HealthManagement, Volume 15, Issue 4/2013

Hospital Management in Times of Crisis: Constraints, Challenges and Opportunities

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Many people strongly believe that funding is the crucial factor for effectiveness. When the economy is weakened and the hospital budget reduced, what can a hospital manager do to continue to deliver better care? The 24th EAHM congress in Luxembourg will discuss these constraints and also the many challenges and opportunities our hospitals face today. We believe that a crisis may serve as a “wake-up call” that prompts the hospital to make beneficial organisational and structural changes.

Yes, it is time again for another EAHM congress. This year the congress will be held in Luxembourg on 28-29 November. The EAHM and the FHL (Fédération des Hôpitaux Luxembourgeois) have been working hard to develop a comprehensive programme on the important topic of hospital management in times of crisis. This article takes a closer look at the programme and highlights the numerous reasons why you should attend.


The congress, which will gather recognised experts in the field of management, will showcase strategic guidelines, business process reengineering and of course new technologies. The focus will be on areas where strong leadership makes the difference.


Sessions will be focused on practical means to preserve or enhance quality of care, even in the face of a flat budget. Roundtables will give the opportunity to share best practices and discuss added-value. On the exhibition floor, healthcare industry representatives will provide in-depth insight into the latest developments in healthcare.


The congress is divided into three sessions:

• Strategic Guidelines in Crisis;

• Business Process Re-Engineering; and

• New Buildings, New Logistics, New Technologies.


Strategic Guidelines In Crisis

During times of crisis it is essential that hospital managers adopt a strategic management approach not only to minimise disruptions to day-to-day operations and ensure sustainability, but also to embrace new ways of working. Integrated management with clinicians as partners, joint ventures, strong financial management and effective communications are all key factors for success and the first congress session, Strategic Guidelines in Crisis, will present new ideas and ways of working.


Speakers in the first session include Dr. Andrew McCormick, Permanent Secretary of the Dept. of Health, Social Services & Public Safety, Nothern Ireland (UK), who will discuss the opportunities for the transformation of care in Northern Ireland. Dr. Peter Lachman, Deputy Medical Director at Great Ormond Street Hospital (UK), will question whether the underlying principles of healthcare management need to change in an age in which the needs are being redefined. Ms. Irmtraut Gürkan, Head of Administration at Heidelberg University Hospital (DE), will share her opinion and experiences on corporate management and relevant requirements for economic leadership to fulfill the growing expectations and needs of a non-profit organisation. Mr. Yves Nosbusch, Chief Economist at BGL BNP Paribas (LU), will talk about macroeconomic outlook and implications for financing and investment decisions and Mr. Simon Scrivens, Managing Director- Healthcare at Sodexo (UK) will develop the concept that healthcare providers can contract with third parties to drive not only value, but also support clinical outcomes and patient experience. Mr. Eric de Roodenbeke, Ph.D, CEO of the International Hospital Federation (IHF) (CH) will inform delegates of a new international competency framework for healthcare managers.


The roundtable will focus on financial crisis and efficient communication.


Business Process Re-Engineering

Process management plays a key role in designing patient care as effective, secure, efficient and future-oriented. That's why the hospital’s management should regularly question the organisation of core business and support activities (management, logistics, etc.) as well as the merits of its practices inherited from existing structures and uses in the profession. As demonstrated by many studies in the field of health or otherwise, there is always, even in the most successful organisations, potential in terms of efficiency that should be implemented to the benefit of patient's needs and competitiveness of the health organisation concerned. Session two addresses this idea of business process re-engineering.


Highlights of this session include "Process Reengineering in Hospital" presented by Dr. Jens Peukert, CEO of Lohfert & Lohfert and Dr. Dominik Utiger, Director of Hirslanden Klinik St. Anna AG . Dr. Katarzyna Mazur - Hofsäss, President of Zimmer EMEA (CH) will discuss whether medtech companies are suppliers or partners. Mr. Mads Nybo, Chief Physician at Odense University Hospital (DK), will highlight how to optimise your lab in times of crisis and Mr. Florian Kainzinger, Managing Director at Labor Berlin (DE) will discuss his experience of laboratory supply for 10,000 hospital beds. Safety is another key topic within this session and Dr. Peter Gausmann, Managing Director at Gesellschaft für Risiko- Beratung (DE) will lecture on clinical risk management and the insurance industry.


