Core Themes
Research fields Core Themes

The ZVFK boasts years of major scientific and methodological competence in dealing with issues relating to health services research. Successful networking between the ZVFK member institutions, and close cooperation with the ZVFK Head Office guarantee a high level of empirical and methodological expertise, for example in the fields of health economics, medical statistics and information technology, health care epidemiology or quality management. Beyond this, the ZVFK has considerable experience in conceiving, implementing and evaluating surveys featuring dependants, patients, employees and admittance staff as well as observational and field studies. However, the ZVFK’s range of services also includes the collection and evaluation of secondary data based on statutory health insurance data as well as the development and exploration of guidelines. By integrating human science research institutions into the ZVFK, it is also possible to include educational, psychological and social science-based aspects of vocational rehabilitation as well as communication- and media-psychological issues and methods in the processing of health care-based matters.

In this context, the membership of local general medicine and palliative medicine in ZVFK’s network allows access to elderly and multimorbid as well as to terminally ill patients. Apart from that, the particular strength of the Center is the cooperation between clinical research and public health research. To this end, the ZVFK can rely on facilities such as the highly efficient Centre for Clinical Trials Cologne (ZKS Köln). A further characteristic is the consistent focus on the aspect of the implementation of clinical concepts in hospitals and doctors’ surgeries. The partner institutions’ competence in methodology and organisational development, and the cooperation with the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Cologne can ideally complement this forte.

The ZVFK is a successful applicant in the context of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s tendering procedure Structural Support in Health Services Research. Along with CoRe-Net, the Cologne Research and Development Network, the ZVFK supports the close ties with general practice, and thus contributes to participatory health services research.

Methodological competence at the ZVFK:

  • conception, implementation and analysis of postal and online surveys
  • development of questionnaires in simple language
  • surveys/analyses on an individual, organisational and network level
  • key figure development
  • Secondary data analysis
  • conception, implementation and analysis of qualitative surveys
  • conception, implementation and analysis of observational and field studies
  • Summative und formative evaluation