Home » Critical Incident Reporting System (CIRS) “More patient safety”: Replacement insurance companies launch a web portal for reports from insured persons about critical and positive events in medical care

Critical Incident Reporting System (CIRS) “More patient safety”: Replacement insurance companies launch a web portal for reports from insured persons about critical and positive events in medical care

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Critical Incident Reporting System (CIRS) “More patient safety”: Replacement insurance companies launch a web portal for reports from insured persons about critical and positive events in medical care

Thursday, February 15, 2024, 10:50 a.m

Berlin – The Association of Replacement Funds e. V. (vdek) and its member funds TK, BARMER, DAK-Gesundheit, KKH, hkk and HEK today gave the starting signal for the new internet portal “More Patient Safety” (mehr-patientensicherheit.de). For the first time in Germany, those insured with substitute health insurance funds and other types of health insurance funds have the opportunity to report on this platform about critical events, but also about positive experiences in medical care, anonymously and in a structured form. These descriptions should be used to learn from the experiences of the insured and to improve patient safety. Ulrike Elsner, Chairwoman of the vdek, the Federal Government’s Patient Representative Stefan Schwartze, Member of the Bundestag, and Dr. med. Marcus Rall, managing director of the non-profit German Society for Patient Safety, who developed the system on behalf of the substitute health insurance companies, presented the pilot project, which was initially planned to last two years, at a press conference in Berlin.

Giving the insured a voice

Whether in the hospital, in outpatient medical care or in a nursing facility: in the majority of cases the treatment goes smoothly. But sometimes critical events or avoidable errors occur. These could be, for example, medication mix-ups, misinterpreted symptoms or the unintentional leaving of a swab during an operation. Everyone involved in healthcare can learn from these experiences.

The “More patient safety” website of the replacement insurance companies is based on a long-standing internationally recognized model for learning and reporting systems, “CIRS”. CIRS stands for “Critical Incident Reporting System”. Such systems are already firmly established in the hospital sector and are an important part of internal quality and risk management. For the first time, the new internet portal creates the opportunity for insured persons to contribute their valuable experience in all areas of care in a structured manner.

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The reports are carefully analyzed by experts from the German Society for Patient Safety from medicine, nursing, pharmacy and the areas of patient safety and risk management and only then published in anonymous form. In addition, recommendations for action and measures to increase patient safety are derived, such as the “Tip of the Month” or the “Case of the Month”. Healthcare institutions such as the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA), the German Medical Association and manufacturers of medical devices and pharmaceuticals should also be informed about the results in the future. The aim is to obtain valuable impulses for improving care through the systematic involvement of the insured.

Learn from the experience of patients

Ulrike Elsner, vdek board chairwoman:

“Improving patient safety is an important concern for us and something we are continually committed to. With the ‘More Patient Safety’ portal, we want to focus on the experiences of the insured, because they are often the only ones who experience the treatment process from start to finish. Your knowledge can take us a big step forward in identifying avoidable errors and further developing care so that they no longer happen.”

Stefan Schwartze, MdB, Federal Government Commissioner for Patient Affairs:

“Patients want a more active role in the important issue of patient safety. When asked whether they can contribute to their own safety in the practice or hospital, more than two thirds answered yes. That’s why I’m pleased that a patient-oriented CIRS is finally being established with ‘More Patient Safety’. The patient perspective is valuable in identifying and reducing systemic error risks.”

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Dr. med. Marcus Rall, Managing Director of the non-profit German Society for Patient Safety:

“We have been operating anonymous reporting and learning systems (CIRS) in medicine for almost 20 years. The system launched by vdek and the substitute health insurance funds, which we are allowed to operate as a partner, now enables all insured persons to send reports on their experiences in the health system – for the first time in Germany. These reports are analyzed by our team together with partners and specialist experts and measures are derived to increase patient safety. A great opportunity for the prevention of avoidable damage.”

The Association of Replacement Funds e. V. (vdek) is the advocacy group and service provider for all six replacement funds, which together insure more than 28 million people in Germany:

– Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), X: @TK_Presse

– BARMER, X: @BARMER_Presse

– DAK-Gesundheit, X: @DAKGesundheit

– KKH Commercial Health Insurance Fund, X: @KKH_Politics

– hkk – Handelskrankenkasse, X: @hkk_Presse

– HEK – Hanseatic Health Insurance Fund, X: @HEKonline

The Association of Replacement Funds e. V. (vdek) was founded on May 20, 1912 under the name “Association of Commercial Registered Relief Funds (Replacement Funds)” in Eisenach. Until 2009, the association operated under the name “Association of Employee Health Insurance Funds”. V.” (VdAK).
The association’s headquarters with more than 300 employees is in the federal capital Berlin. In the individual federal states, 15 state representations in the state capitals with over 400 employees and more than 30 employees in the care bases ensure the regional presence of the replacement funds.

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