The second roundtable of the congress will feature a discussion on change management aptly entitled, “Manage the change, change the management”.


New Buildings, New Logistics, New Technologies

Our world is constantly changing. Even outside the context of the crisis, we are constantly faced with new challenges in changing technologies and practices. This trend is particularly noticeable in the work carried out within the EAHM. European hospitals and their managers share the same concerns and the same problems and exchanges of views are essential to make the right choices. Technologies can improve safety, processes and improve the overall sustainability of hospitals.


The last session of the congress takes a look at these new buildings, logistics and technologies and provides examples of success stories.


Mr. Keith Hamer, VP Group Asset Management for Sodexo (UK), will discuss business continuity in healthcare and promote the use of asset lifecycle and maintenance services. Dr. Rafail Sala López, Managing Director of Marina Salud (ES), will present a Spanish example of innovation in management in the national health system. We will discover the potential of innovative hospital architecture and technology during a presentation from Mrs. Henny Van Laarhoven, Managing Director Orbis Krankenhaus, Sittard (NL), and Dr Helen Bevan, Chief of Service Transformation, NHS Institute (UK), will discuss how to build energy for transformational change for the long haul.


The final roundtable will brainstorm ideas for steering innovation.

Social Programme

Aside from this packed lecture schedule, the 24th EAHM congress also boasts an extensive social programme with a reception at the prestigious City Hall and a Gala Dinner and show at the glamorous Casino 2000 in Mondorf-les-Bains. There are also hospital visits and sightseeing trips on offer, please visit the website for more details.


It is not too late to book your place! For more information, please visit:


We look forward to seeing you in Luxembourg!


Technological Evolution, Economic Crisis and Hospital Management of the Future

Joël de Rosnay, a science writer and Molecular Biologist will give the keynote speech on the opening day of the congress. He is currently President of Biotics International, a consulting company specialising in the impact of new technologies on industries and Special Advisor to the President of the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie at La Villette of which he was Director of Forecasting and Assesment until June 2002. From 1975 to 1985 he was Director of Research Applications at l’Institut Pasteur (the Pasteur Institute in Paris). For a taste of what is to come, below you can read an abstract of his speech.


The hospital is facing rapid evolution in terms of science, technology and digitisation. In times of economic crisis its management must change. How will the patients of the future deal with these scientific and technological developments? One could speak of an “informed patient’, more aware of technical developments and able to engage in a constructive dialogue with clinical staff.


Among the most promising technologies are those emerging in the field of e-health, that is to say the use of smartphones to

measure numerous health parameters and transmit them to the doctor or hospital staff. This will change our methods of prevention. We are moving towards “quantifiable prevention”, which is not only of interest to hospitals but also the pharmaceutical industry. New scientific and technical developments hold great promise for the future. For example, the use of embryonic stem cells for regenerative medicine.


Digitisation will have a fundamental impact on the management of the hospitals of tomorrow. We talk about a hospital digital

ecosystem, computerised medical records, communication between specialists in internal networks and video transmission. The training of doctors in hospital management will play an important role in linking the administration of medical and nursing staff. We will therefore address a new type of hospital management moving from the “rigid” hospital with vertical management to the "fluid” hospital, which takes into account the flows and exchanges between departments, doctors, administration and caregivers. Hence the importance of a multidimensional approach to the patient.


The goal is no longer just to save money but to spend our budgets wisely using modern tools of prevention and analysis. Hospitals of the future will incorporate the methods of successful companies that succeed through the circulation of information, evaluation of procedures and collaborative and inclusive participation. Quality of care, in the interest of the patient, will also be valued. Hence the need for human connection and personalisation in the context of a technologically informed and fraternal humanism.

Many people strongly believe that funding is the crucial factor for effectiveness. When the economy is weakened and the hospital budget reduced, what ca

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