Annette Egger Quality Committee on Rehabilitation OF ANQ


Annette Egger, MPH, Head of Quality Monitoring, Basel-Stadt Health Department

Annette Egger, what is it that you do as a member of the ANQ Quality Committee on Rehabilitation (QC Rehabilitation)?

QC Rehabilitation is an advisory committee. In our meetings, we deal with the review results, their publication and the further development of the review plan. In 2011, the ANQ Board elected me as Canton representative to the QC. However, since a change to the regulations, the QC members are now selected on the basis of their expertise – and not because of their appointment by an institution.

The QC is currently made up of eleven experts; many work in a managerial or leadership role in a rehabilitation clinic. My background is different. Thanks to my professional experience working in the clinical care section of the Canton of Basel-Stadt administration, I am familiar with psychiatry and acute care alongside rehabilitation. Hence I have an overview of the entire in-patient supply chain, and this general understanding means I can bring additional perspectives to the table.

You have been a member of the QC Rehabilitation for almost 10 years. What highlights have you experienced during this period?

The first publication of the review results at clinical level was of course one of the professional highlights. We had been working towards this for quite some time. The development of the ADL rating by the Charité University Hospital was another milestone. The result is that it is now possible to compare results for functional capacity. The third highlight relates to collaboration within the QC. At the beginning, we had to take the form of an interdisciplinary committee. Now we are able to integrate and utilise the various points of view.

«The first publication of the review results at clinical level was a genuine highlight.»

You are responsible for quality monitoring in the Cantons of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft, Solothurn, and also since 2021, in the Canton of Zug. Are there links with your work on the QC Rehabilitation?

No, there are no connections. Naturally the ANQ reviews are my primary focus everywhere – but always with different objectives. As Head of Quality Monitoring in four Cantons, I look at the results for 32 hospitals and clinics, searching, for example, for any differences that have occurred since the previous year or for anomalies that indicate a need for action. The QC Rehabilitation, on the other hand, is concerned with quality development throughout Switzerland on the basis of coded data; individual medical institutions and their review results are of secondary importance.

«Naturally the ANQ reviews are my primary focus everywhere – but always with different objectives.»

The coronavirus pandemic made 2020 extremely difficult. To what extent did this impact on the work of the QC?

We held four meetings and two of these were online. It turned out that the committee works just as well on the screen as it does around a conference table. This must mean something! During lockdown, we were all in crisis mode. The institutions reported back to me that quality management projects had ground to a halt and only routine work was continuing. Which is understandable, but still a shame. Because with the available know-how, quality management could have also contributed to crisis management; for example by helping develop virus-specific treatment procedures.

The new ANQ review plan has been in place since January 2021. What was changed and why?

The new review plan also covers psychosomatic and paraplegic rehabilitation. To be able to represent the patient collective appropriately, a unique setting with specific assessment tools was developed. New additions are the documentation of main objectives and the achievement of these in all rehabilitation sectors. The fact that this was not the case before has always bothered me. Yes, we still need to optimise the review methods, but continuous improvement is one of our core principles.

When you look to the future, which trends do you think will be particularly relevant?

I anticipate that existing data, collected by standardised methods, will be relied on even more in the future. I see another trend in outpatient treatment, one that will also lead to modified structures, processes and new financing models. I am also convinced that there will be greater emphasis on PROMs - Patient Reported Outcome Measures - in the future, and that this will facilitate even more individualised patient care.

«Data collected via standardised methods will be relied on even more in the future.»

Annette Egger is a leading expert in the healthcare sector. Her career path has taken her from speech therapy via neurological rehabilitation and work in two intensive care clinics to Basel City Department of Health. Today she is Head of Quality Monitoring for the Cantons of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft und Solothurn, and also since 2021, for Quality Monitoring for the Canton of Zug. She has been elected to represent the cantons on the Swiss Federal Quality Commission from 2021. Annette Egger recently acquired her Master’s degree in Public Health through a 5-year extra-occupational course.

Photos: © Geri Krischker / ANQ