Published: 08-06-2023 10:28 | Updated: 08-06-2023 10:28

Top rating for KI-Region Stockholm in evaluation of academic healthcare

Management of KI-Region Stockholm.
KI-Region Stockholm has received the highest rating of all ALF regions in the National Board of Health and Welfare's evaluation of academic healthcare. Front: Emma Lennartsson, Stockholm regional director (left) and Annika Östman Wernerson, KI president (right). Back: management group members Mikael Ohrling, hospital director; Björn Zoëga, CEO of Karolinska University Hospital; Anders Ahlsson, director of health and medical services; Maria Eriksdotter, dean; Veronika Sundström, university director; Clara Hellner, director of research and innovation; Anna Martling, dean; and Martin Bergö, KI vice-president. Photo: Andreas Andersson

KI-Region Stockholm is the ALF region that best meets the quality criteria in the National Board of Health and Welfare’s evaluation of academic healthcare (USV). The results of the evaluation were compiled into a report published on 31 May. Research is the Stockholm region’s strongest area, but the report also comments positively on its innovation, pedagogics education and interaction with patients and their families.

The National Board of Health and Welfare is tasked by the government with evaluating academic healthcare every four years in the regions covered by the ALF agreement, which regulates their partnership with the government on medical training, clinical research and healthcare development. The aim of the evaluation is to promote quality through comparisons and to be a tool for development by presenting instructive examples.

The latest evaluation was conducted in 2022 for all ALF regions, and covers the years between 2018 and 2021. A total of 296 USV units in the country were surveyed to determine the extent to which they met the National Board of Welfare’s quality criteria. The surveys were followed by a deeper audit of 34 USV units in primary care, child and adolescent psychiatry, neurology, orthopaedics and emergency care. The management of the ALF regions were also interviewed. In Stockholm, all 72 units responded to the survey.

“We’re extremely proud of KI-Region Stockholm’s excellent result,” says ki president Annika Östman Wernerson. “I’m particularly pleased with the finding that we’re so strong in research and that the USV units have such highly pedagogically skilled staff. This shows that our combined strategic efforts are producing high quality outcomes.”

Most scientific publications

The evaluation shows that USV in Stockholm has the most experienced doctoral supervisors, most scientific publications and most doctoral graduates. It also shows that the pedagogical competence of the supervisors is high and that effectively all medical students have a named supervisor during their clinical placements (VFU) to whom they can turn for support. Compared with the other ALF regions, Stockholm also sticks out for its use of student feedback in its improvement efforts.

The report also commends the innovation maturity of the personnel at Stockholm’s USV units.

“We have a common innovation strategy that’s continuously followed up in KI-Region Stockholm and it’s great to see the results,” says Emma Lennartsson, Stockholm regional director. “It also makes us better placed to achieve our aim to be one of the world’s leading Life Science region’s by 2025.”

Systematic patient follow-ups

Another area in which Stockholm receives a particularly high evaluation is the systemic cooperation it has with patients and their families and with representative organisations in clinical research.

“We’ve made strategic initiatives to make sure that patients’ healthcare experience and health metrics can be used for improvement work. For example, Karolinska University Hospital has introduced digital patient surveys, which are used systematically to follow up on results and to provide background data for doctors when meeting their patients,” says Annika Tibell, director of research, education, development and innovation at Karolinska University Hospital.

However, there is also room for improvement at KI-Region Stockholm. The USV evaluation indicates, for instance, that time for research, education and development needs to be given priority at both a strategic and an everyday level if all ALF quality criteria are to be met. Further, KI-Region Stockholm can improve the process and the implementation of the joint plan of action that supports personal development from student to docent in order to ensure long-term research quality. Joint strategic initiatives are also needed to make sure that all student supervisors are given adequate pedagogics training.

As well as surveying all USV units, the National Board of Health and Welfare conducted site visits and interviews in a more in-depth audit of the Academic Primary Health Care Centre (APC)the Centre for Psychiatry Research (CPF)the Academic Specialist Centre (ASC), Stockholm, medical specialism neurology, Orthopaedics at Stockholm South General Hospital, and Karolinska University Hospital’s emergency department.