Overall, the digitalization of processes was driven forward throughout the Fresenius Group in 2022.
All business segments have their own approach to digitalization and innovation and are currently developing KPIs. Digitalization and innovation is also included in the variable remuneration of the Group Management Board, as it is key to our strategy. Further information is included in the Corporate Governance Report of the Annual Report 2022, see the Compensation Report.
For Fresenius Medical Care, the number of product improvements is an indicator to measure performance to enhance the quality and saftey of products. Improvements are defined as changes that focus on at least one of the following aspects: patient safety and quality, product performance and delivery capability, environmental performance, or customer service. This could involve process improvements in production, for example, as well as improvements already made by suppliers to the items the business segment purchases from them. In 2022, Fresenius Medical Care implemented more than 2,400 improvements to its dialysisDialysisForm ​of ​renal ​replacement ​therapy ​where ​a ​semipermeable ​membrane ​– ​in ​peritoneal ​dialysis ​the ​peritoneum ​of ​the ​patient, ​in ​hemo ​dialysis ​the ​membrane ​of ​the ​dialyzer ​– ​is ​used ​to ​clean ​a ​patient’s ​blood. machines, dialyzers, filters, and solution products. Further, the business segment completed four clinical trials in 2022.
Fresenius Kabi continuously reviews progress in the area of digitalization. The Digital Transformation organization within the Corporate Development department, which was created in 2022, works closely with Fresenius Kabi’s global IT department to drive digitalization forward, especially with regard to market- and customer-oriented initiatives and partners with colleagues from the business areas and markets. In addition, the progress made in internal digitization is regularly presented to the relevant IT decision-making bodies and reported to the Management Board in accordance with its importance, budget framework and risks.
In 2022, external inspections were also conducted at Fresenius Kabi by regulatory authorities in connection with the management of clinical trials or tests. In cases of non-compliances, that were identified during inspections, the business segment has initiated or conducted appropriate measures.
In 2022, no critical events with a significant impact on the safety of study participants or compliance with the applicable requirements and standards became known at Fresenius Kabi.
For the first time since the end of 2021, Helios Germany has been determining the degree of digitalization in its hospitals by means of the DigitalRadar. The survey is mandatory for all hospitals participating in the Hospital Future Act (KHZG). The law and the associated funding program are intended to support hospitals in investing in modernized capacities for emergency cases, digitalization, and IT security. The status of digitalization at hospitals was evaluated as of June 30, 2021, and the next evaluation is scheduled by law for June 30, 2023. According to the radar, Helios Germany already has an above-average level of digitalization – compared with the other 1,616 hospitals participating in the KHZG.
In 2022, Helios Spain continued evaluating the digitalization of its hospitals using the Digital Stars Dashboard. It includes digital KPIs, most of them measured daily. In addition, the division has launched the new four phases digital path. So far, there are 10 hospitals that have passed to the second phase.
Fresenius Vamed regularly reviews its management approach using standard controlling processes. In addition, the digitalization strategic business area collects data and regularly reports on the status of the respective initiatives and projects in the business segment. Fresenius Vamed uses common trend and innovation studies, e. g., the Gartner hype-cycle, to formulate and evaluate strategies for digitalization in the healthcare market. Local publications and trend analyses are also taken into account. The use of telehealth solutions and mobile apps also continued in 2022.