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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
Heidelberg University Hospital is saving lives through better data management. Here’s how they leveled up during the pandemic.

What happens when you arm healthcare heroes with real-time data management tools? Heidelberg University Hospital knows firsthand. Their solution takes an invisible network of information and matches patients to appropriate locations, staff, and equipment under constantly changing, urgent conditions. Healthcare logistics have always been important – and challenging – but the pandemic has exposed every potential weakness in the chain. Medical data also has unique security requirements that make management that much more of a challenge.

When the pandemic hit, the surge of patients into critical care put a new strain on the system. Hospitals needed to know where to route patients based on bed and equipment availability as quickly as possible. Care protocols and priorities, as well as safety measures for patients and staff, were in flux. Information had to be shared across many different departments in various hospitals in a secure, accessible, and timely way.

In this episode of SAP BTP Better Together: Customer Conversations, we will explore how one healthcare system implemented a data management platform that not only improved processes; it very likely saved lives. It’s a system that was indispensable during the pandemic and will continue to set new standards for healthcare in the years to come.

To tell the story, we will chat with guests Prof. Dr. Norbert Frey, Medical Director, Department of Cardiology, Angiology, and Pneumology at Heidelberg University Hospital, and Michael Byczkowski, Global Vice President, Head of Healthcare Industry at SAP.

Data Management: An Unlikely Hero

The first German university was founded in Heidelberg over 600 years ago, and Heidelberg University Hospital is still one of the most renowned medical institutions in the world. Heidelberg focuses on oncology and other complex specialties and is known for attracting the best talent, including Nobel prize winners. When the pandemic hit, the Heidelberg group of 18 hospitals was tasked with taking in some of the most seriously ill patients and became an essential emergency response center. Not only did the hospital need to engage with a new medical threat, they also needed to find a solution that would help them get patients into the right beds with the right equipment at the right time.

Covid-19 posed many challenges to their existing data management systems:

  • The current system to route ambulance transports and get patients into care was manual and time-consuming and unable to scale as quickly as necessary.

  • The surge of patients meant that the hospital had to organize more people in less time with fewer resources.

  • Hospitals didn’t have a real-time overview of fully functional beds within the region.

  • There was no centralized data pool accessible to the different medical staff in charge of various stages of care.

Heidelberg University Hospital turned to their trusted SAP partnership to create a secure, accessible, and scalable solution in record time. Within weeks, they were able to solve several unique problems:

  • A lightweight cloud application manages the capacity and availability of beds, protective gear, staff, medical equipment, and more.

  • Information is based on accurate, real-time data to ensure the best routing of ambulance transports and care for critical patients.

  • The solution enables central coordination and distribution of patients across all 45 wards in the county’s 25 clinics and is accessible through various devices regardless of user location.

The Heidelberg University Hospital example shows the power of digital transformation in health care and how better data management can save lives.

Join us for the thought leadership podcast and our LinkedIn conversation with guests Dr. Norbert Frey and Michael Byczkowski.

  • Podcast: Tamara McCleary, CEO at Thulium, sits down with Dr. Frey and Michael to discuss Heidelberg University Hospital’s response to the pandemic and ongoing improvements for healthcare logistics. Dr. Frey walks us through why Heidelberg University Hospital identified bed and equipment management as a key focus early on and how their platform helped solve the immediate crisis. The group will discuss medical data management as it relates to emergency situations and how solutions like Heidelberg University Hospital’s will support day-to-day operations in the future.

  • LinkedIn Live Discussion: Join my LinkedIn conversation with Dr. Frey and Michael as we explore how Heidelberg University Hospital met the pandemic challenge and lessons learned along the way. We will cover how Heidelberg University Hospital overcame unexpected challenges and roadblocks, how the solution has affected patients and staff, and what’s next for digital transformation in healthcare.

Interested in additional success where healthcare and technology intersect?

  • Charité: Building a Scalable Healthcare and Medical Research Platform

  • Moroccan Ministry of Health: A Real-Time Monitoring System Aiding Decision Making and Saving Lives in a Pandemic

Are you looking for even more inspiring stories straight from SAP Business Technology Platform customers? You can check out the whole SAP BTP Better Together: Customer Conversations series and more at

Please let me know if there are topics you’d like to hear more about in the future, as well as questions you’d like to explore. And, as always, please contact us if you’d like to be a guest on a future episode.