Sustainable Hospitals

Hospital Logistics

White paper

About this white paper
This white paper presents the Danish concept of Hospital Logistics and ground-breaking solutions that contribute to making Danish hospitals more efficient and improve patient safety and treatment quality. It is part of a series of white papers that show how Danish solutions can contribute to increase efficiency in healthcare while empowering patients and staff.

Danish healthcare innovation is not exclusive for the Danes: many years of global presence show that our healthcare products and solutions create value internationally. Danish ideas and products are used every day in hospitals, medical clinics, ambulances, and nursing homes across the world.

We hope to inspire you and would like to invite you to Denmark to learn more about the Danish healthcare system.

Photo credits
Foreword: Anne Mette Kleis-Kristoffersen, Mymind
Page 6: Henrik Bendix Olsen, Project Manager, Region Zealand
Page 7 (air photo): Region Zealand
Page 8-9: Systematic
Page 11, top: Line Bloch Klostergaard, Communications Department, Aalborg University Hospital
Page 11: Lasse Høj Nielsen, Communications Department, Aalborg University Hospital
Page 12: Odense University Hospital
Page 13: Getinge Cetrea
Page 14: Odense University Hospital
Page 15: Getinge Cetrea
Page 18-19: Bjørn Sørensen, Communications Team, Hospital of Southern Jutland
Page 26: Medic OUH I/S
Page 27: Intelligent Systems

Editor in Chief
Healthcare DENMARK, Hans Erik Henriksen,

Steering Committee
Danish Ministry of Health, Martin Nyrop Holgersen,
Danish Regions, Simon Nørregaard Jensen,
Hospital of Southern Jutland, Sten Fibæk-Jensen,
New Aalborg University Hospital, Lars Esko,
Systematic, Henrik Jespersen,

Danish Ministry of Health, Martin Nyrop Holgersen,

Danish Regions, Simon Nørregaard Jensen,

Getinge Cetrea, Julie Trøllund Jensen,

Gibotech, Henrik Anker,

Hospital of Southern Jutland,  Poul Martin Møller,

Intelligent Systems, Pia Bach Munch,

Intelligent Systems, Ole Klinkby,

Lyngsoe Systems, Keld Ole Nielsen,

New Aalborg University Hospital, Tobias Westh-Clemmensen,

New Arhus University Hospital, Gert Sørensen,

North Zealand  Hospital, Helle Alsbæk,

Systematic, Jacob  Gade,

TIMEDICO, Karin Jansen,

Executive summary


Healthcare systems around the world are challenged by an increased share of elderly citizens and chronically ill patients as well as more expensive forms of treatment. These factors are causing a significant demand pull in terms of treatment needs as well as expectations, which accentuate the need for our healthcare systems to work smarter on all levels. Therefore, hospitals need to consider means to increase efficiency and productivity in order to be able to treat more patients without increasing costs.

For more than a decade, Danish hospitals and companies have worked together on improving logistics in hospitals. The overall aim has been the creation of just-in-time solutions in order to optimize coordination and efficiency and reduce the patients’ length of stay.

In Denmark, the focus on hospital logistics has played an important role in achieving a 30 pct. increase in hospital productivity since 2003. This white paper demonstrates the possibilities for hospital logistics within different areas of hospital services and needs, including supply logistics, clinical logistics, sterile goods and sample logistics.



At the NewAarhus University Hospital, a fine-meshed IT system will enable real-time localization of people and equipment right down to room level.

At Aalborg University Hospital, the introduction of a similar and new solution has resulted in a close to 20 pct. efficiency increase. Danish solutions for just-in-time logistics include systems for locating and tracking staff and equipment, solutions for automating basic and repetitive tasks, as well as solutions for guiding patients around the hospital, all of which help avoid delays and peak times in the hospital process.

Sample logistics​

At Hospital of Southern Jutland in Aabenraa, the number of patients has increased by 13 pct., but with the new sample logistics solution, the hospital has managed to cope and even reduce the average length of stay. Intelligent solutions for handling samples help hospitals reduce their sample turn-around-time and subsequently speed up patient diagnostics. Fully automated laboratories improve sample flow by handling and sorting all blood samples without any manual handling, thereby minimizing the risk of errors and freeing up time for value-adding tasks such as patient related work.


Sterile goods and sample logistics

The Capital Region in Denmark will centralize all handling of sterile goods at two departments at Rigshospitalet and Herlev Hospital. With fully automated handling of sterile equipment, the two centers will improve hygiene and reduce the risk of infections. At the same time the budget for purchasing and storing sterile equipment will be reduced because of the just-in-time solution.


The future

Integrated logistics is the next step. Automatic delivery of medicine from the hospital pharmacy directly to the wards and just-in-time housekeeping, based on the hospital discharge system, is already a reality in Danish hospitals. Storage space, which is built directly into the hospital walls, will prioritize short walking distances, large coherent clinical areas and patient related functions.

Denmark is in the process of building 16 new highly specialized hospitals that are all constructed as hospitals of the future, taking into account the changing role of hospitals in our future healthcare system. While optimal hospital logistics is important for all existing hospitals, it is vital for the new, large and specialized hospitals.


We hope that you will find this white paper both innovative and inspiring.


Bent Hansen, President of the Danish Regions

“A safe and efficient supply chain makes up the backbone in a well-functioning Danish healthcare sector and is of vital importance to the hospitals’ employees in order to provide the best possible treatment to the patients."



“A safe and efficient supply chain makes up the backbone in a well-functioning Danish healthcare sector and is of vital importance to the hospitals’ employees in order to provide the best possible treatment to the patients. Denmark has already come far in terms of optimizing the field of hospital logistics. Now, a historic billion-dollar investment in new hospital constructions in Denmark makes up a unique opportunity in the years to come to create an even more coherent supply chain to accommodate the future challenges facing the healthcare sector.” - Bent Hansen, President of the Danish Regions


Denmark strives towards having the best healthcare system in the world. In order to secure and maintain this leading position, and to respond to the increasing pressure on hospitals for providing even better services for fewer resources, Denmark is investing heavily in a new and modernized hospital infrastructure to create a sustainable and even better healthcare sector for the future.

”Denmark has already come far in terms of optimizing the field of hospital logistics.”

The construction and modernization of 16 state and regional funded hospitals together with multiple regional hospital projects creates a need for changing the strategic approach to managing the supply chain including hospital logistics in order to fulfill the potential of the massive investment. Thus, rethinking a safe and efficient supply chain encompassing new as well as established hospitals is an important agenda in the Danish healthcare system.
The overall ambition is to enhance coherence in the supply chain and improve the interaction between logistical and clinical processes by creating a foundation for hospital logistics upon which it will be possible to cooperate with the suppliers to further develop joint solutions both inside and outside hospitals and eventually across hospitals and administrative units. Ultimately, innovative solutions within hospital logistics and traceability support a successful operating supply chain in the healthcare sector. These solutions prove their potential to increase patient safety and release resources that can be applied in improving care and time spent with patients. And this is only the beginning.


Bent Hansen