The Federal Government of Germany has rolled out a new online portal, called ‘Bundes-Klinik-Atlas’ or ‘Federal Hospital Atlas’, to give patients information about the local hospitals and clinics. 

Officially launched on 17 May 2024, the Federal Hospital Atlas aims to democratise access to information about 1,700 clinics and hospitals across the country. 

Patients and their families can use this portal to get insights on the local German hospitals’ performance, allowing them to make informed healthcare decisions ahead of medical procedures. 

These insights include data on the frequency of procedures at each hospital, the number of nurses, and other key metrics that contribute to the decision-making process. 

To facilitate easy comparison, the portal employs a ‘speedometer’ system, which benchmarks the number of cases and staffing levels against other hospitals in Germany, categorising them into 20% increments. 

While the portal’s full dataset will be rolled out incrementally, the initial launch provides valuable information to users seeking to understand more about hospital care quality only. 

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In a post on social media platform X, German Federal Health Minister Dr Karl Lauterbach wrote: “Our Federal Clinic Atlas is now online. For every rare or common disease, you can find the clinics in your area that specialise in the procedure. You can even compare up to 10 clinics on your mobile phone.” 

At its inception, the portal only provides details such as bed counts, the total number of cases per specialist department or treatment occasion, nursing staff numbers, selected certifications, and emergency levels. 

The portal is set to expand, with two additional updates scheduled to be introduced later in the year, including quality data on complication rates as well as hospital classifications. 

Lauterbach also highlighted the significance of the portal at a press conference, stating that “understandable information about good hospital care is accessible to everyone and no longer just the privilege of a few.” 

He also noted that the portal serves as “important preparatory work for the upcoming hospital reform.” 

Federal Hospital Atlas has been launched as part of the Hospital Transparency Act, spearheaded by the Federal Government to accompany the proposed Hospital reform.  

The Federal Cabinet has already put forward a draft for a Hospital Care Improvement Act.