The Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery Department at the St. Elisabeth Hospital in Herten has been under experienced leadership since 2000: in Dr Ralf Hermann Wittenberg the hospital appointed a renowned specialist with outstanding expertise to the position – a wise decision.
How wise this decision would turn out to be was once again demonstrated in September 2019, when the Department of Orthopaedics was certified as an EndoProsthetics Centre for Maximum Care (EPZ). For the people in the region it is clear in any case: the hospital, rich in tradition, is considered the go-to place to receive healthcare. The hospital will soon be celebrating its 120th anniversary – and from the very beginning the aim has been to provide the highest level of medical care in Herten, Westphalia.
The Department of Orthopaedics also has a great tradition: it was founded in 1926 and today treats around 7,500 outpatients per year – as well as performing almost 2,500 operations. The range of services is extremely broad: it ranges from hip and shoulder prostheses to sports medical treatment of the musculoskeletal system. That the individual always takes centre stage, from the first consultation to post-operative care, is also the clear motto of the current director.
Outstanding Department of Orthopaedics – with a focus on endoprosthetics
Dr Ralf Hermann Wittenberg is an exceptional physician: As a specialist in orthopaedics and trauma surgery, he is Chief Physician of the respective department in the St. Elisabeth Hospital in Herten – and Head of Endoprosthetics. Prof. Wittenberg is also a specialist in physical and rehabilitative medicine, has received additional training in rheumatology, special pain therapy and chiropractic therapy – and also has an extremely good reputation in the fields of sports medicine, physiotherapy and special orthopaedic surgery.
With such exceptionally broad expertise, it is clear that the clinic continues to draw attention to itself in several clinical areas. At the St. Elisabeth Hospital in Herten, it is endoprosthetics that mainly creates a sensation. Certainly, artificial knee and hip joints are used in many clinics today; around 400,000 such operations are performed annually in Germany alone. However, if you want to be sure of receiving treatment of the highest possible certified quality, you should do some more research when choosing a clinic.
Certification: clear direction for patients
Quite simply, the endoprosthetic replacement of damaged joints needs to be a complete success. Prostheses should enable the patient to maintain a high degree of mobility without pain – and thus significantly improve the quality of life. In order to offer potential patients an authoritative reference point, the German Society for Orthopaedics and Orthopaedic Surgery (DGOOC) developed a certificate – and set the bar high. The result? After thorough examination, the certification body “ClarCert” designated the Herten Department of Orthopaedics as an EndoProsthetics Centre for Maximum Care.
With around 1,400 endoprostheses inserted every year, the Department of Endoprosthetics in Herten naturally has a wealth of experience. In addition to experience and a high degree of competence, other factors played a decisive role in its certification as an EndoProsthetics Centre. These include a high number of cases – and particularly low infection rates among patients, which are far below the national average. The clinic’s state-of-the-art equipment also spoke in favour of certification – and the fact that, in addition to the comprehensive team meetings, a complete documentation trail could also be verified.
Structures and processes: “always optimising!”
Patients in the Department of Orthopaedics stand to benefit from the certification for years to come. After all, the excellent surgical results achieved in the St. Elisabeth Hospital and the effective post-operative treatment have long been considered standard at the hospital. It is clear, therefore, that the high classification is also perceived as an incentive to continually put the optimised structures and processes to the test and further develop them.
With Dr Ralf Hermann Wittenberg, the department certainly has the right person at the helm. The renowned specialist for hip and knee endoprosthetics, who also has first-class expertise in foot, ankle and shoulder surgery, rheumatic orthopaedics and pain medicine, has attached great importance to consistently high quality right from the very beginning.
This extends to the competent and committed team that provides comprehensive patient care. Because for Dr Wittenberg, empathy is always at the heart of care alongside professional expertise. And this will remain so in Herten.