Futurum, - academy for Health and Care Region Jönköping County, Sweden
The vision of the Region Jönköping County (RJC) in Sweden, ‘For a good life in an attractive county', has guided the continuous efforts to create a healthcare system that fulfils all the six dimensions of high-quality care, as defined by the Institute of Medicine and recently incorporated into the directives for Swedish healthcare by the National Board of Health. Care should be evidence-based, safe, patient-centered, effective, equal and timely.
Learning and participation in the development of new knowledge are the essential responsibilities in a knowledge organization, such as a healthcare system. Futurum – the Academy for Healthcare is the unit of the Region Jönköping County that is responsible for ‘education within the county'. Another mission of Futurum is to stimulate and facilitate care units to offer students good clinical training and practice-based learning.
Futurum also includes the Primary Care Unit of Research and Development, and five county academic libraries provide significant support for staff and students in the search for knowledge'
Research in the RJC
Results of the research conducted in RJC often become part of the daily clinical work. For example, increases knowledge in the organization where the research is carried out, new knowledge from the involved researchers who continuously keep up-to-date in their area of expertise is provided, and the organization increases its ability to critically assess and
aggregate new knowledge – all factors that contribute to a more knowledge-based care, which in turn creates added value for the population and the patients.
Until we have developed our ability to monitor and evaluate these effects, we present our results as more concrete outcomes of various processes where theory meets practice, and they both stimulate each other. Futurum also includes the Primary Care Unit of Research and Development, and five county academic libraries provide significant support for staff and students in the search for knowledge.
Futurum has an active collaboration with several national and international universities, such as universities in Jönköping, Linköping, Göteborg, Stockhom and Växjö, and internationally with the Dartmouth Institute (USA) UCL and King's College (UK), among others.
Futurum awards grant funding to conduct primarily clinical research and funding to present results at international conferences. Employees of the RJC can seek this funding. Participation in international research conferences has many positive effects; the county employees can be part of international networks, bring new impulses and ideas home to the organization, and the county will be visible in many arenas.
As Futurum strategically works with research communication on several arenas, so that many can take part in the results, experiences and news.
Research focus arenas
There are 10 research focus areas, based on the county's strategic areas and the aim to achieve the goals of the organization:
- Acute abdomen, gastrointestinal diseases and nutrition
- Children's health and care
- Cancer care
- Cardiovascular care
- Learning, innovation and communication in healthcare
- Musculoskeletal function and symptoms
- Older people's health and care
Within research focuses, academic meetings are arranged locally, and research meetings and seminars are open to all interested. There are active postgraduate students and senior research supervisors in each research focus area. Employees interested in research can connect with research groups and new projects are initiated. Scientists have an arena to discuss research projects. Before a scientific article is completed, it can be discussed and reviewed by colleagues in the research focus area. Lectures and posters to be presented at conferences may also be reviewed.
Together, the various areas contribute to a solid knowledge platform to increase the opportunities ‘for a good life in an attractive county' in the whole chain of care from prevention, diagnosing, treatment and palliative care. To further enhance the link between research and practice, RJC has, together with Jönköping University and municipalities, created a research and education centre, the Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare.
Examples of research projects
The research project ‘Bridging the Gaps' aims to contribute to sustainable and deep improvements and value for the patient and the population as a whole; for example, by studying how the patient can be involved in the following roles in collaboration with healthcare:
- Co-creator – patients and families are actively involved in the development of healthcare;
- Co-producer – patients and relatives are involved and take responsibility;
- Co-evaluator – patients and families are actively involved in quality evaluation of healthcare.
One example is the project of Martin Rejler, gastroenterologist and consultant at the Highland Hospital in Eksjö,that has the aim of improving care for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Care has been reorganized to meet the needs of the patient and the clinical results are continuously registered and analysed. The new form of care has led to an increased adherence to national healthcare programs, increased access, a redu-ced number of hospital admissions, and probably also a reduced need for surgery by being ‘one step ahead' in the care processes.
Academy for Health and Care
Region Jönköping County
Tel: +46 36 32 10 00