUR 1.8 million towards three health literacy projects directed by the Hamburg Network for Health Services Research (HAM-NET) at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). This comes after a recent study by the Ministry for Health and Consumer Protection found that around every second resident of Hamburg has “low health skills” i.e. people do not know whom to contact about complaints or where to find the nearest emergency facility. The term “health literacy” refers to an ability to find, understand, assess and apply information about health care for everyday use.
Identifying health literacy measures
The project entitled “Health Competence Organisations in Hamburg” will allow researchers to determine measures for improving health literacy. “I am very committed to ensuring that people in Hamburg have easy access to appropriate health services, and I look forward to the UKE’s new research project,” said Cornelia Prüfer-Storcks, Senator for Health. About 2,400 persons are to be surveyed for the “Emergency care in Hamburg – knowledge, beliefs and use in the population” as part of another HAM-NET project while the “Transfer of staged and integrated care models for mental illnesses” project will rate the suitability of new ideas for the care of people with mental disorders.
Hamburg Network for Health Services Research
The UKE-based HAM-NET creates structures for innovative and practical research to improve patient care. The network links up 36 players in health care as well as research institutions, health insurers, patient organizations, outpatient and inpatient care providers, professional associations, companies and administrators in the health sector. HAM-NET is one of four networks selected by the German Ministry of Education and Research following a nationwide call for proposals on structural funding.