“An extremely constructive collaborative project with INNOFORCE has resulted in a database program which not only provides complete storage of relevant audiological, surgical, imaging and graphic data but also supplies a rapid and comprehensive statistical evaluation. A system like this is something we’ve been waiting for a long time!”
The ENT inpatient department was set up by Dr Goesta Schimanski in Lünen-Brambauer in 1983. In the years that followed, it became the Centre for Middle Ear Surgery (ZFM). In 2007, Dr Esther Schimanski, daughter of Dr G. Schimanski, joined the ENT group practice In 2014, she assumed responsibility specifically for middle ear surgery. By 2015, more than 12,000 patients had been treated in 17,000 microsurgical ear operations.
From the outset, an ear documentation book was kept, recording the most important pre-operational and post-operational findings, so that operations and the degree of their success might be analysed, enabling the therapy applied and its quality to be evaluated and assessed critically. At that time, a general assessment and, in particular, an analysis of the audiometry data was possible, but very time consuming and prone to error. In the late 1990s, the digital documentation of all ear operations was introduced using masks, developed by the Centre itself, based on MS Access. Thus, for the first time it was possible not only to conduct a statistical assessment and analysis of the healing outcomes in comparison to the pre-operative findings, but also to assess and analyse the audiometry data. Back then, the transfer of the “old data” from the practice’s ear operation book and index card pool took a large amount of time and a lot of work.
The decision to abandon the old system and switch to a modern scientific ENT database such as ENTstatistics has proven its worth in many ways:
- The migration of the extensive database was far easier, faster and more secure than in the past.
- The structure is not a rigid one. New data can be integrated at any time.
- The system can be adapted flexibly to future developments in medicine and the user’s respective concept and organisational structure.
- Primarily in the case of audiogram data, queries and assessments are integrated on a scientifically recognised basis.
We GPs who also look after inpatients and who generally do not have the support of the statistics and data mining departments that are available in (university) hospitals can now also obtain an overview of all the details of operations and their outcomes. ENTstatistics has made this possible.
“ENTstatistics is indispensable in the creation and operation of an otology database. Thanks to the user-friendly interface different users quickly learn how to interact with it. The statistical tools, particularly the evaluation of audiometric data, boost the efficiency of employees and represent an inestimable timesaver.
Thanks to the manufacturer’s high-quality customer service the programme can be continuously adapted to our changing demands. The possibilities for interfacing and automatic collection of biomedical data testify to the versatility and effectiveness of ENTstatistics. Its use in a multiple user network is entirely free flowing. A great success!”
“Surgery is founded on the basic sciences of Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology. As surgery has evolved with the development of expanded knowledge, experience and new technologies, we are now better enabled to assess accurately the results of surgical procedures and patient recovery.
For the first time ENT surgical statistics can be captured with programs developed by INNOFORCE. Surgical outcomes can be recorded, compared and provide inarguable evidence on the effectiveness of operations and patient satisfaction. This is a huge leap forward for all patients and practicing surgeons.
I urge all surgeons to embrace this program.”
“It has been a real pleasure to establish the rhinology module in my practice as the team at INNOFORCE has been exceptionally helpful and supportive. The key has been the speed of their responsiveness and their willingness to interact in real time to customise functions of the program. That INNOFORCE is based in Europe and my practice is in New Zealand has been no impediment at all to the successful implementation of the program. I also greatly appreciate their focus on ORL surgery – as they learn more about the specifics of our surgical specialty the service they provide continues to improve in a manner that would not happen with a generic database program.
One feature of the program that my patients like is that they are able to complete questionnaires sent to them prior to their appointment in the comfort of their own home. Accordingly, they can check details of their medications and surgical history, and also have no feeling of time pressure. The completed questionnaires are displayed on my screen prior to my seeing the patient.”
“In recent years, there have been great advances in rhinosurgery with modern technology making it possible to constantly expand the indications for transnasal endoscopic procedures. Scientific study of rhinosurgical interventions require the precise recording of diagnoses and the operations carried out. In the everyday work of the clinic, these can be achieved easily with the ENTstatistics Rhinology module from INNOFORCE.”
“After 2 years of using ENTstatistics, I have enough data to start producing astonishing reviews of my personal experiences in otology. ENTstatistics supply the surgeon with effortless importing of high quality photos, radiology and audiology. Reviewing difficult cases and new techniques becomes a pleasure. An easy customisable template system makes it possible to do statistical analysis to prove or disprove a hypothesis. This software is essential for any academic institution and surgeons that longs for an easy way to constantly improve your skills.”
