WIdO – AOK Research Institute
Transparency, innovation and practical relevance – these are are the guiding principles of WIdO. Since 1976, WIdO has been dealing with central questions of how to organise health care and long-term care and its financing. WIdO aims at combining science and practice. On the one hand, this means using scientific results for practical purposes, on the other hand, putting practical issues on the research agenda. WIdO has set important impulses in both directions for many years.
Who we are
WIdO is the research institute of AOK, a system of eleven regional health care funds in Germany, comprising a total of more than 26 million insurees. WIdO is part of the Federal Association of AOK in Berlin. The institute has its own organisational structure with nine research departments, three managing directors, an executive board with eight members from both AOK management and self-government as well as a scientific advisory board of seven renowned academic experts from all fields of health care research. The greatest treasure of WIdO, however, is its staff of more than eighty highly qualified and motivated employees representing a wide range of academic disciplines such as economics, health management, sociology, medicine, pharmacy, public health, mathematics or computer science. We work closely together in interdisciplinary teams in order to improve both quality and efficiency of health care and long-term care within the social health insurance system, which is characterised by the principle of solidarity with regard to both equal access to care and fair funding.
What we do
Mainly, we work with large amounts of data which we collect, validate, pool, classify, process and analyse. These data are predominantly utilisation data of patients insured with the AOK from all sectors of health care and long-term care or sick leave data. Our work has a twofold purpose: on the one hand, we support the AOK system in its tasks of cooperation and negotiation with health care providers within and across different sectors of care; on the other hand, we conduct and publish scientific research in order to improve the quality and efficiency of health care provision in general. A prominent example is the development of indicators for the outcome quality of hospital care which are mainly based on administrative data of inpatient and post-hospital care.
In addition to its wide range of empirical research, WIdO also seeks to improve the organisational structures of health care provision and its financing on both the macro and micro level. In this context, the potential role of competition and its necessary preconditions play a prominent role with regard to competition among sickness funds as well as health care providers.