Fresenius Helios

The HELIOS quality management system is committed to a continuous improvement in patient care. Now, over 1,200 indicators (2008: over 900) cover all the main diseases and surgical procedures, so that the number of performed services, partially the use of different surgical methods, and, where possible, indicators for the quality of the outcomes can be recorded. Utilizing over 140 indicators, HELIOS regularly publishes the 30 most important diseases and surgical procedures for the HELIOS Group. The individual clinics provide this information in their hospital guidebooks. Further information can be found on the website at www.helios-kliniken.de (German only). These publications demonstrate the exemplary transparency of HELIOS’ performance externally. Demanding targets were defined for 33 indicators. In these areas, the HELIOS clinics aim to be at least as good as the German average. Where benchmark data are available, HELIOS expects the clinics to match best-in-class international standards in surgical medicine. The Group met or significantly exceeded the targets for 27 of these indicators (2008: 23, including the newly-acquired clinics). An extract is shown by the table below.

Helios quality performance indicators (Extract)


Indications / standardized
mortality ratio (SMR) 1
2009 SMR 2008 SMR 2
1 SMR of 1 corresponds to the German average.
SMR < 1 means that the mortality is below the German average.
2 Adjusted for the newly acquired clinics and adjusted German average.

More information can be found at http://www.helios-kliniken.de/medizin/qualitaetsmanagement
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) 0.78 0.75
Heart failure 0.69 0.77
Stroke 0.86 0.86
Ischemic stroke 0.86 0.86
Pneumonia 0.78 0.79
Hip fracture 0.88 0.98

Indications / standardized
mortality ratio (SMR) 1
2009 SMR 2008 SMR 2
1 SMR of 1 corresponds to the German average.
SMR < 1 means that the mortality is below the German average.
2 Adjusted for the newly acquired clinics and adjusted German average.

More information can be found at http://www.helios-kliniken.de/medizin/qualitaetsmanagement
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) 0.78 0.75
Heart failure 0.69 0.77
Stroke 0.86 0.86
Ischemic stroke 0.86 0.86
Pneumonia 0.78 0.79
Hip fracture 0.88 0.98

In 2009, HELIOS achieved an excellent SMR of 0.69 for heart failure. This indicates that the mortality in the HELIOS clinics was 31 % below the average of all German clinics. Where the targets were not achieved, the deviation from the German average was so small as to be statistically insignificant. The medical teams at HELIOS are also pursuing goals relating to many details of the care in their various specialist areas.

HELIOS launched the Initiative of Quality Medicine (IQM) in collaboration with six other hospital operators in 2008. The aim of the initiative is to further improve internal hospital quality management on the basis of performance indicators. Around 1.5 million acute care patients and 4 million ambulatory care patients are treated at the over 100 clinics now covered by this initiative. The members undertake to conduct standardized quality measurements of the treatment results at their clinics, based on administrative data, and to publish the results. This voluntary commitment also includes a form of peer reviewing: internal and external experts analyze the treatment results that do not meet the initiative’s quality goals and discuss concrete improvements with the clinic involved. The aim of this review is to achieve improvements in the procedures and structures of the treatment process. IQM is the first multi-operator, administrative data-based quality assurance initiative in Germany and furthers HELIOS’ interest in improving the transparency of quality data for the German health care market. Further information can be found on the initiative’s website at www.initiative-qualitaetsmedizin.de (German only).

HELIOS has developed methods for measuring the long-term results of medical treatments in collaboration with the National AOK Association and the AOK’s research institute. The QSR hospital reports (Qualitätssicherung der stationären Versorgung mit Routinedaten – Securing quality of inpatient treatment with administrative data) published by health insurer AOK are an important extension of the quality indicators based on hospital stays. Indicators for long-term quality results can be derived from the reports. They are currently being used not only in the IQM project, but also by other hospitals and by AOK. The QSR results also show HELIOS clinics to have a quality lead over the German average in many areas. The extensive AOK hospital reports for our clinics can be found on the website at www.helios-kliniken.de/qsr under “Quality Reports” (German only). HELIOS believes that these methods might possibly be incorporated in the new overarching quality assurance sector that is due to be created at the federal level in Germany.

However, quality management at HELIOS goes beyond the medical results. Our perception of quality also includes the standard of nursing care, the aim being to provide patients with the best medical and nursing care. This is a precondition for successful medical treatment. Our nursing staff – the biggest professional group at the HELIOS clinics – is in continuous communication with the doctors and other professional groups. The aim is to activate the patient’s physical, mental, and social abilities, and to restore their natural functioning to the greatest possible extent through preventive, curative, and rehabilitative measures.

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