The future is here: welcome the paperless hospital

IT transforms University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf

Imagine a hospital without any paper. This is just one of many consequences of streamlining processes in a 1,400-bed hospital that treats 50,000 inpatients, 250,000 outpatients and 50,000 emergency patients every year, the objective being to be able to deal with more serious issues.

In 2004, faced with annual losses of 37 million euro, decision makers at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) realised that a turnaround was essential to save the hospital and serious action had to be taken. This involved improving internal structures and processes, along with implementing appropriate IT support systems, both in a complete new building infrastructure.

‘Managers opted to restructure the organisation, re-engineer processes, and modernise buildings’, explained Dr Peter Gocke, the outgoing chief information officer (CIO). Clearly the focus was on processes, with a direct impact on the IT strategy. In turn, Health IT transformed the quality of care.

Finding a solution