Digital maturity of hospitals according to the KHZG
The state of hospitals’ digitalization – their “digital maturity” – is to be evaluated on June 30, 2021, and on June 30, 2023. The aim is to determine the extent to which the digital maturity of the hospitals receiving funding has improved and whether the overall investment program has created incentives for more digitalization in hospitals.
The Hospital Future Act ensures funding for those hospitals that wish to actively promote the digitalization of their processes and medical services and receive financial support for achieving their goals. In addition, the overall package also provides for penalties to be imposed on hospitals that have failed to introduce the digital services eligible for funding from the Hospital Future Fund by 2025.
The plan is for health insurance companies and hospitals to agree to a penalty of up to 2 percent on the invoice amount for each full and partial inpatient case for the period starting January 1, 2025, if a hospital fails to provide any of the relevant digital services. The exact amount of this penalty is to be determined by the number of services provided in principle and their actual utilization rate.
Hospital managers are now faced with the task of answering various questions, if they have not done so already: What is the hospitals’ degree of digitalization? Which digitalization projects make sense, and what is the appropriate concept for this purpose? What requirements have to be met, and what digitalization measures are eligible for funding under the Hospital Future Act?
What matters here is making positive, targeted and forward-looking use of funding opportunities rather than getting left behind and facing the threat of having to pay penalties if digitalization measures are not implemented.
For full details of the Hospital Future Act (KHZG), funding and more, see our <link internal-link>FAQs below.
Measures and projects eligible for funding under the KHZG
The KHZG states that the Hospital Future Fund (KHZF) will support measures in the following areas:
- Investments in modern emergency capacity
- Improvement of digital infrastructure
- Measures to increase IT security
- Development and expansion of cross-sectoral telemedical network structures
- Necessary personnel measures
The importance and benefits of digitalization in the hospital environment
The aim of the KHZG is to further improve medical care at German hospitals, thereby ensuring high-quality care in the long term. At the same time, the aim is to open up new perspectives for staff, in particular based on the potential offered by digitalization. The main focal points are:
- Improving patient service performance by introducing self-service applications and service portals for access to appointments, doctor’s letters, checklists and more
- Improving information security by introducing information security management systems (ISMS)
- Improving patient data security and infrastructure security by means of organizational and technical IT security measures, such as improving data access management or implementing the latest encryption methods
- Relieving employees by means of user-friendly web applications and other applications, by digitalizing previously paper-based or manual processes and linking or integrating them into the hospital management software (HMS), or by using IoT product, system solutions and mobile device solutions