vom 02/13/2015

Attending to the patient: National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg once again acclaimed as self-help-friendly

Praise for strong cooperation with self-help groups and the founding of a patient advisory committee / patient advisory committee works together with NCT management

Oncological patient care at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) and the Heidelberg University Hospital was acclaimed as "self-help-friendly" in January for the second time since 2012. The network „Selbsthilfefreundlichkeit und Patientenorientierung im Gesundheitswesen“ (Self-help-friendliness and Patient Orientation in the Health Care System) in Berlin confers the award "Self-help-friendly Hospital" to health care institutions that have demonstrated their systematic and efficient cooperation with self-help groups. The NCT, whose supporting institutions are the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital, was particularly commended for its structured implementation of patient involvement and patient orientation. This is currently reflected in the founding of an NCT patient advisory committee, which is able to convey patient concerns directly to the NCT management. Establishment of the new patient advisory committee was announced in a ceremony at the NCT on February 12th. On this occasion the members of the spokespersons council were also introduced.

Professor Dirk Jäger, Director of the department Medical Oncology at the NCT: "We do not see self-help as an end in itself but rather as a way to contribute significantly to improving patient care and sustainably promoting patient orientation. Besides, coordination with the self-help groups increases our knowledge of the patients and is thereby of value to our interdisciplinary work.

The network „Selbsthilfefreundlichkeit und Patientenorientierung im Gesundheitswesen“ is responsible for determining to what extent a hospital may be considered "self-help-friendly" according to eight quality criteria. To this purpose those departments at Heidelberg University Hospital involved in treating cancer patients under the umbrella of the NCT were required to demonstrate the existence of premises, infrastructure and presentation options that are oriented towards the needs of the patients, their families and the self-help groups. Furthermore, informational materials and a corresponding information flow about self-help must also be available. The NCT was also obliged to appoint a self-help representative, support the self-help groups in their public relations work and ensure a regular exchange of information and experiences.

Patient advisory committee gets to work

The establishment of a patient advisory committee is currently playing an important role for NCT and self-help. Its function is to prepare proposed solutions in conjunction with the NCT management when, for instance, ideas are put forward as to how cooperation between patients and physicians could be improved. The committee will facilitate communications between patients and management and make sure that patient concerns are addressed by the NCT directors. The panel also supports the NCT and the departments of the Heidelberg University Hospital  involved in oncology in their efforts to continue to optimize patient care.

The patient advisory committee is made up of representatives from oncological self-help groups cooperating with the NCT as part of the quality circle "Self-help-friendliness". Pursuant to their functions, Bärbel Handlos, head of the Heidelberg self-help office, Marion Duscha, coordinator of the Heidelberg self-help office and Kirsten Bikowski, self-help representative at the NCT, also belong to the advisory committee. Two further seats on the patient advisory committee at the NCT are allocated to patients not active in self-help groups. Their election takes place in spring. The committee's first working session is  planned for early summer. The Heidelberg self-help office is responsible for coordinating and managing the patient advisory committee.

The spokespersons of the new panel were introduced in a ceremony with an accompanying musical program on February 12th at the NCT.

An image for this press release is available at:

Legend: Presentation of the certification document "Self-help-friendly Hospital" f.l.t.r.: Antje Liesener, MPH Director of the Federal coordination office "Netzwerk Selbsthilfefreundlichkeit und Patientenorientierung im Gesundheitswesen", Prof. Dr. Dirk Jäger, Director of Medical Oncology at the NCT and Kirsten Bikowski, self-help representative at the NCT.

Elected spokespersons of the NCT's patient advisory committee, following the meetings of the quality circle on self-help-friendly hospitals at the NCT:
Christa Knebel, Leukämie- und Lymphomhilfe, Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar
Brigitte Reimann, Multiples Myelom/ Plasmozytom Selbsthilfegruppe Kurpfalz Annette Hans, Selbsthilfegruppe in der Metropolregion Rhein- Neckar für Lungenkrebskranke und Angehörige
Rainer Jakobi, Das Lebenshaus e.V. Regionale Nierenkrebs- Patientengruppe Rhein-Neckar

E-mail: patientenbeirat@selbsthilfe-heidelberg.de
Phone: +49 6221 18 42 90 (Heidelberg Self-help Office)

Press contact:
Doris Rübsam-Brodkorb
National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg
Press and Public Relations
Im Neuenheimer Feld 460
69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221 56-5930
Fax: +49 6221 56-5350
E-mail: doris.ruebsam-brodkorb@nct-heidelberg.de

Dr. Stefanie Seltmann
German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
Press and Public Relations
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221 42-2854
Fax: +49 6221 42-2968
E-mail: S.Seltmann@dkfz.de

Julia Bird
University Hospital and Medical Faculty Heidelberg
Press and Public Relations
Im Neuenheimer Feld 672
69120 Heidelberg
Phone:+49 6221 56-7071
Fax:+49 6221 56-4544
E-mail: julia.bird@med.uni-heidelberg.de

The National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg
The National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg University Hospital and German Cancer Aid. The NCT's goal is to link promising approaches from cancer research with patient care from diagnosis to treatment, aftercare and prevention. The interdisciplinary tumor outpatient clinic is the central element of the NCT. Here the patients benefit from an individual treatment plan prepared in a timely manner in interdisciplinary expert rounds, the so-called tumor boards. Participation in clinical studies provides access to innovative therapies. The NCT thereby acts as a pioneering platform that translates novel research results from the laboratory into clinical practice. The NCT cooperates with self-help groups and supports them in their work. Since 2015, a second site for the NCT beside Heidelberg has been under development in Dresden.

German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
With its more than 3000 employees, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) is the largest biomedical research institution in Germany. Over 1000 scientists at the DKFZ study how cancer develops, examine cancer risk factors and search for new strategies to prevent people from contracting cancer. They develop new methods with which cancer can be more precisely diagnosed and which allow cancer patients to be treated more successfully. The staff of the Cancer Information Service (KID) provide information about the widespread disease to patients, their families and the general public. Together with Heidelberg University Hospital, the DKFZ set up the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg, where promising approaches from cancer research are applied to clinical practice. As part of the "Deutsches Konsortium für Translationale Krebsforschung" (DKTK, German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research ), one of the six German centers for health research, the DKFZ maintains translational centers at seven university partner locations. The combination of excellent university medicine with the premium research of a Helmholtz Center contributes greatly to improving the chances of cancer patients. The Federal Ministry for Education and Research provides 90 percent of the DKFZ's funding, with the remaining 10 percent coming from the State of Baden-Württemberg. The DKFZ is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.

University Hospital and Medical Faculty Heidelberg, health care, research and teaching of international standing
Heidelberg University Hospital is one of the most important medical centers in Germany; Heidelberg University's Medical Faculty is one of Europe's most prestigious biomedical research facilities. Their shared objective is the development of innovative diagnostics and treatments and their prompt implementation for the benefit of the patient. The hospital and faculty employ approximately 12 600 individuals and are involved in training and qualification. Every year approximately 66 000 patients are treated as inpatients or day patients in more than 50 specialized clinical departments with about 1 900 beds, with more than 1 million patients being treated as outpatients. The Heidelberg Curriculum Medicinale (HeiCuMed) is at the forefront of medical training in Germany. At present approx. 3500 prospective physicians are studying in Heidelberg.