ECE-Foundation: Medical foundation to advance quality assurance through education, innovation and certification established

Erlangen/Germany, February 4, 2009 — The newly established ECE-Foundation aims at enhancing the quality of endoscopic examinations and procedures through targeted medical education, through the advancement of instruments and techniques, and through quality assurance measures. Continuity and exchange of experience, also internationally, thereby are essential elements. This benefits patients, physicians and health insurance Ė plus the entire health care system.

To reach its high objectives, the ECE-Foundation can rely on experienced personalities in its board of trustees:

  • Prof. Dr. Hartwig Bauer, Secretary General of the German Society for Surgery
  • Prof. Dr. Werner Hohenberger, President of the German Cancer Society, and Director of the Erlangen Surgical University Hospital
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Ell, Founder of the long-time successful educational concept "Gastro-Update", und Head Physician, Internal Medicine, Horst-Schmitt-Clinics in Wiesbaden
  • Horst Ohlmann, lawyer and authority on foundations, Chairman of the Deutsche Stiftungstreuhand AG

The founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr Martin Neumann, implements training workshops for endoscoping physicians and their specialist teams since more than 10 years. The foundationís purpose bases on his longstanding experience. "Clear objectives and a significant demand are best conditions for a successful start of this unique foundation, which advances operative skills in diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy across boarders", says Dr Neumann.

"It is essential to have realistic simulation models and evaluated educational concepts to measurably assist the learning curves of young colleagues, and the safe application of new technologies. The patient and the quality of care are our focus, and we must not loose sight of it now with the health care fundís financial reorganization across Germany", adds Prof. Bauer. He concentrates on quality assurance, hospital economy and continuing medical education since many years, and as Secretary General of the Germany Society for Surgery has arranged for a specific workshop contingent under the Societyís umbrella at the beginning of this year.

How crucial quality standards are specifically for the improvement of 5-year survival rates of difficult procedures, knows Prof Hohenberger, Director of the Erlangen Surgical University Hospital and President of the German Cancer Society: "After the proper indication, everything must run optimally attuned in the operating room Ė above all, quality standards must be adhered to. This does not happen automatically, a lot needs to be done in training and education".

Prof. Ell, internationally highly regarded endoscopy expert, Head Physician at the Horst-Schmitt-Clinics in Wiesbaden and himself founder of the entrenched interdisciplinary educational concept "Gastro-update", emphasizes: "I am delighted that with the top-class staffed new ECE-Foundation, a critical addition also for the maintenance and quality assurance of established hands-on educational events has successfully been formed. New synergies and ways are required as the current political developments have led to uncertainty and restraint after all."

Best wishes for a successful start of the ECE-Foundation also hail from the Bavarian Landtag. Representative Christa Matschl, member of the Health Committee: "I am especially pleased that this initiative originates from Bavaria, and attracts wide interest in many European countries far beyond Bavaria." The Ministry of Health also recognizes that tangible measures in quality assurance and continuous medical education are a vital health factor for patient safety and prevention. "It is key to specifically support new initiatives and structures in this direction, and escort them with political responsibility".

"The foundation is established and the action plan written. Active implementation is next. Targeted search for additional support across the health care sector is a substantial first step in the process" stresses the foundationís CEO, Dr Christoph Leutwyler. "The potential of the foundationís initiatives is huge", and in his view with more than 15 years of global pharmaceutical industry experience "most innovative".

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