Acute pain therapy in German hospitals as competitive factor : Do competition, ownership and case severity influence the practice of acute pain therapy?

Erlenwein, J; Hinz, J; Meißner, W; Stamer, Ulrike; Bauer, M; Petzke, F (2015). Acute pain therapy in German hospitals as competitive factor : Do competition, ownership and case severity influence the practice of acute pain therapy? Der Schmerz, 29(3), pp. 266-275. Springer 10.1007/s00482-015-0002-8

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BACKGROUND Due to the implementation of the diagnosis-related groups (DRG) system, the competitive pressure on German hospitals increased. In this context it has been shown that acute pain management offers economic benefits for hospitals. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of the competitive situation, the ownership and the economic resources required on structures and processes for acute pain management. MATERIAL AND METHODS A standardized questionnaire on structures and processes of acute pain management was mailed to the 885 directors of German departments of anesthesiology listed as members of the German Society of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (DGAI, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Anästhesiologie und Intensivmedizin). RESULTS For most hospitals a strong regional competition existed; however, this parameter affected neither the implementation of structures nor the recommended treatment processes for pain therapy. In contrast, a clear preference for hospitals in private ownership to use the benchmarking tool QUIPS (quality improvement in postoperative pain therapy) was found. These hospitals also presented information on coping with the management of pain in the corporate clinic mission statement more often and published information about the quality of acute pain management in the quality reports more frequently. No differences were found between hospitals with different forms of ownership in the implementation of acute pain services, quality circles, expert standard pain management and the implementation of recommended processes. Hospitals with a higher case mix index (CMI) had a certified acute pain management more often. The corporate mission statement of these hospitals also contained information on how to cope with pain, presentation of the quality of pain management in the quality report, implementation of quality circles and the implementation of the expert standard pain management more frequently. There were no differences in the frequency of using the benchmarking tool QUIPS or the implementation of recommended treatment processes with respect to the CMI. CONCLUSION In this survey no effect of the competitive situation of hospitals on acute pain management could be demonstrated. Private ownership and a higher CMI were more often associated with structures of acute pain management which were publicly accessible in terms of hospital marketing.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > Clinic and Policlinic for Anaesthesiology and Pain Therapy

UniBE Contributor:

Stamer, Ulrike


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Jeannie Wurz

Date Deposited:

15 Jul 2015 13:53

Last Modified:

23 Jan 2018 12:14

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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