The new Tagesspiegel clinical magazine: this is how the data for “Best Clinics in Berlin 2024” was collected

The hospital tables in the magazine “Berlin’s Best Clinics 2024” rely on two pillars of data to make it easier for you to choose which hospital you might be faced with: experience (i.e. the number of cases) and reputation (doctor surveys of recommended clinics). These data are prepared in tabular form for 54 clinical pictures. Here you can read how this data was collected.

53 hospitals in comparison

The tables you will find in each chapter list those of a total of 53 Berlin hospitals that are approved in the Berlin state hospital plan for the treatment of people with compulsory health insurance. And on the other hand, who has carried out at least 30 of the treatments mentioned in 2021 (with the exception of psychiatry, where the lower limit per clinical picture is ten cases. A second exception is the chart of artificial knee joints in orthopedics. Here the lower limit corresponds to the legal minimum quantity (50 cases).

In some tables there is an additional criterion: only clinics with a corresponding specialist department, for example pediatrics or vascular medicine, are listed.

Special hospitals exclusively for geriatric medicine and clinics that only care for private, paying patients are not listed.

Clinics are listed alphabetically by name. The hospital comparison is not and is not intended to be a general ranking such as “The ten best hospitals in the city”. Because there is no hospital that is best for everyone. Different criteria are crucial for each patient during their selection.

The more therapies hospitals offer, the more experienced they are

The tables contain as a first criterion either the number of diagnoses identified or the number of treatments carried out. According to experts, these tell a lot about the experience in the houses and thus allow conclusions to be drawn about the quality. Anyone who treats many patients also has a lot of experience with this disease, has more routine and is better prepared for problems.

The figures shown correspond to treatment cases and not to individual patients. This is due to the clinics’ billing system towards health insurance funds. This means the clinic could have treated fewer patients than the number of treatments suggests. However, as this applies to all clinics, the figures remain comparable.

Case numbers were extracted by the editorial team from legally required clinical quality reporting. The most recent quality reports available for this magazine as of the editorial deadline cover 2021. Clinics were given the opportunity to verify that the number of cases from the quality reports had been correctly transferred and to correct any possible errors in quality reports.

This year’s figures may have been influenced by the corona pandemic, which has been particularly severe in 2021. Political leaders have put pressure on hospitals to postpone so-called elective or planned treatments in order to have more capacity available for coronavirus emergencies. These plannable therapies include certain orthopedic or eye surgeries. Clinics also received bonuses if they kept free beds. However, not all hospitals have respected these postponement instructions in the same way.

On the other hand, patients were also much more reluctant to be admitted to hospital during this time. For example, many of them feared being infected with the coronavirus in the hospital.

Nearly 2,100 resident doctors in Berlin gave their clinical recommendations

In addition to the number of cases, “Berlin’s Best Clinics 2024” again presents the results of a survey of resident doctors in Berlin. As in previous years, the survey was once again scientifically supported by the renowned IGES institute in Berlin.

The survey took place in the fall of 2023 and covered eleven specialized groups: general practitioners, ophthalmologists, gynecologists, dermatologists, ENT specialists, internists, pediatricians, neurologists, orthopedists, urologists and psychiatrists. Appropriate clinical pictures were assigned to specialized groups. For the first time in this series of surveys on the quality of care in Berlin hospitals, the survey was carried out using an online questionnaire in addition to the telephone survey.

When conducting the survey, a procedure was used to ensure that the results were less influenced by regional differences in physicians’ willingness to respond. The urban area of ​​Berlin was divided into regions – called sampling points – with comparable numbers of doctors in certain disciplines. Subsequently, the responses received were attributed to these regions. In regions with a low response rate, contacted physicians who had not responded to the survey were contacted by telephone for their participation. The combination of written and telephone surveys ensured equal participation of physicians in different regions of the city.

The survey’s goal was to achieve a response rate of at least 32 percent per survey point for practicing physicians and specialists, which would correspond to a total of 1,853 physicians surveyed.

All specialist groups were able to achieve this objective. Internal medicine specialists had the lowest response rate at 33.6 percent. The highest responses were obtained by ophthalmologists (41.6 percent), neurologists (40.6 percent) and urologists (43.1 percent).

A total of 2,085 doctors participated, which corresponds to a participation rate of 36 percent. Compared to other surveys of this type, a rate of this magnitude can be considered exceptionally high.

For the survey, around 5,792 doctors in Berlin received a questionnaire in which they were asked for clinical recommendations for up to five hospital treatments. For each indication, the doctor could name up to four clinics that he would recommend to his patients.

For data processing, all recommendations made for an indication were taken into account. It was then calculated what proportion of the total of all referrals went to the clinic. (teaspoon)

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