MedUniverse got the opportunity to talk to Heidi Stensmyren, President of the Swedish Medical Association, about patient safety and how we can further improve the collaboration between the pharmaceutical & LifeScience industry and healthcare professionals.
Swedish Medical Association
The Swedish Medical Association is the union and professional organisation for doctors. They also have a key role to play in influencing the development of healthcare in Sweden.
From this interview we got great insights into the current state of the healthcare industry. What we found, among other things, was that there is a need from HCPs to become more digital due to many healthcare professionals irregular work schedule. The interview also explores the many new opportunities that digitalization of the industry has and will provide us with in the future.
Read for yourself to find out!
Below are 5 quick questions with Heidi. This was originally written in Swedish and has since been translated into English.
How important is it to focus on patient safety in healthcare, and why?
Patient safety is a very basic thing. It cannot be separated from healthcare as it is a necessary parameter for quality. High quality healthcare and security is a crucial building block of society, and it is something that every welfare state invests great amounts of resources in. Ensuring high patient safety is important for the legitimacy of healthcare in general, but also for healthcare at a micro level. Patients need to feel safe and it is important that they can trust healthcare in order for it to be effective.
Is enough being done in healthcare to ensure patient safety? If not, what should be changed?
There is always room for improvement. It is up to each organisation and professional to continuously improve healthcare and to try to improve patient safety. Again – patient safety cannot be managed as a separate entity – it is a parameter for quality. Development and implementation of better methods leads to higher patient safety. Methods that are not used in the organisation have no effect, and doctors that are not up to date regarding new knowledge and methods cannot make use of them in healthcare. This is an area where there is still a lot of room for improvement.
In what way can LifeScience and pharmaceutical companies contribute towards better patient safety?
The LifeScience sector and pharmaceutical companies are important parts of the healthcare industry. Improvements should be made in the collaboration between the industry, academy, and healthcare. In order for new products and methods to be developed and for existing products and methods to be improved, a closer collaboration is a necessity. For development in the industry, we need to be in closer with doctors using the technology and products. Unfortunately, the ethics agreement between SKL and the industry has had the opposite effect and needs to be rewritten, and for that to happen, doctors need to be participating. It would be great if more doctors could work in the industry and move between the industry and healthcare. To make this easier we need to regulate pension plans among other things.
What is your opinion on the possibility for doctors to educate themselves further? How do you stay up to date on new therapy methods, guidelines etc.? Is there something you would like to see more of?
Unfortunately, the opportunities for doctors to educate themselves further are not sufficient. Most doctors have a hard time taking time off from the hospital as they are a crucial resource in healthcare. Not only that, doctors also have a hard time participating in internal training sessions and have very limited time for reflection. We are also waiting for new methods that could be enabled by digital technology. In addition, there are too many guidelines, often from different sources. There should also be more ways to acquire knowledge. Each doctor is a unique individual with unique styles and prerequisites for learning.
In your opinion, what are the most important things that need to be done to make industry material more relevant and engaging for people working in healthcare?
Firstly, content needs legitimacy. This means that the material needs to be in line with current best practice and recent science and development. Secondly, the source is important. Is the source a research focused pharmaceutical company? Does the company adhere to ethical guidelines? How is the brand of the company perceived? It also needs to be available and customized to fit the everyday life of the individual doctor. This makes it easier for the doctor to relate to the information in a way that is relevant and time efficient. It should be available in many different ways and it should be easy to go back and look at it a second time.
Improving practises with MedUniverse
The MedUniverse platform offer the Pharmaceutical and Life Science Industry a patient case platform that allows them to improve the engagement with Healthcare Professionals. In combination with existing practices and insight we help you make better decisions.