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29. April 2011, Koblenz

The Path Toward The Competent Patient

Survey: many German physicians welcome the strengthening of patients’ rights.

Koblenz, April 29, 2011: The planned law for patients’ rights is currently initiating many debates in the healthcare sector. It is intended to improve the safety and legal position of patients toward physicians. According to a current survey, the majority of physicians approve of a stronger position for the population: 55% are in favor of enhancing patients' rights. Only 3.7% fear that the law could lead to more lawsuits against physicians. That was the result of the monthly survey by the CGM-GesundheitsMONITOR.

Transparency and personal responsibility as a prescription for success
Modern medicine offers many treatment options, whose processes are frequently complex and difficult to comprehend by the lay person. The new law for patients’ rights is intended to provide the population with more safety. However, medical associations fear that strict legal stipulations could impair the trusting relationship between physician and patient. The majority of the surveyed physicians (55%) are in favor of strengthening patients’ rights - 20.5% of the approving physicians are of the opinion that patients will obtain better insight into their treatment and 34.5% of them also believe that the patients will accept more responsibility for their health. However, there are some physicians that disapprove of the planned law; slightly more than one third of those surveyed (36.8%) is of the opinion that patients’ rights are already given sufficient consideration. Only 7.3% worry about increased lawsuits against physicians.

Physicians are important contact persons for patients
The handling of medical treatment errors plays an important role in the discussion about improved patients‘ rights. The law also stipulates better documentation of therapy processes, analysis of error sources and more stringent informed consent measures. Many physicians are aware that action is needed - 61.4% confirm that patients very often report medical treatment errors made by other physicians, 2.7% report that it is rarely mentioned to them and almost one out of three physicians (35.9%) has never been approached about it.

Systematic elimination of errors and improved information for patients
Which concrete measures could be employed to alleviate the problems with medical treatment errors? Opinions differ for this question - 7.5% of physicians are in favor of establishing a compensation fund, 12.6% believe that supporting health insurance funds makes the most sense, for example with expert opinions. One third (32.7%) primarily advocates for using error reporting systems even more intensively than in the past. In contrast, another one third of the physicians (35.2%) believe that it is more important to enhance informed consent and documentation. This would be an important step on the path toward the competent patient.

About CompuGroup Medical AG
CompuGroup Medical is one of the leading e-health companies worldwide. Its software products, designed to support all medical and organizational activities in doctors’ offices and hospitals, its information services for all parties involved in the healthcare system and its web-based personal health records contribute towards safer and more efficient healthcare. The services of CompuGroup Medical are based on its unique customer base of around 380,000 doctors, dentists, hospitals and networks as well as other service providers. CompuGroup Medical is the e-Health company with one of the biggest coverage among ehealth service providers worldwide. The company operates in 18 European countries as well as in Brazil, Chile, Malaysia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and in the USA and currently employs around 3,300 people.

The CGM GesundheitsMONITOR:
The CGM GesundheitsMONITOR is a joint initiative of CompuGroup Medical, the Medical Tribune and the Rhein-Zeitung. They perform representative monthly surveys of 440 general practitioners with regard to current issues in the healthcare system. You can download free printable graphs and find publications as well as information about the representative survey at

About Medical Tribune:
For over 40 years, the Medical Tribune has been one of the most widely read publications for private practice physicians. The popular weekly newspaper offers an attractive mix of medicine, health and professional policies relevant to private practice, and economic issues that apply to the medical profession. In a unique style, the Medical Tribune provides multifaceted continued education, personal advice, and interesting reading material within a newspaper. The Medical Tribune’s success story has been documented by the independent readership review (LA-MED) for decades.

About Rhein-Zeitung:
The Rhein-Zeitung area of circulation connects the metropolitan areas Köln-Bonn and the Rhein-Main region. The economically strong region around Koblenz is located in the center. With a circulation of right of 224,000 copies and 17 local issues, the Rhein-Zeitung has approximately 640,000 readers.

Contact for media representatives:
CompuGroup Medical AG
Barbara Müller

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