The health informatics program is not all about classroom lectures and seminars. One of the unique experiences of the previous courses, i.e Healthcare organization and management (only for students with computer science background) and Computer applications in healthcare is that we had number of study visits to different institutions within Stockholm, to have a glance at applications of health informatics tools in real life situation and interact with staff at hospitals and other institutions and look at what they expect from a ‘health informatician’ within their domain of work. which was a refreshing experience from the normal classroom or rather lecture room routine.
Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital This was actually my first visit to a swedish hospital, just opposite karolinska university Solna campus. This was also part of the examination for the Healthcare organization and management course and therefore had a set of aspects within the department of interest to the class mainly relating to information systems at the hospital and clinical pathways. Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital is part of karolinska hospital, our visit was targeted towards the emergency department, which unfortunately didn’t seem like an emergency department of a hospital as it seemed so quiet without the usual hyperactivity you might expect at an emergency department. An informal lecture of the patient records systems used at the department was done by the lead physician was done with a brief demonstration on how the whole system operates and deficiencies in the current patient management systems. Which the hospital staff felt could be solved by information technology. Our task in the exam was to further analyse challenges faced within the children’s emergency department and come up with theoretical information technology solutions to mitigate these.
New Karolinska Hospital Solna (NKS) Next visit was the new karolinska hospital exhibition center or showroom adjacent to the karolinska hospital,solna which is also freely accessible to anyone. This was gain an insight into the planned hospital and intended working of the new karolinska hospital, an imposing structure near the the current hospital. They key theme being ‘patient first’ which was depicted throughout the design presentations in display. The visit involved presentation on what the new hospital will be able to provide, all the high tech services and what they termed as patient centered care. The showroom depicts the story of the hospital through the video’s and models and interviews with some of the stakeholders involved in the project and definitely the IT infrastructure to be installed into the hospital, which was specific interest to the health informatics class and the emphasis on green technology. Next visit, was a site visit to the huge construction site of the hospital, with guided tour by the Skanska site engineers into what was termed ‘one of the largest construction projects’ currently in Europe , generally great experience having a different feel of the still dusty rooms.