Delivering their purpose with EFQM



Vienna’s first General Hospital was built in 1784. Over the years it has been transformed many times. It is now Austria’s largest hospital, the University Hospital and the site of the Medical University of Vienna. It regularly features in lists of the world’s best hospitals.

But, when every moment counts, how does a public/private partnership like VAMED-KMB run a hospital the size of a small city? And in a way that ensures constant improvements to the buildings and services, while ensuring patients get better and better treatment each year?

As Kai Ostermann, VAMED-KMB’s Managing Director describes it. “Our task is a bit like keeping a jumbo jet flying at the same time as servicing and rebuilding it.”

“We are convinced that working with the EFQM model is a huge contributor to our success”

Kai Ostermann, Managing Director, VAMED-KMB


University Hospital Vienna has 10,000 employees and treats 1.8m patients a year. It is Europe’s fifth largest hospital. VAMED-KMD has been formally involved in improving the fabric of the buildings since the early 1980s.

The company was at least 10 years ahead of the curve when it introduced their first public private partnership in the 1990s to fund much-needed investment, and has been at the cutting edge of delivering continuous improvements ever since – using the EFQM model since the early 2000s.

“Our purpose is to help people to help others”, says Kai Ostermann. “We have 1,200 employees whose job is to free up medical staff so they can focus on their core mission to provide healthcare at the highest level.”

Subsidiary of the VAMED Group – majority-owned by a listed company, but with other significant investors including an Austrian state-owned holding company and a private foundation – VAMED-KMB is extremely aware of the financial environment that it operates in.

The company attributes much of its significant growth to using the EFQM model. The model encourages their team to focus on the stakehold-ers they interact with on a daily basis: their employees, the clinicians they support, and their suppliers.

And it works. The EFQM model has helped the company to transform processes and ensure that the hospital could continue to grow and modernise, all while operating a truly
world-class service.

When they first started working with EFQM, VAMED-KMB ensured that senior management all attended EFQM training sessions so they could become advocates for the model and how it can be applied.

Each strategic plan since then saw the structure and logic of the EFQM model embedded within it. Often without needing to reference EFQM explicitly.
This structure included developing high quality performance indicators and dashboards across the organisation, and taking on board views of all stakeholders, including suppliers and staff.

And the results are impressive. 92% of staff now say they understand the company’s purpose. Management reports show that a united team delivers better results.

And VAMED-KMB’s dashboards now help with everything from staff succession-planning and onboarding through to suggesting when to roll out preventative maintenance programmes.

Kai Ostermann looks back very favourably at how EFQM has helped VAMED-KMB to grow so successfully. But he too has at least one eye on the future.

“The EFQM model is an excellent tool to understand and successfully manage an organisation,” he says.

“But we’re not focusing on quick wins. We’re focusing on the long run.”

“We want to be a reliable partner for everyone we work with. We are constantly learning, and we look forward to sharing even more successes in the future. We still want to learn from others. And to constantly improve our organisation.

In 2022 VAMED-KMB were awarded Seven Diamonds by EFQM, and were named as the EFQM Global Award Winners.