The Competence Network for Integrative Medicine (KIM) is an innovative collaboration of hospitals, outpatient centres, and research institutes localised in Baden-Württemberg, the south-western Federal State in Germany. Since its foundation in November 2017, the KIM partners work for the development, implementation, and evaluation of integrative treatment concepts. Partners are hospitals, outpatient centres and research units. The vision behind their collaboration is to create a growing network that stands for efficacy, quality, and safety of integrative medicine.
"Integrative medicine" refers to the meaningful combination of conventional and complementary therapies in a patient-centred concept of care. Evidence-based guidelines for conventional medicine are complemented by disease-specific consultation and treatment services from a range of complementary approaches. This includes natural medicines, anthroposophic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine including acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy, mind-body-therapies, as well as external applications such as compresses, therapeutic baths and embrocation. Special attention is given to specific counselling and support for everyday life style changes. In specialised clinical centres these services are fully integrated and implemented by interdisciplinary teams.
The Competence Network for Integrative Medicine has the following aims:
- Network clinical centres and outpatient services with existing and new expertise in integrative medicine
- Create and evaluate clinical pathways and treatment models for specific symptoms and diseases
- Identify best practice examples that can be applied as a "starter kit" for hospitals building up integrative services
- Create training facilities for different healthcare professions
- Develop models for implementation of integrative therapies
A key focus is on managing symptoms in patients with cancer in all stages. Additionally, the competence network works for integrative management of viral infections and aims at providing complementary therapies addressing symptoms and overall disease management. This can for instance ultimately reduce the need for antibiotic prescriptions.
The expertise is brought together in working groups of medical doctors, nurses, and therapists with a rich therapeutic experience. This is where the conventional medical outlook meets specialised experience in complementary approaches.
The Competence Network for Integrative Medicine (KIM, www.kim-bw.de) is funded by the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg and closely collaborates with academic networks, such as the Academic Centre for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (AZKIM, ).
The region of Baden-Württemberg belongs to a network of highly industrialised and research-oriented and innovative regions in Europe, the so called Four Motors for Europe.