Hospital quality assurance in Germany: The areas of care in 2014
A hospital's quality can only be assessed once the treatment outcomes are known for all patients. Quality reports contain these treatment outcomes, but information on quality assurance is only documented for certain areas of care. The following table lists these areas and which set of services belong to each.
|Area of care||Service||Explanation|
||The flow of blood through the carotid artery is restored. This is done by either surgically removing deposits or calcified plaques, or expanding the narrowed site with a cardiac catheter.|
||The healthy lung of a recently deceased donor is transplanted to another person. A combined heart-lung transplant is an option for people who have heart damage as well as severe lung disease.|
||If you develop pneumonia outside of the hospital environment, it is called "community-acquired" pneumonia – as opposed to "hospital-acquired" pneumonia. The difference is important because the two types are caused by different bacteria, so different antibiotics are used for treatment.|
||Breast surgery refers to any type of surgery performed on the mammary gland. This mainly includes surgery performed on women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.|
A pacemaker is a device that uses electrical impulses to help keep the heart beating regularly. Implantation refers to the device being put in. A pacemaker is made up of two parts: a battery-powered pulse generator that is implanted in the chest inside the layer of fat beneath the skin. One or two wires (electrodes) connect it to the muscle tissue in the heart.
When the batteries are empty, the pulse generator is replaced.
A revision is a check of how well the pacemaker is running – for example in the event of inflammation or bleeding, or if it slips or stops working properly.
The removal of a pacemaker is called explantation. A system change occurs when all of the elements are replaced.
Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD):
|An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small electric device that senses dangerous arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) and then stops them by using an electric current (defibrillation). It is implanted in the layer of fat below the skin, just like a pacemaker. Another similarity with pacemakers is that a generator replacement, revision, explantation or system change may be needed later on.|
||Coronary angiography is a special kind of x-ray examination that uses a cardiac catheter and a contrast medium to make the coronary arteries visible. The catheter is usually inserted in the groin area through the skin (percutaneous), and then pushed along a vein until it reaches the heart. Any narrow places found in the arteries can be expanded using a balloon attached to the tip of the cardiac catheter. Sometimes a metal stent is implanted too, to keep the artery from narrowing again. Both of these treatments are also known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).|
||Surgery performed on the heart valve between the left ventricle and the aorta is called aortic valve surgery. The aortic valve prevents blood from flowing back into the heart because it opens only when blood is pumped into the body from the heart. If the valve leaks or is too tight, it can be replaced with an artificial valve.|
||Surgery performed on the coronary arteries is called coronary surgery. The main type of coronary surgery is a bypass operation: this involves using a healthy segment of blood vessel to re-route the flow of blood around a narrowed part of an artery and allow the blood to reach the muscle tissue of the heart.|
||In combined coronary and aortic valve surgery, the aortic valve is replaced with an artificial valve during a bypass operation.|
||In a heart transplant, the heart of a deceased organ donor is implanted into another person.|
||In a pancreas transplant, the pancreas of a deceased organ donor is implanted into another person. If a kidney is also transplanted at the same time (pancreas-kidney transplant), both organs are taken from the same donor.|
||In a living donor liver transplant, a piece of liver is donated by a healthy adult. The donor's liver grows back to nearly its original size within a few weeks of the operation.|
||In a liver transplant, the healthy liver of a deceased organ donor is implanted into a person who has liver disease.|
||Cholecystectomy is the name of the surgical removal of the gallbladder – which may be used to treat gallstones causing frequent pain and colic or if there is a risk of jaundice or cholangitis (infection of the bile duct).|
||In a living donor kidney transplant, a healthy person donates one of their two kidneys. After the operation to remove the organ, the remaining kidney does all of the work that the kidneys previously did together.|
||In a kidney transplant, a healthy kidney is implanted into a person who has kidney disease. The kidney may come from either a living or deceased donor.|
|Female sex organs||
||Gynecological surgery includes various forms of surgery performed on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus (womb) or vagina.|
||Obstetrics includes all of the tests and treatments for the mother and child shortly before, during and after the birth. The birth itself and initial care in the hours following the birth are also part of obstetrics.|
||Neonatology is the specialized care and treatment of newborn babies.|
||A hip fracture is a break at the top of the thigh bone (femur). The fracture most commonly occurs very close to the hip.|
|Following the initial implantation of an artificial hip joint (hip endoprosthesis), the individual parts of the artificial joint (the components) may become loose, inflamed, or no longer function properly after some time. Then, either some of the parts (component replacement) or the entire artificial joint (prosthesis replacement) are replaced.|
Total knee endoprosthesis:
|Following the initial implantation of an artificial knee joint (knee endoprosthesis), the individual parts of the artificial joint (the components) may become loose, inflamed, or no longer function properly after some time. Then, either some of the parts (component replacement) or the entire artificial joint (prosthesis replacement) are replaced.|
||Pressure sores (decubitus) are caused by constant pressure on tissue or a part of the body – most often resulting from lying or sitting for a long time, as happens to people who are bedridden. Measures to prevent pressure sores include repositioning the patient regularly or using aids such as special cushions or mattresses.|
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany). Guides and glossary for hospital quality reports - Rapid report; Commission P14-01. March 10, 2015. (IQWiG reports; Volume 284).
IQWiG health information is written with the aim of helping
people understand the advantages and disadvantages of the main treatment options and health
Because IQWiG is a German institute, some of the information provided here is specific to the German health care system. The suitability of any of the described options in an individual case can be determined by talking to a doctor. informedhealth.org can provide support for talks with doctors and other medical professionals, but cannot replace them. We do not offer individual consultations.
Our information is based on the results of good-quality studies. It is written by a team of health care professionals, scientists and editors, and reviewed by external experts. You can find a detailed description of how our health information is produced and updated in our methods.