Engineering student in front of whiteboard
Healthcare managers in the Västra Götaland Region and engineering students at Chalmers will together seek solutions to healthcare challenges via a joint project that integrates existing educations.​ ​​​​​​​​
​Photo: RAE​ng Publications, Pixabay.

Healthcare managers and engineering students join forces


Managers in healthcare in the Region Västra Götaland and engineering students at Chalmers will now have the opportunity to jointly find solutions to actual challenges in healthcare. By integrating course elements from two existing educations, there are opportunities for valuable knowledge exchange between professionals and students, which in the next step can benefit patients.
The new collaborative project involves an integration of Chalmers’ commissioned education in quality-driven development for managers and business developers in healthcare and a course element in Chalmers’ master's education with focus on quality and operations management.​

Collaboration with a clear connection to the daily activities

The purpose of the project, which runs to March 2024, is to weave ongoing development work within the Region Västra Götaland with Chalmers' educational efforts. The project will be possible after a joint project proposal from Chalmers and the Region Västra Götaland has been awarded research funding from the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova in the area of educational collaboration and work-integrated learning.

“We view this type of project with a clear connection to the daily activities very positively. Here, Chalmers, with its pragmatic and solution-oriented approach, is a very important partner to us. We have a common history of training initiatives for our business developers and managers and a consensus on what needs to be developed”, says Jan Kilhamn, acting director of health and medical care in the Region Västra Götaland.

The education will be conducted at the Department of Technology Management and Economics and the Centre for Healthcare Improvement (CHI), which is an education and research centre at Chalmers within improvement, innovation and transformation of healthcare. Here you will find expertise in, for example, quality development, logistics, production planning, innovation and organisational learning.

CHI offers education for healthcare professionals and for students in Chalmers' master's program and doctoral programmes. Since 2004, CHI has conducted a number of trainings for leaders and development managers in healthcare.

Ida Gremyr, professor of quality management and program manager for the master's program in quality and operations management, will lead the project.

“The project aims to create a long-term platform for collaboration in development and improvement work between the Region Västra Götaland and Chalmers."

"We have worked together successfully with educational initiatives in lifelong learning for many years, but now we have the opportunity to develop it further. We also plan to make it scalable so that others can draw inspiration from us and our collaboration”, says Ida Gremyr.
 
 

Problem solving of healthcare challenges

The healthcare managers will be able to present actual challenges from their activities and work together with the engineering students to find solutions to the problems. The teaching will, among other things, be conducted in case format.

“As an employer we want to offer our employees an attractive environment. Not least, we want to give our younger employees the best possible conditions to make a good effort. Then this type of project is a very important and tangible tool for introducing improvement knowledge and for developing the operations and the individuals in parallel”, Jan Kilhamn continues.

“By strengthening the exchange of knowledge and contacts between Chalmers and the Region Västra Götaland, we can both increase the students’ working life connection during the education and engage the professionals in lifelong learning. We also want to open the eyes to the public sector, and specifically the Region Västra Götaland, as a potential employer for many of our engineers", says Ida Gremyr.

"The planning of the new education has already begun and we hope that in the autumn of 2022 we will have found good ways to create integrated elements for master's courses and courses for professionals”, says Patrik Alexandersson, director at the Centre for Healthcare Improvement at Chalmers.

Attracting brain power to tomorrow's healthcare

The Region Västra Götaland region is one of Sweden's largest employers with approximately 55,000 employees and is responsible for health and medical care, culture, public transport and regional development in Västra Götaland.

“Our residents do not want yesterday's healthcare. They want today's, and preferably tomorrow's, healthcare”, says Jan Kilhamn. “Thus, this type of project is of course also about the supply of skills. There, the pedagogical aspect of lifelong learning and continuous improvement that Chalmers offers is important for us to incorporate into our organization.”

“In addition, we want to create the best possible conditions for digital solutions that make it easier for our residents. There is a clear connection between technology platforms and digital and digi-physical services for patients. It is about attracting brain power that wants to work with technology in healthcare”, concludes Jan Kilhamn.

Captions:

The upper picture: Jan Kilhamn, acting director of health and medical care in the Västra Götaland Region. Photo: Carina Fyrberg.

The middle picture: Ida Gremyr, professor of quality management and program manager for the master's program in quality and operations management at Chalmers. Photo: Chalmers / CFFC.

The bottom picture: Patrik Alexandersson, director at the Centre for Healthcare Improvement at Chalmers. Photo: Chalmers / CFFC.

Text: Linda Wallgren Jirvén


Page manager Published: Tue 11 Jan 2022.