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Annual Report 2020

Networked on campus

on campus

Creating a new whole system together

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The vision: Intelligent hospital buildings that can also adapt to all new developments in the long run and remain sustainable. The solution: smart concepts, agility, short distances and lots of teamwork. See and learn more about the surgery clinic move, networked medical technology and the unique campus structure - the clinic ring.

More than packing boxes - a move as a major operation

Many years of planning, vast expertise, teamwork, and courageous decisions were required to allow the idea of a digital surgical building to become reality. In doing so, the focus of all our efforts was on the welfare of our patients and their family members. It was still dark as the first patient transports began from the old surgery building to the new building next to the Medical Center. The hospital prepared for this large-scale operation on October 10 for three months. About 150 hospital employees and 150 employees of the German Red Cross made the move possible. “The months of preparation and the last feat of strength on the date of the move itself could only be mastered as a team effort. We thank all employees and partners for their fantastic support,” says Prof. Dr. Markus W. Büchler, Spokesman of the Surgical Center.

Relocation as a team effort: In a joint effort, patients of the University Department of Surgery were relocated to the new building next to the Department of Medicine at the beginning of October 2020.


ambulances deployed


patients were relocated


intensive-care patients

Arrived in the new building: Modern rooms for cutting-edge medicine

At the new Surgical Center, employees and patients benefit from a pleasant working and convalescence environment.

Here is an overview of the highlights of this new building:

For patients
  • Modern two-bed rooms with a bathroom and mobile clothes closets
  • Interdisciplinary emergency department (INA), jointly organized by the Surgical Department with the Medical Center (Krehl-Klinik)
  • Easy-to-understand routing system for easier and better orientation
  • Central control center with registration booths and digital check-in process as an upgradable patient routing system
  • Ultra-modern OP technology and integrated systems with process support
  • The latest data and analysis concepts and networking in analogy to “Industrie 4.0” transferred to the hospital
  • Building installations and medical technology as an upgradable holistic system
  • New possibilities, especially for complex syndromes through digital networking

In the new surgery building, patients are accommodated exclusively in two-bed rooms. The rooms are bright and comfortably furnished and have a panoramic window.

The centerpiece of the new building is the operating wing with 16 operating rooms that are digitally embedded in the clinic's medical and IT landscape. In addition, an integrated endoscopy concept will be implemented in six operating rooms and two ORs will be equipped as hybrid ORs.

The helicopter landing platform on the roof of the new surgery center is of central importance for the entire hospital: it ensures that severely injured and other critically ill patients can be transported to their destination within the hospital ring without any loss of time.

For workers
  • 16 ultra-modern operating rooms digitally embedded into the hospital’s medical and IT landscape
  • Within the clinic, surgeons are linked audio-visually between the operating rooms and their colleagues
  • Six operating rooms are also equipped with an integrated endoscopy concept for minimally invasive procedures
  • Two operating rooms are hybrid rooms especially for vascular surgery
  • Networked medical-technical equipment in the sense of “Industrie 4.0” with a data warehouse
  • Short distances, especially for critically and severely ill patients, e.g., via an elevator from the helicopter to the shock room
  • All medical care, including emergency operations, on one floor
  • Patient paging system with a color code for a better prioritization of the tasks

All operating rooms are fully digitally equipped. This means that all patient data and all processes can be recorded, from the preparation of an operation to the progress of the operation and the discharge of the patient.

Regardless of what health problems the patient is acutely confronted with: His path always leads via the Interdisciplinary Emergency Department (INA) in the basement. There, the patient is examined and given initial treatment by an interdisciplinary team from the Department of Surgery and Internal Medicine.

Teaching has its permanent place in surgery with a large lecture hall and several seminar rooms. The surgeons can exchange information audiovisually between the operating rooms within the clinic. This also allows transmission to the lecture hall for the service of teaching.

For researchers and students
  • A new, multifunctional teaching and research area with an auditorium and the latest equipment
  • Multifunctional seminar rooms for basic and advanced training but also for clinical and research purposes
  • Integrated and modern laboratory area located in the immediate vicinity of patient care
  • Video transmissions from the operating room to the auditorium
  • Infrastructure with networked medical technology and a data warehouse as well as upgradable components as the basis for further refinements in artificial intelligence and process support

Facts and Figures

  • Usable space 20,700 m2
  • Total number of beds 313
  • Operating rooms 16
  • Construction costs 210 million euros
  • Medical-technical equipment 38 million euros
  • Groundbreaking ceremony May 5, 2014
  • Foundation stone laid May 20, 2015
  • Topping out ceremony April 11, 2016
  • Regular operations since October 12, 2020

