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. 2016 Dec;154(6):629-635.
doi: 10.1055/s-0042-110209. Epub 2016 Sep 9.

[Consequences of the Foundation of a University Centre for Orthopaedics and Accident Surgery]

[Article in German]
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[Consequences of the Foundation of a University Centre for Orthopaedics and Accident Surgery]

[Article in German]
W Schneiders et al. Z Orthop Unfall. .

Abstract

Background: Since the combination of orthopaedic and traumatology surgery as a single speciality, an extremely wide variety of orthopaedic and trauma surgery centres have been founded in Germany. The present investigation analysed the degree to which additional value has been generated by merging two previously independent university departments - one for orthopaedics, the other for trauma surgery - into a single orthopaedics and trauma surgery centre. Material and Methods: The centre, merged in 1 June 2013, is led by two equal co-chairs (a full professor for orthopaedics and a full professor for trauma surgery). It consists of an acute division and five other divisions for specific parts of the body. The pre-existing certifications (level 1 trauma- and joint arthroplasty centre) were maintained in the new merged entity. Data from patient and employee questionnaires, as well as key economic indicators, were compared before and after the merger. Results: 11 % of the patients rated the medical treatment as mediocre or bad before the merger. After the merger, 5.7 % of the patients were moderately satisfied or unsatisfied; 92 % would recommend the merged centre to others and would return for further treatment. The evaluation of patient complaints before and after the merger showed no change. The evaluation of the employee questionnaires showed heterogeneous results. Overall, positive evaluations predominated, but in areas where there had been major changes, negative aspects were occasionally reported. The merger did not bring about any essential change in the number of in-patients (2012: 6693; 2014: 6649) or in the severity of the medical cases (CMI in 2012: 1.41; in 2014: 1.45). But in 2015, there was an increase in the number of in-patients (6837) and in the CMI (1.54). In the out-patient clinic, the merger led to a reduction in the material costs per patient (2012: 3.53 €/patient; 2014: 3.07 €/patient) and in the staff costs. The material costs for the entire centre were also reduced by 14 %. Conclusion: By merging the university orthopaedic and trauma surgery centres, transdisciplinary and transdepartmental improvements in patient care were achieved for musculoskeletal illnesses and injuries, and a sustainable structure was established for the advanced training for the joint specialist title of orthopaedics and trauma surgery. The merger also led to additional economic synergies, with a mid-term potential for increases in the number of patients and in CMI. To improve or at least maintain the level of employee satisfaction, staff must be actively included in the process.

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