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CenterPlast – Quality is the standard

The quality of their work is very important to Dr. Adelana Santos Stahl and PD Dr. Stéphane Stahl. Taking responsibility for the quality and safety of patient care is part of the medical self-image at CenterPlast. The quality of a practice is, among other things, the degree of correspondence between the requirements of a patient and the service provided. In other words: Quality is when you are satisfied.

Education, patient information and counselling, preparation of the operation, selection of the appropriate anaesthetic procedure, hygienic work, professional qualified care according to the respective state of scientific knowledge, patient orientation, patient safety, structuring of treatment processes are all quality characteristics.Quality indicators are measurable parameters whose characteristics should enable a distinction to be made between good and poor quality of care, such as a wound infection rate. Assuming good training, the number of operations performed by a surgeon is not an indicator of quality (Berger DH, et al. Surgery. 2003). For example, a musician of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and a street musician cannot be compared on the basis of the number of rehearsals or performances. Patients often complain about doctor-patient communication. The time a surgeon spends with his patients outside the operating room is therefore important.

The search for the right doctor

Before making a decision, getting a second medical opinion can help clear up any doubts. The statutory health insurance companies do not cover the costs of aesthetic operations. The cost of treatment is relevant to the decision, but trust in the doctor should ultimately be the deciding factor. A doctor’s education, experience, skills, and science competencies are more difficult for a layperson to compare than cost. Nevertheless, inquire about the qualifications of the doctor you are confiding in! After all, it’s your health.

The terms “cosmetic surgeon”, “aesthetic surgeon” or “cosmetic surgeon” are not protected. The situation is different for the professional title of “plastic and aesthetic surgeon”: these medical practitioners have all completed a corresponding six-year further training course. This is similar with ear, nose and throat specialists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons, these specialists can acquire the additional qualification “plastic surgery” after two years of further training and are thus qualified for operations in the area of the head.

Medical activity also includes research, for example in the context of a medical doctorate or habilitation. The ability to incorporate scientific knowledge into rational treatment decisions is strengthened through independent scientific activity. Professional experience in a managerial position strengthens the sense of responsibility and the competence to solve complex and difficult challenges.

A comprehensive inquiry of potentially medically relevant information, a detailed examination and documentation as well as a full explanation of risks and alternatives are evidence of a professional approach. If the doctor uses medical terms that you do not understand, ask what they mean! If you’re worried about forgetting something you think is important, take notes beforehand!

Quality features

In order to be able to objectively assess quality in health care, the following categories of medical care performance are distinguished (modified after Gerlach FM (2001) Quality promotion in practice and clinic. An opportunity for medicine. Thieme, Stuttgart):

Structural quality:

  • Excellent training and examination of the surgeon according to international standards (for example EBOPRAS – European Board of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery).
  • Passing university examinations (the habilitation is the highest-ranking university examination in Germany).
  • Regular further training and exchange with surgeons at international congresses.
  • Recognised additional qualifications of the surgeon (for example, medical quality management, emergency medicine).
  • Experience in a leading position (for example as a clinic director).
  • The mastery of a variety of surgical techniques (for example, microsurgery).
  • Scientific skills (for example, leading innovative research projects).
  • Qualification and number of employees.
  • A modern practice facility.
  • A patient-centered organization of practice.
  • Customer-friendly practice hours (e.g. also evenings and weekends)
  • A good cooperation with a network of experts.
  • Networking with leading international plastic surgeons.
  • The constant accessibility of the surgeon after an operation.

Process quality:

  • Friendly and helpful treatment team.
  • Reasonable duration of care by the physician.
  • Short waiting times before treatment.
  • Timely Appointments.
  • Trusting and caring conversations with the patient.
  • Understandable information about the recommended treatment.
  • The systematic evaluation of information that affects the risk of treatment (for example, allergies, risk of thrombosis).
  • A thorough examination of the patient.
  • A comprehensive consultation on the benefits and risks of the desired treatment and alternative treatment methods.
  • Choosing the appropriate treatment with the patient.
  • A treatment according to accepted international fact-based standards.
  • The systematic and thorough documentation.
  • Thorough preparation for the surgery (adjustment of certain medications or nutritional supplements prior to surgery, ordering compression garments and medications that may be needed after surgery, showering with a disinfecting wash lotion on the day of surgery, making appointments for follow-up care, taking out follow-up insurance).
  • The use of checklists to improve patient safety.
  • The observance of strict hygiene rules.
  • Regular checks after the operation to identify and treat risks in good time.
  • Continually review performance to identify areas for improvement.

Outcome quality:

  • The improvement or healing of diseases after plastic surgery.
  • An improvement in appearance after aesthetic surgery.
  • A high level of patient satisfaction.
  • Improving the quality of life.
  • Positive feedback from patients.
  • Positive feedback from referring physicians.
  • Low complication rates.

Quality Management

Physicians who participate in SHI-accredited medical care are obligated to introduce and further develop a quality management system (§ 135a Paragraph 2 No. 2 SGB V).

In addition to the specialist training and the fulfilment of the legal minimum requirements, PD Dr. Stahl has acquired an additional further training for physicians (additional designation) via the Medical Quality Management.

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