Explore the Hospital Future Act (Krankenhauszukunftsgesetz – KHZG) and its implications on the digitization of the German healthcare system, its funding priorities, and impact on hospitals and clinics across the nation.
KHZG modernizes German healthcare infrastructure
The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the urgent need for digitization in the German healthcare system. Hospitals and clinics, responsible for managing patient flows and sensitive data, require a robust digital infrastructure to tackle future challenges. The Hospital Future Act (KHZG) aims to address this need, providing the necessary financial support for modernization and digitization.
The Hospital Future Act (KHZG) Explained
The Hospital Future Act is an investment program that came into effect on October 29, 2020, implementing the “Future program for hospitals” adopted by the federal government on June 3, 2020. It allocates a total of €4.3 billion for emergency care, IT security, and digitalization in hospitals through the Hospital Future Fund (KHZF). Of this funding, 15% must be dedicated to improving information security.
Objectives of the Hospital Future Act
The Hospital Future Act aims to provide hospitals with sufficient funds for investing in modern emergency capacities, IT security, and regional supply structures while digitizing their processes. By doing so, it seeks to:
- Enhance networking among healthcare institutions (i.e., telematics infrastructure)
- Improve patient care on a federal level
- Funding Priorities of the Hospital Future Act
Eleven funding Priorities
The Hospital Structural Fund Ordinance (KHSFV) outlines eleven funding priorities, including:
- Upgrading emergency room (information) technology equipment
- Establishing patient portals for digital admission and discharge management
- Digital and automated documentation of care and treatment services
- Implementing partially or fully automated clinical decision support systems
- Digital medication management
- Streamlining internal hospital digital processes for requesting services
- Strengthening IT infrastructure security (e.g., cloud computing systems)
- Developing an online-based bed supply verification system
- Creating or expanding technical systems for telemedical networks
- Setting up or expanding systems to prevent disruptions to IT systems, components, or processes
- Adapting patient rooms for specialized treatments (e.g., during epidemics)
What Costs Does the Hospital Future Act Cover?
The KHZG covers costs related to implementing various measures, including:
- Technical/IT measures: hardware, software, licenses, connections, and procurement, construction, expansion, or development of IT systems
- Personnel measures: hiring staff needed for project implementation (e.g., internal hospital IT team)
- Spatial measures: extensions and conversions for IT server rooms, unit dose systems, discharge management, or telemedical applications
- Proof of eligibility: costs for providing the necessary evidence of compliance
- Application Deadlines and Funding Distribution