How to define quality?
The Ministry of Health has launched in 2015 the Institute for quality assurance and transparency in healthcare (IQTIG), which goal is to develop scientific stable quality indicators to compare the quality of medical treatment between hospitals, physicians and nursing homes. Hospitals have to provide annual data for public reporting. A ranking list of hospitals is planed and this model is the first step to a pay for performance payment model.
As regard to transparency in quality management, private hospital groups have taken the lead with the creation of two institutes, IQM and Qualitätskliniken.de-4QD joined under an umbrella organization, the SIQ foundation for quality management (Stiftung Initiative Qualitätskliniken). The work of the foundation offers a solid base to develop a new model of quality assessment, which might lead to legislation improvements. Today, patients can consult a web platform (qualitätskliniken.de),which includes data of more than 450 private, private-non profit and public hospitals. Data related to quality of medical treatment, patient safety, patient satisfaction, physicians satisfaction, ethics are collected through declarative statements and verify by audits, and a ranking list facilitates the choice of a hospital.
«Quality in Germany is not just a matter of improving patient safety, it is also a powerful tool to regulate the market as the government will have to close about 300 hospitals in a near future. Members of IQM and Qualitätskliniken.de are better prepared for the upcoming focus on quality, as the government will increasingly establish strong quality specifications for hospitals », declares Thomas Bublitz, director of the German Federation Private Hospitals (BDPK) and Director of both quality management institutes, IQMG (Institut für Qualitätsmanagement) and 4QD-GmbH.