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Inpatient care

In brief

Although the DRG convergence phase is now complete, the financial situation at hospitals in Germany will not improve in the foreseeable future. Statutory spending cuts and rising costs for personnel, energy and materials are putting continued pressure on revenues, costs and operating profit. In addition, growth opportunities are also limited. A growing share of chronically ill patients, a broad awareness of high-quality care provision, rising mobility for planned procedures and declining public investment funds, partly as a result of the statutory limit on debt, are further challenges.

This growing pressure on both revenues and costs is forcing hospitals to continuously improve their operational performance and systematically examine their business systems for optimization potential.

Our Approach

We advise hospitals of all sizes and care levels, rehab clinics and nursing homes, as well as providers of outpatient services.

The following topics represent the main optimization levers for hospitals and should give you an initial idea of our consulting expertise:

Hospital review

Based on a brief analysis of key operational indicators and our benchmarks and experience, in a joint workshop we present to you our assessment of the current situation and the possible development prospects. On this basis, with you we work to develop actions to make your hospital fit for the future and optimize the entire business system, i.e. all areas from non-medical divisions (administration/ infrastructure, non-medical services) to core medical areas.

Medical strategy

Together with you, we develop a medical strategy to secure the hospital's future. This encompasses location and network strategies, the formation of specialized centers (see also perinatal centers) and optimization of the service portfolio. The basis for this future-proof medical strategy is an internal analysis of strengths and weaknesses and an external view of the market/competition.

Growth strategy

We collaborate with you to develop a growth strategy to boost case numbers and optimize the case mix. Structured and systematic admissions management and innovative collaboration approaches play a decisive role. Alongside this, together with you we ensure revenue optimization on the administrative side (see also patient management based on length of stay). We also develop additional growth strategies in the secondary healthcare market.

Clinical and non-clinical process optimization

We optimize working processes throughout the treatment path. Besides admissions, bed occupancy and discharge management we focus on the critical bottleneck resources (emergency room, operating theaters and intensive care) and functional areas (laboratory, radiology, pathology, etc.).

We also jointly optimize the working procedures in non-clinical areas such as medical cost monitoring, outpatient/inpatient billing, finance and accounting, HR, IT, pharmacy, laundry/cleaning, catering, technical equipment, sterilization, etc.

Optimizing materials costs

We limit the continuous rise in materials costs. In addition to streamlining the range and suppliers, we help you introduce binding standards and ensure indication-specific consumption management and monitoring. In addition, our consulting approach encompasses reshaping procurement processes and refining the entire procurement organization. Find out more about our best-in-class materials costs management.

Organizational structure

We assist you in embedding the newly developed working procedures and mindsets in corresponding structures. We jointly define clear areas of responsibility and efficient reporting channels. Continuous personnel development, synchronized incentive systems and a culture of openness ensure sustainable structural change.

Continuous project support

We ensure the long-term success of change projects by making a project team into a transformation team. First, to spearhead the change, the search for improvement actions becomes a continuous improvement process within the whole organization. Our computer-based tool and control instrument, RBpoint,   represents the backbone of this. All those in the organization who are involved can view the current project status online in a clearly understandable and visually appealing form.

Our approach

All topic focuses for providers will be worked on in parallel by us within the scope of a comprehensive restructuring/modernization/restructuring project. This ensures sustainable positive annual results.

Further reading

Fitnesskur für Schweizer Spitäler

THINK ACT (German only), 2014

The hospital environment in Switzerland is in pieces. Our new study shows how hospitals can manage mergers, ramp up construction projects, and improve sourcing and profitability …  >>

Samen beter – Hoe samenwerking kan bijdragen aan structureel betere zorg

THINK ACT (Dutch only), 2014

Cooperation between hospitals has many benefits but is often externally driven. We advocate cooperation which thinks beyond traditional structures and boundaries of a hospital …  >>

think: act CONTENT "Einweisermanagement in deutschen Kliniken"

think: act CONTENT (German only), 2013

Competition on the inpatient healthcare market is getting fiercer. German hospitals are under immense pressure to maximize their bed capacity utilization …  >>

Best in Class-Sachkostenmanagement für Krankenhäuser

Feature (in German only), 2012

Our best-in-class material cost management puts the purchasing department and hospital operators on an equal footing …  >>

Baustelle OP - Nachhaltige Optimierung eines wesentlichen Funktionsbereichs im Krankenhaus

Feature (in German only), 2012

Our approach to optimizing operating room procedures is based on the fit-for-the-future strategy and draws on the six main optimization areas …  >>

Verweildauerorientiertes Patientenmanagement

Feature (in German only), 2012

Our patient management according to length of stay optimizes processes from admission to discharge. The "patient manager" organizes bed occupancy …  >>

think: act CONTENT "Fundraising"

think: act CONTENT (in German only), 2012

Together with the Deutscher Fundraising Verband, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants conducted a study on "Fundraising in German hospitals". The objective was to determine whether fundraising …  >>


Our experts

Roland Falb

Managing Partner

Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 1 53602-201
E-mail: e-mail

Hans Nyctelius


Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 410438 0
E-mail: e-mail

Christophe Angoulvant

Senior Partner

Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 53670-984
E-mail: e-mail

Morris Hosseini


Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 160 7448-497
E-mail: e-mail



Dr. Matthias Bracht, Chairman of Mühlenkreiskliniken AöR

"By appointing a new chairman at Mühlenkreiskliniken AöR in March 2009, the supervisory council gave the go-ahead for the modernization project. At the same time, they hired a turnaround consultant with the support of the new board. Right from the start it was clear to me that the serious financial challenges could only be dealt with by a tough, joint effort by the supervisory council, board, employees and consultants. With Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, we picked an extremely experienced consultancy to be a temporary partner alongside MKK. What was particularly important and necessary was external input in the field of project management and in analyzing the structures and processes in the whole business system, including benchmarking. In addition, the constant monitoring of agreed implementation steps and the implementation guide set up during the concept design were essential to the project's success.

Over the past eighteen months, through hard work by all employees, managers and consultants, we have managed to get Mühlenkreiskliniken back on track.

Together we faced the challenge of the successful turnaround of Mühlenkreisklinken, and I am certain that we will reach our goal of a balanced net result for 2012.

My thanks go to all employees of MKK and also to the team of consultants from Roland Berger – without their commitment we would not have been able to achieve this success so far and the success yet to come."

Michael Kilian, Head of Medical Strategy and Controlling at Klinikum Dortmund

"The newly introduced case management boosts the quality of medical care – processes are optimized by controlling the length of stay, patients are spared unnecessary days in hospital, as well as premature discharges that could lead to readmission. After an introductory phase that depends on the basic conditions prevailing in the hospital, changes to the encoding and discharge rules will and must be introduced. These must be monitored by medical controlling and evaluated in terms of both processes and economics. Case management thus differs from "traditional encoding". It is a dynamic unit that continuously adjusts to the requirements of the healthcare system and sends continuous input for day-to-day hospital work. We designed this unit with the help of Roland Berger and successfully established it in the company!"

Sample projects

In this turnaround project, we managed to achieve a positive net profit within 3 years
Our approach to patient management based on length of stay reduces the duration and speeds up encoding
Our surgery optimization approach leads to significant increases in capacity utilization by incision-suture time

Your contact

Fitnesskur für Schweizer Spitäler

THINK ACT (German only), 2014

The hospital environment in Switzerland is in pieces. Our new study shows how hospitals can manage mergers, ramp up construction projects, and improve sourcing and profitability …  >>