Like healthcare providers everywhere, those in the Rhine-Neckar region and the city of Heidelberg are facing enormous challenges because of the coronavirus pandemic. They have had to increase bed capacity for COVID-19 patients while maintaining standards of care for patients with other acute illnesses.
To deliver in-patient care effectively to people who have COVID-19, the region’s health department, clinics, and hospitals joined forces to set up a COVID-19 coordination hub under the leadership of Heidelberg University Hospital.
Coordinating Bed Management
A bed management solution from SAP helps coordinate across hospitals in Heidelberg and the surrounding Rhine-Neckar region. The solution can also be used to organize the transfer of patients to and from medical facilities, helping to place patients at hospitals that have capacity and providing medical staff at the coordination hub an overview of all intensive care resources in the region.
Using this data, they can see capacity levels at a glance and decide which hospital can best care for the patient in question. This information is also shown on an interactive geomap, enabling medical staff to see where each hospital is, pinpoint a facility where beds are available, and coordinate directly with the team there. This helps relieve the burden on healthcare systems.
Each hospital uses the system to report its capacity. The software then updates the occupancy plan for all hospital beds in the region. The solution is already being used to manage bed occupancy in 45 wards across 25 clinics.
Software Helps Find Available Hospital Beds
Medical staff at the coordination hub were part of the project right from the start. The software was built in only one week in response to the COVID-19 crisis and was tested by end-users, whose feedback enabled the developers to design the solution to the meet the requirements of everyone involved.
Users can access the bed management solution via a Web browser wherever they are and on any device. It presents data in different ways to meet different needs, and users can define the priorities for their particular roles.
How Technology Helps Optimize Medical Care
The bed management solution runs on cloud technology from SAP. With SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Fiori, and SAP Analytics Cloud, the solution is easily scalable and can be enhanced. This means the software can do more than simply report intensive care capacity. For instance, using its built-in analytics capabilities it can show how bed occupancy and the number of hospital beds have changed over time. The analytics function can also analyze past metrics and depict time lines, enabling hospitals to respond to trends.
Its highly secure, role-based access controls mean that stringent data protection and security standards apply to all information.
Meeting Challenges as One Team
Besides technical challenges, the team had to overcome commercial and legal hurdles as well. Developing the solution successfully was the result of close collaboration and alignment inside SAP.
“The network of organizations around Heidelberg University Hospital wanted a reliable partner it could have every confidence in,” says Michael Byczkowski, vice president and global leader of Healthcare Providers at SAP. “As a team, we have shown that we can rapidly meet entirely new requirements and, even in times of crisis, play an essential part in helping society.”