Departments at the Surgical Center

  • Department for General, Visceral and Transplant Surgery
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Trauma & Plastic Surgery
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Pediatric Heart Surgery
  • Department for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
  • Urology
  • Study Center of the German Society for Surgery (SDGC)

The medical technology of the new surgery building sets standards

The new building offers every prerequisite for implementing digital and modern concepts for medical care at the highest level. This was made possible primarily by the exemplary team performance of all trades and departments. “In particular, I would like to emphasize the collaboration with Simone Tanger, senior project manager of the new building during the commissioning and relocation phase, Gisela Müller, head of the nursing service, Dr. Karin Diez, head of the medical planning group, Dr. Jan Larmann, permanent deputy medical director of the department of anesthesiology, as well as the departments of the Center for Information and Medical Technology headed by Oliver Reinhard and Klinik-Technik-GmbH headed by Bernd Kirchberg,” reports Dr. Hannes Kenngott, Medical Construction Officer of the University Hospital Department for Surgery. Learn more from him in our video.

Networked hospital: In the video, Dr. Hannes Kenngott provides insights into the modern surgery clinic building.

Learn more: https://www.klinikum.uni-heidelberg.de/neubau-chirurgie-2020

“The new building for surgery was one of the biggest construction projects of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg and of Heidelberg University Hospital. Surgery forms the next to last building block of the Heidelberg ‘ring of hospitals’ – the structural landmark of the Heidelberg Medical Faculty.”

Katrin Erk

Commercial Director at Heidelberg University Hospital

Hospital in change: Interview with Katrin Erk, Commercial Director

Efficient and modern hospital construction and digitized processes - planners around the world are dealing with these challenges. What does the networked reality look like in Heidelberg?

Expanding the networked campus structures in the form of the hospital ring has been a clear strategic goal for decades. The first building block in the hospital ring was laid in 1987 with the Kopfklinik. A lot has happened since then, and further construction projects and relocations are planned for the next few years to improve the spatial networking of the medical specialties, such as a central emergency room or as part of the renovation of our Kopfklinik, our largest clinic in terms of area. Patient- and employee-oriented processes and services as well as close networking between the clinic and research are the focus here. Another key component is digitalization, which enables us to act flexibly, quickly and in a resource-efficient manner. But it is not only the structural and technical aspects that are relevant, but above all the human aspects, the networked way of working and the will to do this. Only together can we master the enormous and, in some cases, unprecedented challenges of our time.

What are you doing to promote togetherness at the hospital?

At our university hospital, employees in over 100 different professions and from 125 nations work together on an interdisciplinary basis in the clinics, centers and numerous research collaborations. Many are active in several facilities at the same time, and only about 30 percent have a desktop workstation. For this reason, we rely heavily on mobile IT structures and mobile forms of communication in the further development of our processes and are implementing the modern networked digital workplace in terms of its basic principle. This provides employees with the best possible support for their work structures. This is an exciting path that we want to take together in the coming months, toward a cultural change of low-threshold communication and collaboration on our campus.

The clinic ring - a unique campus structure creates short distances

Over the decades, a compact infrastructure for scientific work and patient-oriented research has grown on the university-like campus at “Im Neuenheimer Feld”. With the construction of the Head Center (Kopfklinik) in 1987, the first stone was laid for this ring of hospitals, followed by the Medical Center in 2003, the Pediatric Hospital in 2008, the Heidelberg Ion Beam Therapy Center (HIT) in 2009, the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in 2010 and the Women’s Hospital and Department for Dermatology in 2013. The Surgical Center has been integrated into this row and forms the next to last building block in this ring-like structure. The last place will be filled by the Department of Orthopedics, which is currently still located in Schlierbach outside of Heidelberg.

The clinics in Neuenheimer Feld are connected in a circle. The clinic ring ensures short distances and bundles most medical specialties within a radius of two kilometers. With the construction of the new surgery building, the clinic ring was closed. Other clinics in the ring in planning and preparation are the Heart Center, the new building of the Hopp Children’s Tumor Center Heidelberg (KiTZ) and Orthopedics.

Ring-shaped supply arteries supply the clinics

With the completion of the Surgical Center, the ring of the automatic goods transport system (AWT), including the supply lines from the Medical Center to the Surgical Center and to the Women’s Hospital and Department of Dermatology has also been completed. Automatically controlled containers deliver medicines, sterilized goods, clean laundry, food, and disposables. These containers also bring the dirty laundry, dirty dishes, and garbage back to the Versorgungszentrum Medizin (VZM).

8,158 m

underground railway tracks


transmitting and receiving stations



Automatic trolley transport system (photo)

The technical supply arteries of Neuenheimer Feld run below the clinic on level 98. The automatic trolley transport system (AWT) with a length of over seven kilometers is also located here.