Among other proposals to reform the German outpatient health care system the establishment of networks of cooperating physicians (doctors’ networks) has found high and controversial consideration in recent years. In this paper we analyze doctors’ networks both from an economic perspective, particularly with a view on network strategies, and the perspective of supporting information technologies. Our main conclusions are that the viability of doctors’ networks critically depends on trust-building mechanisms like the restriction of the network in size and complexity and the application of fair profit allocation rules. Concerning information technology the implementation and use of highly integrated interorganizational systems appears most promising. We propose an architecture of such systems. It integrates information technology along the medical, the business and the communication systems dimension and serves as a vehicle for efficient use of shared patient data and other network resources, knowledge creation, fair profit allocation, improved business control and a high level of integrity vis-a-vis the patient.
Gfroerer, Stefan G.; Raupp, Markus; and Schober, Franz, "Restructuring the German Outpatient Health Care System: An Economic and IT Perspective" (2000). ECIS 2000 Proceedings. 127.