Fresenius Helios

At HELIOS, high medical standards go hand in hand with an efficient, economically sound management of available resources. Its procurement management system combines the expertise of its doctors and nurses with the commercial competence gained in other areas from the various clinics and disciplines. This capability and our standards of medical quality are channeled into all procurement decisions for the benefit of the patient.

Medical devices and drugs have direct relevance for the standard of medical quality. The HELIOS clinics therefore place value on close cooperation with their suppliers and a high level of standardization of the products used. The strategic selection of suppliers also serves to minimize risks in the sourcing process: only suppliers that have an adequate defects management process, a convincing defects reporting process, and a low risk of business failure can be considered as a business partner for HELIOS.

Today, over 85 % of our medical supplies are standardized Group-wide at HELIOS. A system of more than 300 product groups promotes transparency, planning efficiency, and competition. The aim of standardization is to optimize quality. The quality standards are defined from a professional perspective: teams of medical experts from the clinics set binding Group-wide product standards together with the procurement officers. The level of standardization depends on the particular product group. Due to the binding product standards, HELIOS can bundle large volumes and is thus in a very good position to negotiate excellent procurement terms.

In 2009, HELIOS reorganized the pharmacy IT infrastructure at all the clinics. The outcome of this measure is that we have established a high-quality drug supply as a guaranteed standard service. 75 % of all the clinics’ drug requirements are covered by the in-house pharmacies. HELIOS is supplied with reliable local and central administrative data that enables valuable knowledge to be generated for the benefit of the patients. It is conceivable, for instance, to monitor drugs in order to document their effect on the success of the treatment.

An online ordering system, developed especially for hospitals, was installed at some of the clinics. With this system, staff on the wards can order drugs and medical supplies from the hospital pharmacies via a standard user interface. Their materials management unit and the local purchasing departments use the same system together. This also allows a more efficient controlling of the order processes. The materials management unit can generate monthly ABC analyses for the individual chief medical officer. Clinic or Group-wide analyses, indication group comparisons, trend analyses, and consumption forecasts are also possible. The analyses also incorporate defined benchmarks of the departments and the annual budgeting for drugs. With approximately € 90 million spent on drugs each year, they represent an important part of the expenditure on medical supplies at the HELIOS clinics.

Hospitals’ energy requirements are a key cost factor. In 2009, HELIOS spent a total of € 53 million on energy, i. e. for energy, water, and fuels. That does not include the newly acquired clinics. HELIOS has created an energy benchmark database and a web-based sourcing platform, enPortal, which provides transparency on all utilities at all clinic locations. Variances in consumption and costs are promptly detected and directly acted upon. HELIOS monitors the latest price trends on the energy exchanges daily. Because pricing in the energy sector is not determined solely by the actual energy price itself, but also by other components such as third-party access fees, HELIOS does not conclude framework agreements. The enPortal online platform, to which over 200 energy utilities in Germany are linked, is used by other Fresenius business segments besides HELIOS. Thanks to the transparency created and to monitoring current price trends, HELIOS is in a position to buy energy at the best possible times after weighing the opportunities and risks. If HELIOS tags all 61 clinic locations on this platform as buyers of electricity and natural gas, all potential suppliers can quote within a day for each location. While negotiations conducted in the conventional way without the enPortal platform would take about ten to twelve weeks, HELIOS can complete the bidding process and the placement of contracts within three to four days.

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