Coordinating and optimizing hospitals’ patient, medical supply and information flows

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Hospitals’ daily operations heavily rely on processes that align patient streams with hospital resources (infrastructure, medical supplies, staff) and related information flows. But a hospital is a complex environment in which operations prove to be a great optimization target. One particular area for improvement includes hospitals’ supporting processes, which are meant to ensure that the right (and sufficient) resources end up timely at the right location.

Within this context, HIPS designed a methodology to effectively scope, list, model and evaluate supporting workflows. As a second step, that knowledge was used to design an innovative ‘to-be’ process supported by an open, scalable and standards-based platform that combines workflows with RFID technologies, and translating in supply chain savings of up to 30%.

“HIPS brought together a complementary group of industry partners who saw an important opportunity in offering operational optimization solutions for hospitals,” says Jan Van Ooteghem, HIPS’ scientific research lead.

H.Essers specializes in supply chain management; Amaron focuses on workflow automation and IT integration in healthcare; and Aucxis provides automation and IT integration solutions based on track-and-trace radio- frequency identification (RFID) technology.

“We took hip replacement surgery as a use case, since the underlying (medical) procedures have been standardized. That provided us with a head start to get a better grip on all related pre- and post-surgical processes. After all, that was a prerequisite in order to find correlations between those processes and introduce the methodologies and technologies to optimize supporting workflows – in line with a hospital’s KPIs and in function of its patients,” Ben Devis, HIPS’ project lead, adds.

The outcomes

  • A methodology to align hospitals’ supporting workflows, and assess potential optimization opportunities
  • Developing the building blocks of a platform that can help hospitals realize supply chain savings of up to 30%


  • Nomination for Health&Care Awards

The HIPS project was nominated for the Health&Care Awards.

  • Agoria eHealth Award

The HIPS project won the Agoria eHealth Award for 'best ICT project that improves quality systems and optimizes processes'.  

  • Consultancy Commission by UZ Gent

UZ Gent granted a consultancy commission to the HIPS project for Tracing of Blood Product Administration.

HIPS Leaflet


HIPS Award



  • ‘HIPS’ project that better aligns patients, resources and information flows in care institutions to each other wins Agoria eHealth Award 

  • Ghent University Hospital Grants Consultancy Commission for Tracing of Blood Product Administration to Amaron and Aucxis [Third-Party PR]

  • iMinds - IBCN - Ghent University Shares Expertise in Pervasive Health Research at ProCare2015

HIPS (Innovation through optimized and integrated Patient and Supply Flows in Hospitals) is an imec.icon research project.

It ran from 01.03.2014 until 29.02.2016.

Project information


  • AZ Maria Middelares - Sint Jozef
  • Amaron
  • Aucxis
  • AZ Nikolaas
  • H.Essers


  • imec - SMIT - VUB
  • imec - IBCN - UGent
  • Center for Service Intelligence (CSI) - UGent


  • Project Lead: Ben Devis
  • Research Lead: Jan Van Ooteghem
  • Innovation Manager: Eric Van der Hulst
  • Proposal Manager: Jan Van Ooteghem