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Media workshop at ISAR Klinikum Munich hospital

Hospitals are under a lot of pressure: Not only do they have the job of caring for patients, they also have to be financially viable. A hospital study by business consulting firm Roland Berger1 published in July shows that this is a challenge in view of staffing shortages and time and cost pressures, as well as workflows of greater complexity: The majority of the German hospitals surveyed assumed their financial situation would worsen in 2017. In order to improve their bottom line, hospitals try to optimise medical supplies – in many cases without satisfactory results. But there are success stories, as explained by Andreas Wolf, deputy hospital administrator at the ISAR Klinikum Munich, at a media workshop on 4 September 2017. With the help of L&R OPTILINE from Lohmann & Rauscher (L&R), over the last few years the ISAR Klinikum has been able to both conserve valuable resources and reduce costs considerably.

According to Roland Berger’s hospital study, forty per cent of the surveyed institutions had no surplus funds in 2016. In order to improve their financial situation, many hospitals attempt to increase their in-patient profits by optimising their medical supplies and rethinking their strategic direction, for example by modifying their medical portfolio. But the study also showed that many hospitals fail at this due to the complexity of the initiatives and the difficulty of sustaining the implementation. On the other hand, the hospitals see opportunities in increasing quality competition.1 

Along with setting up key departments and introducing medical units with a specific focus, the ISAR Klinikum in Munich right away began optimising its range of supplies sustainably and for the long term. As part of this process, the hospital assessed the option of an external analysis, e.g. using L&R OPTILINE from Lohmann & Rauscher. “Initially we were sceptical about whether a company in this industry could be objective, but we were very impressed by the quality of the collaboration among teams and the content of the analysis. The analysis was performed by employees with clinical experience, and close consultation with the nursing staff was of great importance. Even L&R’s own products were streamlined and some were replaced by less expensive alternative products,” notes Andreas Wolf, deputy hospital administrator at the ISAR Klinikum, at the L&R media workshop in Munich. “The supplies stored on each patient ward were optimised, which resulted in greater user satisfaction and a cost savings. These initiatives were particularly successful in the OR: Before, with 100 surgeons we had just under 1,000 OR standards. Now we use just 14 OR set systems – 10 Kitpacks and 4 standard sets. The time staff saves using customised Kitpack set systems can now be used for other tasks,” explains Wolf.

L&R OPTILINE looks at process and medical supplies structures and is a solution that comes with personalised advice and customer service provided by experienced L&R specialists. The common goal is to sustainably optimise products and processes in the OR and on the wards of a hospital for the long term. The hospital’s needs and objectives are looked at and analysed down to the last detail to identify in which areas there is potential for improvement. Together, solutions are pursued that take into account the well-being of patients, keep employees happy, but are also financially viable. “Our work is geared toward the client’s needs. In other words, we focus on the individual nature of every client, we determine the possible potential benefit of process optimisation at their institution and point out alternatives. It is important that we set goals together with the client and start with an actual-state analysis. This is the only way optimisations can be carried out institution-wide, and that all those involved will stick with them for the long term. And only a baseline analysis can provide a means for measuring success down the line,” explains Katja Nussbaum, L&R OPTILINE, Hospital Sales Germany. 

L&R OPTILINE includes not only simply examining the costs of supplies or streamlining supplies but it also focuses on analysing and optimising workflows. First there is a ‘desktop’ and on-site analysis, followed by process optimisation, product testing, and setting standards and their training. In addition, L&R offers relevant e-business and logistics solutions. “Our goal with L&R OPTILINE is to both save resources and improve profitability, and also to improve safety and quality,” Nussbaum emphasises. 

Diverse areas in a hospital have the potential to be optimised – patient wards, the OR, negative pressure therapy and the administration. The ISAR Klinikum decided to have an analysis performed of the medical supplies stored on the patient wards and not to have the OR looked at until two years later. “The experts at L&R give advice based on their many years of experience and they play an active role in implementing the changes. And so we were able to systematically tackle different workflows and areas of the hospital and make clear improvements, which were associated with financial savings,” explains Wolf, a happy customer.


(1) Roland Berger, Hospital Study: Munich, July 2017. URL: www.rolandberger.com/de/Publications/pub_german_hospitals_2017.html, accessed on 30.08.2017


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