What Can Hospitals Learn from Singapore Airlines?

What can hospitals learn from the Lean Production Approach of Toyota, the pit stop of a Formula I car or Singapore Airlines to improve their own strategic position? Why does the average length of stay differ between 7.5 days in German, 5.2 days in French and 6.4 days in Spanish hospitals? The new book „International Best Practices in Health Care Management“, published by Prof. Dr. Dr. Wilfried von Eiff, Academic Director of the Ludwig Fresenius Center for Health Care Management and Regulation at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, together with Prof. Dr. Sandra Buttigieg (University of Malta) and Prof. Cheryl Rathert, Ph.D. (Virginia Commonwealth University, Va, USA), aims to redefine the benchmarking process for hospitals.

Health care service providers can takes notes from unrelated industries

The new HHL Benchmarking Model for Health Services is oriented on the philosophy of an input-output model. The approach is explained based on practical examples from different industries in various countries. Prof. von Eiff explains, „Benchmarking is not a project with a predefined start and end point, but rather a continuous initiative of comparing key performance indicators, process structures and best practices from best-in-class companies inside the industry.“

According to the authors, solely comparing figures such as the average length of stay, the cost of the procedures or the infection rate may easily lead to false conclusions and decisions, often followed by catastrophic consequences. „It is necessary to look beyond the raw figures to understand how processes function and eventually lead to best-in-class results,“ says the medical economist. Positive examples from completely different industries but also health care systems from various other countries can provide hospitals with benefits in fields such as patient orientation, clinical excellence and economic efficiency. „The book can contribute to the promotion of the international exchange of best practices and provide examples of learning across borders and health care systems which can lead to the introduction of innovative treatment approaches as well as the optimization of clinical processes,“ concludes Prof. von Eiff.

Prof. von Eiff is currently concluding a benchmarking study to which hospitals are invited to contribute. The online questionnaire is available on the website of the institute: .

Prof. von Eiff is also serving as co-organizer of the HHL Health Care Management Dialog and the 12th Management and Strategy Congress (MARA) in Düsseldorf on September 8/9, 2016. In addition to the latest trends and opportunities for successful hospital management, rehabilitation facilities and medical centers, decision-makers from the health care industry can learn about specific best practices. More information:

Prof. Dr. Dr. Wilfried von Eiff

Prof. von Eiff serves as Academic Director of the Ludwig Fresenius Center for Health Care Management and Regulation of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. He was also appointed Professor for Health Care Management here and has therefore been integrated into the Economics and Regulation Group. He also presides over the Institute for Hospital Management at the University of Münster.
Amongst others, his work focuses on purchasing and logistics management, mergers and acquisitions, quality and risk management, medical controlling as well as benchmarking. Prof. von Eiff acts as a Health Economics Consultant for the International Institute for Health Economics.
At HHL, Prof. von Eiff is involved in teaching through the part-time MBA in General Management Program with a focus on Hospital Management and Health Services.

HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management is a university-level institution and ranks amongst the leading international business schools. The goal of the oldest business school in German-speaking Europe is to educate effective, responsible and entrepreneurially-minded leaders. HHL stands out for its excellent teaching, its clear research focus, its effective knowledge transfer into practice as well as its outstanding student services. The courses of study include full and part-time Master in Management as well as MBA programs, a Doctoral program and Executive Education. HHL is accredited by AACSB International.

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