“For many years Ear and Skull Base surgical procedures in our ENT clinic have been documented pre- and postoperatively in a computer based Register. Until now this has been difficult and time consuming. The data collected however is indispensable for clinical research and the evaluation of surgical outcome. Several published scientific papers from our clinic are based on data from this Register.
The introduction of the ENT Database has facilitated this work substantially. The statistical analysis and evaluation is possible without support from a statistician, which saves time and costs. As all skull base procedures are performed in collaboration with the Neurosurgical clinic the ENT Database is necessary for both clinics. The oral and written preoperative information given to the patients is based on the easily accessible data extracted from the ENT Database. Another advantage of the ENT Database is that it can be designed to fit the demands of different clinics. We strongly recommend the ENT Database to all clinicians who need a comprehensive and user friendly follow up program.”
“Since 2010 I use ENTstatistics in our clinic.
It is a really great tool for Ear surgeons. It helps in keeping an accurate database with all the required information – either for own information of performance or for statistical evaluation for any research and public presentations. I enjoy the easy adaptation of the different evaluation parameters to my own environment and needs.”
“In our clinic set up in the developing world I use the program as the surgeon after performing surgery in the operating theatre, during follow ups in the clinic and for all ear surgical patients for statistical evaluation.
One of the tools I really like because it is so helpful is the ability to recall patients who missed their follow up. We experience it often that patients miss their review. With ENTstatistics we can easily track those patients and call them for review. If patients can easily be called and reminded we help the patients to get a better service and see them again before problems start. In addition we get so much more comprehensive information which we would otherwise miss out.
I enjoy the user friendliness of this program where all necessary data for one patient are easily available – esp. with the Audiogram on hand and the ease to compare the pre and post op Audiogram.”
“Not until I was introduced to Mr Wille and the INNOFORCE company did I see successful integration solutions in the ENT field, solutions which are urgently needed today, especially in audiology. I found the collaboration to be very constructive and cooperative, and solutions were always found for every problem. I can highly recommend the INNOFORCE company to anyone interested in network solutions in the ENT field!
The work list greatly speeds up the process of looking up patients, which lets us start the hearing test without delay. You are practically ready to start right away, which makes the audiometry work substantially easier.”
For around 20 years, Dr Moser has been treating a large number of patients at the Paracelsus Medical University’s ENT clinic in Salzburg (Prim. Prof. G. Rasp). Since installing ENTstatistics, he has had immediate access from any location to all documented treatment data during his otological consultations. As a result, he has noticed a distinct improvement in personal consultation, not least of all due to the clear time savings in processing and viewing previous findings.
The quality of a database depends on consistent and structured entry of data in various formats, including text, graphics and images. This is why a user-friendly interface for data entry is so crucial. The processes used in ENTstatistics, such as drag & drop functions and clicking on defined text components, make it easy to integrate data entry into the clinic’s daily routine. With the help of this software, scientific analyses of audiological data and other evaluations can then be performed, based on the therapeutic measures that have been taken.
Prof. Leunig has been specialising in the field of functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) for more than 20 years. Ensuring quality assurance and the documentation of diagnostic findings have always been significant challenges.
With the help of ENTstatistics connected to the hospital’s or medical practice’s documentation systems, it is now possible to ensure easy and rapid documentation of all FESS procedures.
“From an IT point of view, the installation with INNOFORCE was once again a pure pleasure. The software meets all our specifications without any reservations. Here, the principle that ‘size doesn’t matter’ has proved to be true once again. If this were always the case, we would save ourselves a great deal of time and trouble each time”
Since 1988, Prof. J. Müller has been extensively involved in computer-based documentation of otology information. In the form of the ‘Würzburger Ohrbogen’ [Schön & Müller 2002], he established together with F. Schön and under the supervision of Prof. J. Helms one of the largest otology databases worldwide. For Prof. Müller, it is important to have the information on his surgical procedures documented in a structured form so that he can use this source for research and quality assurance purposes.
He now works in the ENT department (Director: Prof. M. Canis) of Munich University Medical Centre where he relies on ENTstatistics that, thanks to its integration in the large hospital documentation system, provides for simple and rapid documentation of all otology procedures even at different workstations and offers additional options, such the new CI functions.
“The biggest advantage of ENTstatistics is the digital storage of audiological results and surgical procedures in one common database. Different groups of staff members, such as surgeons, audiologists, psychologists and speech therapists gather their findings and can access one another´s findings easily.
The introduction of ENTstatistics replaced former, predominantly paper-based, results and makes them immediately available at any station within the clinics.
During everyday work ENTstatistics enables an easier and faster work-flow.”
