The health systems of Germany and Switzerland are among the most expensive in the world. Yet they yield only average health outcomes. In some respect they fail to make efficient use of resources and potential. In both countries the separation of different care sectors from one another– a situation that goes hand in hand with integration problems in the health-care process – is regarded as a major cause of these inefficiencies. The lack of integration manifests itself as inadequate communication and coordination between the actors involved, leading to segmentation of health-care procedures and to all kinds of gaps and overlaps in treatment and care. Continuous seamless care and monitoring of patients as required for adequate management of chronic diseases is missing.. As a result patients receive sub-optimal treatment (and hence experience a deterioration in their quality of life); and resources are wasted.

The project examined the pathways of policy development involved in the innovation processes that have emerged from the urgent need for more integrated health and social care. It aimed at identifying the factors responsible for the frequent failure of innovation efforts of this kind and also the conditions under which these processes, in some cases, have been successful.