The Hospital of the Future: Supporting the establishment of the new University Hospital in Odense, Denmark

On 28 April 2016, four children cut the first turf for Denmark’s new university hospital in the city of Odense. The completion of the hospital is expected in 2023, and it will become the largest newbuild hospital in Denmark, measuring almost 250,000 square metres and with room for 700 hospital beds and around 50 operating rooms. Complex IT and logistic solutions are required to ensure medicine, tests, operation equipment, etc. reach numerous hospital departments at the right time and at the right place.

“The construction of the new hospital strengthens our long-lasting co-operation with the Region of Southern Denmark and Odense University Hospital, and gives us a unique option to offer our legal knowledge of tender procedures in combination with both IT systems and construction projects.”  Peter Dann Jørgensen (Partner, Bird & Bird)

Every day, hospitals around the world transport large quantities of items between various departments and the logistics are particularly complex. Operating room equipment must be brought safely from the sterile processing department to operating rooms, meals must be brought to wards, blood samples must be dispatched to laboratories without contamination, and the list goes on. Managing this is a significant task, requiring considerable resources, incurring heavy costs and involving detailed tracking of consumption and placement of items. It is vitally important to incorporate compatible and future-proof IT and logistics solutions in the procurement procedure for large-scale construction projects, so that this hugely important part of hospital life is included from the very conception of the project and to make sure that the entire project works seamlessly.

The ambition for the new university hospital in Odense is to design the hospital of the future- one that is digital and semi-automatic. It’s an exciting ambition but a challenging one. To meet these expectations, efficient digital solutions to support present and future challenges encountered during the daily operations of the hospital are essential. Therefore, the establishment of the new university hospital in Odense has been and is accompanied by a number of transverse and complex systems for building automation processes and logistics.

The building automation processes consist of Building Management, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition as well as a Manufacturing Execution System that is in place to ensure control, remote monitoring and data-based insight, including enhanced operational stability, for all supply and control facilities installed at the hospital. The entire logistics solution includes a cash transport and storage system, warehouse control and management system, automated guided vehicles, a pneumatic dispatch system and a blowpipe system to distribute consumer goods, medicine, samples, linen, food and waste around the hospital in complex flows. In addition to all of the above, there is an important facility monitoring system that monitors specific rooms and equipment in accordance with the clinical requirements for temperature, humidity and pressure, as well as a cable management system that establishes a complex network infrastructure for the entire hospital.

Bird & Bird seconded a lawyer to the existing university hospital to assist with the market dialogue and the preparation of contract and appendices for a number of the procurement projects for logistics systems of the university hospital. Subsequently, Bird & Bird has continued to provide legal advice, recently in relation to procurement procedures of various complex IT systems.

“It is a pleasure to be able to contribute to the digitalisation of such a large-scale hospital construction making it compatible with the future. We co-operate with the most qualified experts and create competition in a market with a good deal of interesting businesses when we invite to a tender for the IT systems to the hospital.”  Tina Johansen (Associate, Bird & Bird)

The largest of the above-mentioned systems is the cash transport and storage system, which also covers the warehouse control and management system, and which is designed on the basis of existing automation and logistics solutions, with conveyor belts and lifts bringing plastic boxes containing kit to clinical departments. Ensuring the highest of standards for the hospital in terms hygiene and working environment means that the system is specifically designed to have specialised standard components, such as separate drop-off and pick-up stations for clean and contaminated zones.

We know that efficient control of supply chains can reduce operating costs. Experience also shows that service and maintenance agreements that are subject to tender procedures help to ensure competition for not only the projects, but also for subsequent IT-related systems operations.

Bird & Bird advises clients on tenders, including total cost of ownership and profit optimisation within logistics, IT and construction. If you are interested in discussing any of the points in this article, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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