Healthy collaboration: How Hirslanden Private Clinic Group organizes its processes with BPM

The private clinic group, Hirslanden, comprises of 18 clinics and is the largest medical network in Switzerland. The leading Swiss medical provider oversees the health of over 100,000 patients per year, delivering the highest standard primary and specialist care. Hirslanden employees carry out countless processes on more than 500,000 nursing days. To standardize internal processes and strengthen cooperation, Hirslanden has been using collaborative process management with Signavio since 2018.

1. The path to process management

The average day for the clinic revolves around one goal: maximum patient benefit. With this focus in mind, Hirslanden employees operate across various locations in order to provide their patients with the care they need. Despite the varying medical specializations, the processes carried out across the group’s locations are all standardized. These include administrative processes like admission of new patients or invoicing, as well as key processes such as the coordination of salaried doctors and attending physicians.

Although these processes are fundamentally similar, in the past they were carried out differently at different Hirslanden locations. The long-term aims of process standardization across all hospitals are to:

  • relieve the individual clinics of administrative burden
  • develop universal standards for patient care,
  • act more efficiently,
  • simplify processes,
  • and harmonize the application landscape of the group.

Against this background, standardizing Hirslanden’s processes is also a factor for additional security: Patients experience smooth processes and employees benefit from a systematic approach to daily hospital routine. At the same time, regulatory requirements are reliably implemented.

We want to make sure that patients, no matter what clinics they are in, experience the same quailty processes. (Alexander Mainda, Director Center of Excellence Operating Theater and Intervention Rooms at Hirslanden)

2. The transformation initiative: Better collaboration through standardized processes

Hirslanden Private Clinic Group has been implementing the “Hirslanden 2020” strategy program since 2016. The program aims to standardize the administrative processes of the private clinic group, as well as some medical and nursing processes group-wide. In this way, the clinics are gradually relieved of administrative tasks and can concentrate on their core task: Caring for patients.
To support process standardization throughout the group, Hirslanden uses Signavio:

  • Signavio Process Manager: Documentation of the core administrative processes as well as other medical and nursing processes.
  • Signavio Collaboration Hub: Involvement of all employees in process documentation and active process development using a collaborative, commenting function.

So far, Signavio’s strategy program and software solution has been rolled out to three Hirslanden clinics. In the next two years, all other clinics will follow. This means that by 2020 around 10,000 employees throughout Switzerland will work with the Signavio Collaboration Hub.

Experience so far shows that employees are reacting very positively to Signavio:

Signavio is very intuitive. Having all the information about the process available in one place is a huge advantage for all employees. The modeled processes serve as a knowledge base as well as a basis for promoting digitalization and continuously improving our processes. With Signavio we have a tool that supports us today as in the future. (Thomas Kuhn)

3. How is Hirslanden mastering the challenges of its process initiative?

Company-wide changes are often accompanied by a variety of challenges, both strategic and on the day-to-day level. Signavio is supporting Hirslanden staff in overcoming the following challenges:

  • Disparate processes in different clinics: Through process standardization, the security of processes will be increased in the long term and the operational business simplified.
  • Employees are involved in day-to-day business and have little time for training: Signavio’s solutions require little training, making them quick and easy to learn, even without special IT skills.
  • New technology: Process management is hardly established in health care companies and has to be learned like a language—today more and more organizations are opting for it.
  • Heavily regulated environment: Process documentation facilitates the implementation of regulatory requirements (ISO standards, SwissMedic) and quality management in the long term.
  • Change management as a team effort: Requires the support of all involved. Signavio’s intuitive software solution won over Hirslanden employees in no time.

Working with Signavio is really fun. This is not as agonizing as other tools I’ve tried in the past. (Thomas Kuhn)

4. Successes so far

Less than a year since the introduction of Signavio software, the first successes of Hirslanden’s organization-wide process initiative are evident. Company process experts are observing that after the introduction of Signavio, clinic employees are beginning to think more and more about processes. Thus, everyday discussions about operative processes become increasingly concrete. Signavio’s software is also received very positively by Hirslanden employees.

Process management greatly facilitates day-to-day tasks, especially in cross-departmental processes. (Thomas Kuhn)

The process initiative at a glance:

  • Process optimization in 18 clinics for more than 9,600 employees
  • Intuitive process modeling with Signavio Process Manager
  • Better collaboration through collaborative functions
  • Signavio Collaboration Hub is used as a central knowledge base in the company, and enables the team to further develop the processes
  • More transparency, efficiency and security through standardization
  • Web-based software solution, available around the clock, 365 days a year, making it suitable for the complex operations of medical organizations