Dr. Goesta Schimanski
ENT surgeon, Centre for Middle Ear Surgery, Lünen, Germany

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 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.

For us as GPs who also look after inpatients and who generally do not have the support of statistics and data mining departments, which exist e.g. in (university) clinics, it is now possible to gain an overview of all the details of operations and their outcomes. We are thus able to benefit patients by drawing conclusions that enable us to improve our therapy strategies and meet quality standards.