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The German Agency for Quality in Medicine (AQUMED) - in German "Ärztliches Zentrum für Qualität in der Medizin (ÄZQ)", established in 1995 and located in Berlin co-ordinates healthcare quality programmes with special focus on evidence-based medicine, medical guidelines, patient empowerment, patient safety programs, and quality management. [1]

AQUMED is a non-profit organization owned by the German Medical Association and the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians. [2]

AQUMED initiated several quality programs for the German healthcare system:

It established the German Program for evidence based medical guidelines in the late 90s. Based upon guideline standards from the Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network and referring to experiences from the National Guideline Clearinghouse in the US, the agency founded a German Guideline Clearinghouse [3] aiming at best practice in guideline production. [4]

In 1998 AQUMED was co-founder of the German Network for Evidence Based Medicine.

The organization established the German Clearinghouse for Patient Information [5] in order to promote scientifically based shared decision making [6] in 1999.

In 2002, the agency set up the National Program for Disease Management Guidelines. [7; 8]

The development of reliable and consumer information is integral part of this guideline program. [9]

AQUMED was co-founder of the Guidelines International Network in 2002, collaborating with other national healthcare quality agencies like the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. [10]

In the field of patient safety AQUMED was one of the first German organisations calling for effective patient safety programs. [11] The agency was co-founder of the German Coalition for Patient Safety. AQUMED established a national network of Critical Incident Reporting Systems. [12; 13] The institution is partner of the international High 5 Project.

In 2010 the agency set up the German Physicians' Digital Library for reinforcement of reliable and unbiased knowledge management in healthcare. [14]

AQUMED entertains the administrative offices of the Guidelines International Network, and of the German Network for Evidence Based Medicine. It hosts the editorial office of the German Journal for Evidence and Quality in Healthcare ZEFQ with AQUMED's head Günter Ollenschläger serving as editor-in-chief.


  1. World Health Organization - Europe. Health Evidence Network (HEN). Technical Members: German Agency for Quality in Medicine.
  2. Legido-Quigley H, McKee M, Nolte E, Glinos IA. "Germany". Assuring the quality of health care in the European Union: A case for action. World Health Organization. 2008. pp. 116–20. ISBN 978-92-890-7193-2.
  3. Ollenschläger G, Kirchner H, Oesingmann U, Kolkmann FW, Kunz R. The German Guidelines Clearing house (GGC) – rationale, aims and results. Proc R Coll Physicians Edinb 2001;31(Supplement 9):59–64.
  4. Council of Europe. Developing a methodology for drawing up guidelines on best medical practice. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing. 2002. pp. 46-47. ISBN 92-871-4788-4.
  5. Sänger S, Nickel J, Huth A, Ollenschläger G. "Gut informiert über Gesundheitsfragen, aber wie? - Das Deutsche Clearingverfahren für Patienteninformationen - Zielsetzung, Hintergrund und Arbeitsweise [Well-informed on health matters - how well? The German 'Clearinghouse for Patient Information' - objective, background and methods]" (in German). Gesundh Wesen 2002;64(7):391–7. doi:10.1055/s-2002-32812. PMID 12119584.
  6. Delbanco T, Berwick DM, Boufford JI, Edgman-Levitan S, Ollenschläger G, Plamping D, Rockefeller RG. "Healthcare in a land called PeoplePower: nothing about me without me". Health Expect 2001;4(3):144–50. PMID 11493320.
  7. Ollenschläger G, Kopp I. "Nationale VersorgungsLeitlinien von BÄK, AWMF und KBV [The German program for disease management guidelines. Results and perspectives]" (in German). Med Klin (Munich) 2007;102(5):383–7. doi:10.1007/s00063-007-1052-1. PMID 17497089.
  8. Weinbrenner S, Conrad S, Weikert B, Kopp I. "7 Jahre Nationale VersorgungsLeitlinien (NVL) - Quo vadis? [After seven years of National Disease Management Guidelines: quo vadis?]" (in German). Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes 2010;104(7):533–9. doi:10.1016/j.zefq.2010.07.010. PMID 21095605.
  9. Schaefer C, Kirschning S. "Gut informiert entscheiden: Patienten- und Verbraucherinformationen am ÄZQ [Informed decisions: patient and consumer information at the German Agency for Quality in Medicine (ÄZQ)]" (in German). Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes 2010;104(7):578–84. doi:10.1016/j.zefq.2010.09.001. PMID 21095611.
  10. Ollenschläger G, Marshall C, Qureshi S, Rosenbrand K, Burgers J, Mäkelä M, Slutsky J, Board of Trustees 2002, Guidelines International Network (G-I-N). "Improving the quality of health care: using international collaboration to inform guideline programmes by founding the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N)". Qual Saf Health Care 2004;13(6):455–60. doi:10.1136/qhc.13.6.455. PMC 1743909. PMID 15576708.
  11. Ollenschläger G. "Medizinische Risiken, Fehler und Patientensicherheit. Zur Situation in Deutschland" (in German). Schweiz Arzteztg 2001;82(26): 1404–10.
  12. Hoffmann B, Rohe J. "Patient Safety and Error Management—What Causes Adverse Events and How Can They Be Prevented?". Dtsch Arztebl Int 2010;107(6):92–9. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2010.0092. PMC 2832110. PMID 20204120.
  13. Rohe J, Heinrich AS, Fishman L, Renner D, Thomeczek C. "15 Jahre ÄZQ – 10 Jahre Patientensicherheit am ÄZQ [After 15 years of ÄZQ: 10 years of safety for patients]" (in German). Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes 2010;104(7): 563–71. doi:10.1016/j.zefq.2010.08.002. PMID 21095609.
  14. Rütters D, Schwencke S, Bunk T, Nothacker M. "Die Arztbibliothek [The German Medical eLibrary]" (in German). Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes 2010;104(7):585–90. doi:10.1016/j.zefq.2010.07.005. PMID 21095612.


Last update: May 06, 2011

Träger des NVL-Programms:
Bundesärztekammer Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung
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Ärztliches Zentrum für Qualität in der Medizin
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