“The critical analysis of one’s results after sinus surgery on basis of objective data and quality of life analyses will become increasingly important. Only those who evaluate their results thoroughly and genuinely can assess what stage they are at and, as the case may be, improve themselves. Symptom scores and quality of life analyses before and after surgery or application of conservative measures are a great tool to understand whether the respective therapy actually helps our patients. The structured sinus database by INNOFORCE helps with this honest analysis in a unique way. Patients may enter the symptom scores themselves, the analysis of the data is intuitive and offers completely new benchmarking options. Every serious sinus surgeon should consider this type of data collection.”
“The tumour module of ENTstatistics is a clearly structured, easy to use database for the systematic and continuous documentation of the results of diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of oncological disorders located in the head-neck region. Particularly worth emphasizing are the rapidity and ease with which data can be entered, the modular options that make it possible to modify and extend it to meet individual user needs and the fact that it can be used to analyse data whenever required.”
“All our experience with the ENTstatistics otology database has been positive without exception. It only took a short induction period before all the data on ear operations could be input in the shortest possible time in a user-friendly fashion. The interface communication with our hospital information system (HIS) via HL7, together with the communication with our GDT-linked audiometry systems has been robust and problem-free. It has also been possible for the end-user to configure the program with the minimum of effort to adapt it to the specific situations and classifications in our clinic – thanks at least in part to the rapid response of the INNOFORCE team.”
“From the IT perspective, the introduction of the ENTstatistics program in the ENT department of Salzburg General Hospital was a seamless operation. Thanks to the ability of INNOFORCE to react rapidly to meet our needs, the work was very quickly completed.
The program was integrated in our hospital information system (HIS) and linked to our
audiometry devices with the help of INNOFORCE. We had very specific requirements for which InnoForce was able to develop and implement solutions. The system in general has proved to be very stable.”
“Thanks to INNOFORCE’s skilled employees and the sophisticated, versatile ENTstatistics software, we were able to complete the ‘ENTstatistics Introduction with Audiometry Legacy Data Transfer’ project in record time. There is an immediate response to specific user requirements. This enabled us to quickly reach a very high level of acceptance during the pilot operation, so we were able to proceed to regular operation sooner than expected.”
“The documentation of diagnoses and treatments in electronic form has become standard practice in patient care in recent years. The availability of user-friendly database systems has considerably facilitated our work, not only when it comes to the documentation of diagnoses and therapies but also with regard to our research activities.
During our day-to-day routine work in an outpatient ENT oncological department we have found that the compact storage of patient information in a database significantly increases our efficiency, providing us with more time for actual face-to-face patient consultations as the treatment-related information can be quickly and concisely accessed from any workplace.
The introduction of ENTstatistics has considerably facilitated our ability to access and compare audiological data during our CI and ear consultation sessions.”
Each year, the ENT clinic at Erlangen’s university hospital (under Director Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. H. Iro) carries out over 600 ear operations, including cochlear implants. At the behest of department head Prof. J. Hornung, ENTstatistics was introduced into the ENT university hospital in Erlangen in 2015 and has significantly helped to manage the vast number of patients and resulting data.
Prof. Hornung and his colleagues are particularly impressed with the fast and structured input of data in the operation theatre. With little training, the ENTstatistics database was adapted easily and flexibly to meet the individual needs and requirements of the Erlangen ENT clinic. All subsequent changes or necessary adjustments to the input masks were made quickly.
In addition to OP documentation, ENTstatistics allows users to get a quick and comprehensive overview of past medical history. Once processed accordingly, existing databases were migrated into ENTstatistics, preventing any data loss. In combination with the now continually updated documentation, this expanded previous data analysis possibilities for scientific purposes enormously.
INNOFORCE worked professionally and competently together with the hospital’s IT department to incorporate the ENTstatistics database into the existing IT structure. Once essential basic elements were installed, users could add additional modular elements to the ENTstatistics system. This meant they could adapt it to suit the clinic’s internal workflows and technical features, step by step. Using the ENTstatistics software has significantly improved the process of managing, tracking and scientifically analysing ear surgery patients at the ENT clinic of the university hospital.
“Thank you for the messages about the completion of the interface. I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone involved; you made it very easy for me to set up this interface. Many things would be much easier if every cooperation went as smoothly as this did.“
“For a good year now I have been using the ENTstatistics program for documenting tympanoplasties. I find it particularly useful to be able to configure the database to meet my specific needs. I can enter the information on the operations which I find important – namely data on medical findings and surgical techniques besides the audiometric data. There is also no problem in introducing categories retrospectively, so that I now have a database just as I want it.
The data can be filtered later by specific criteria and be evaluated statistically. Operation is simple, and the program is reliable. I am really impressed by the support given by INNOFORCE. I received rapid and helpful support both in installing the program, in operating it and dealing with user problems. The program was a worthwhile investment for me.”