New EU Project to Probe Standards in European Hospitals

A research project focusing on quality and patient safety in hospitals has been offered €3 million from the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme - Health. The Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare is one of six collaborating project partners.

In the project "Quality and safety in European Union hospitals: A research-based guide for implementing best practice and a framework for assessing performance" the researcher teams will carry out ten case studies of quality and safety improvement efforts. The findings from the project will form the basis for two important evidence-based documents to guide European healthcare: a quality and safety guide and a framework for assessing quality and safety in hospitals.

"We have limited knowledge, at present, about what works best under different circumstances. Such information is particularly important now that more and more patients seek healthcare across national borders in Europe. This project will give us unique insights and advance existing knowledge due to the opportunities it offers us to compare experiences from several healthcare systems," says Johan Thor, Director of the Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare.

The project is co-ordinated by King's College, London, the UK, and has been offered funding by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme for Health. Several prominent European research institutions participate in the project, including the Department of Health Policy & Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam; the Centre for Patient Safety and Service Quality, Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine, London along with the Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare.

The Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare was founded in the beginning of 2009 jointly by Jönköping University, the County Council of Jönköping and the 13 municipalities in the county. The Academy aspires to be a national and international forum for research and education regarding leadership and improvement of health and welfare. The primary audiences are decision-makers, researchers, students and practitioners in health and social care. This EU project primarily involves the University and the County Council (due to its hospital focus).

"In order to improve quality and safety in healthcare, we need a tight coupling between theory and practice - the Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare is currently formed as an important platform for that purpose. The EU project offers a valuable extension of our efforts in a strong international network," observes Dr. Boel Andersson Gäre, Director of Futurum, the research unit at the County Council of Jönköping.

"This project demonstrates that matters of quality and safety are gaining in importance within our domain. This strengthens us in our ambition to contribute to health and social care of the future through our research and education where these issues have a given place," says professor Gerd Ahlström, Dean of the School of Health Sciences in Jönköping.

For further information, please contact:
Johan Thor, MD, MPH, PhD, Director of the Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare, phone: +46 (0)36 10 13 29, mobile: +46 (0)76 788 12 27, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About Jönköping University Foundation
Jönköping University Foundation is one of three independent institutions of higher education in Sweden offering postgraduate programmes. It is characterised by focused profiles, an international dimension in all activities, an entrepreneurial spirit and collaboration with surrounding society. Research and education are carried out at four schools: Jönköping International Business School, School of Education and Communication, School of Engineering and School of Health Sciences. Jönköping University has some 11,000 registered students, 800 employees and a turnover of approximately SEK 718 million.

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