Received: 31 August 2018
Accepted: 10 January 2019
First Online: 28 February 2019
Ethics approval and consent to participate
: The latest "GPS – Good Practice in Secondary Data Analysis" recommendations (Version 2, 2008) of the respective German Working Group for the Survey and Utilization of Secondary Data (AGENS; with representatives from the German Society for Social Medicine and Prevention [DGSMP] and the German Society for Epidemiology [DGEpi]) and the Working Group for Epidemiological Methods (with representatives from the German Society for Epidemiology [DGEpi], the German Society for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology [GMDS] and the German Society for Social Medicine and Prevention [DGSMP]) explicate as "Guideline 1" that the "...recommendation to consult with an ethics committee need not apply to secondary data analyses, if all the data protection provisions on pseudo-anonymization of all personal data are fulfilled ... and no link to primary data is intended." Datasets used for this analysis were completely anonymized data provided by the German federal statistical office (DRG-statistic, www.destatis.de) in compliance with the German data protection regulations and this also applied to the evaluation of the quality reports. All requirements from the general conditions for the use of the quality reports of the hospitals in machine-readable form were observed (ExternalRef removed). Since there was no access to any individualized patient data whatsoever, no informed patient consent or ethical approval was needed for this study.
: Not applicable.
: Ralph Weber received speaker honoria from Medtronic/Covidien and Bristol Myers Squibb, and from serving on a scientific advisory board of Medtronic. He received travel grants from Boehringer Ingelheim and Bayer Vital. Jens Eyding received travel grants from Boehringer Ingelheim and Bayer Vital and grants for the realization of scientific meetings by Bayer Health Care, Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi Aventis, Pfizer. Martin Kitzrow received speaker honoria from Medtronic/Covidien, Bristol Myers Squibb, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer and Daiichi Sankyo. He received travel grants from Boehringer Ingelheim, Bayer Vital and Pfizer. Dirk Bartig received orders for analysis of the G-DRG system from Boehringer Ingelheim. Christian Weimar received speaker honoria from AMGEN, Bayer-Schering, Biogen Idec, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squib, Daiichi Sankyo, Penumbra as well as research grants from Johnson&Johnson and Boehringer Ingelheim. Werner Hacke received speaker and consultancy honoraria from Boehringer Ingelheim, Medtronic, Cerenovus and a research grant to perform ECASS4 from Boehringer Ingelheim and is the Editor-in-Chief of Neurological Research and Practice. Christos Krogias received speaker honoraria and/or travel grants for scientific meetings from Bayer Vital, Boehringer-Ingelheim and Daichii-Sankyo.
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