Pioneering Quality Management strategy that improves patient outcomes


A renowned Executive Leader, from the Schӧn Klinik Group, is speaking at this year’s Arab Health Congress about an award-winning quality management system designed to improve patient outcomes.

Schön Klinik is one of the most specialised hospital providers with 80% of their activities focusing on Spine/Orthopaedics, Neurology and Mental Health.

Presenting on behalf of the group, Mr Andreas Ludowig will highlight how they have established a unique quality measurement system ‘Quality Empowered by Documentation’ to deliver the highest level of medical care. The four-step process comprises of a quality indicator, collection of data, evaluation and the implementation of improvements. It uses science-based indicators to analyse and compare the data against benchmarks. It then offers expert group discussion to initiate continuous improvements to outcomes.

“We truly believe that medical excellence is the result of specialisation and experience,” says Mr Ludowig, speaking on behalf of the Schön Klinik.

“Experience can be used for continuous development and to aid improvement as long as this experience has been systematically collected, evaluated and discussed among experts. This is what our quality management process does. It is a comprehensive quality measurement system which has been embedded in all our hospitals for many years.”

Developed over a number of years, the pioneering system is a result of the continuous collection of data. The types of information that the hospital group collect includes patient experience, patient safety and treatment outcomes - both from a patient and clinical perspective. Once collected, this data is then analysed regularly, reviewed and then discussed by a panel of experts. It is then used for quality improvement across all of Schӧn Klinik’s 23 hospitals.

Mr Ludowig explains: “There are 33 expert groups that review the data. The groups consist of medical staff and quality managers. Relevant quality indicators for important treatments are defined but they must be specific, significant and science based. Our expert groups then discuss the results in regular meetings and initiate improvement activities. Improvement in outcome is the major goal and this approach has resulted in better long-term outcomes.”

  1. process of medical outcomes is also continuously measured and compared. Using clinical information systems, every patient and administrative clinical data is captured through questionnaires. This allows all data to be standardised and evaluated. Statistical analysis is perfected on a quarterly basis and companywide bench marks are readily available for all clinicians to access.

One example of how the quality management system has improved outcomes is the clinic’s reduction in blood transfusions. According to international studies the risk of needing a blood transfusion during hip replacement is around 22%. Through constant collection and review of data from patients under-going this operation, the Schӧn Klinik consultants have been able to adapt procedures accordingly. Despite already being better than average, Schӧn Klinik has driven systematic improvements in blood transfusion rates over the last five years, reducing it to 0.5%. For patients this means fewer complications and faster recovery from surgery. In 2011 two thirds of Schӧn Klinik hip replacement patients left hospital with more than 70o flexibility. Through measuring outcomes and reviewing the data a new programme was introduced in 2012. This focused on mobilising patients within six hours of surgery and giving them additional intensive physiotherapy. The result was a marked increase in the percentage of patients achieving greater than 70% flexibility on discharge.

This quality management approach to outcome measurement has been recognised by international thought leaders in this field. In 2013 the renowned strategist Michael Porter published the article ‘The strategy that will fix healthcare*’ and identified the group as an exemplar of patient health care provision and measurement led quality improvement. Most recently they have been recognised by Healthcare Business International (HBI) in their Business Model Innovation Awards. Around 70 companies in the healthcare sector were in the running for the awards granted by the English healthcare intelligence platform. In the “best quality data model” category, Schön Klinik succeeded over peers such as the University of Utah, taking first place in the category. They have also won the European Inspirational Award 2017 at the Value Based Healthcare Prize event.

Links to the Middle East

Schön Klinik has extensive experience in dealings with patients from across the globe including countries such as UAE, Saudi, Kuwait, and Bahrain. The Emir of Kuwait has been one of many prominent patients recently drawn to the superlative standards on offer.

Mr Ludowig explains the hospital group are fully aware of cultural differences and are well prepared to accommodate those differences.

He said: “We understand that families often accompany a patient travelling overseas for treatment, particularly if their time with us involves a prolonged stay. We have a team of dedicated liaison managers who have specific in-depth knowledge and appreciation of the cultural needs of patients and their extended families. They work side by side with each group for the entirety of their stay and can accommodate all manner of requests.”

Schoen Clinic London – opening soon

The group has had such a positive experience with their healthcare quality management approach that they will also implement it in their newest hospital opening soon in the Harley Street Medical Area, London, UK.

Schoen Clinic London will offer specialist world-class spinal and orthopaedics care for adults. Onsite diagnostic and radiology facilities mean that the patient can get their diagnosis as well as treatment plan under one roof and within one appointment. Treatment will include both conservative and surgical options.

Harley Street Medical Area has been famed for its medical excellence in treating complex and life-threatening conditions for over 200 years. Behind its Georgian facade lies the latest in cutting edge medical technology and it is proud to offer unique and complex surgeries by renowned surgeons.

Under the careful stewardship of The Howard de Walden Estate, the landowner, the Harley Street Medical Area maintains a reputation for offering the very highest standards of medical care and expertise and is notable for the sheer variety and excellence of services on offer in such an attractive and accessible setting.

The Arab Health Congress delivers the highest quality of Continuing Medical Education (CME) to medical professionals in the region. With more than 13,700 delegates from around the world attending the event, the conference programme brings global appeal with international speakers covering a broad spectrum of medical specialities and disciplines.

Mr Ludowig’s presentation will take place on 31st January 2018 at 12.45pm as part of the Quality Management conference. You can also speak to Mr Ludowig at the Harley Street Medical Area stand which is located on the UK Pavilion in hall 4.