ERIC CARLSTROM, the patient as a partner

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Eric Carlström has a PhD in Public Administration focusing on Business Administration and he is a Senior Lecturer of Nursing Science at University West. He is also Associate Professor of Public Administration at University of Gothenburg. He is a trained ambulance nurse and has also worked as a health care services manager.

In November 2009, Eric Carlström’s book Vårdchefer ( Health Care Managers) was published. It describes both his own research in the field and that of others. For example, the term neglect is discussed which in organizational research stands for non-governing. An interview study with health care managers conducted by Eric Carlström in the spring of 2009 showed that they often chose the neglect strategy when funding was cut and the demands on them from various directions became incompatible. They made themselves unavailable and refrained from answering telephone calls and e-mails.

Eric Carlström’s research has in recent years mostly concerned the work in emergency rooms and the scenes of accidents. He has together with Johan Berlin, a researcher at the University of Gothenburg, conducted a study of how various authorities cooperate at the scene of an accident. The project was commissioned by the Swedish Emergency Management Agency (now replaced by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency). The conclusions showed that there are shortcomings in the work. The researchers mean that the woolly wording about the collaboration between SOS Alarm, the rescue services, police and ambulance staff counteracts its purpose. Collaboration is a fad word which can be found in policy documents on all levels of public administration. This makes the staff expect to give and receive help with different tasks at work. When this does not happen, disappointment and dissatisfaction ensue. What is neccesary, according to the researchers, is clear borders between the organizations, distinct  hierarchies and a new type of collaboration exercises in which transgressing those borders in especially critical situations is practised. Police officers already perform cardio pulmonary resurrection, members of the fire brigade do police work, and so on, but it would be a lot better if everybody received instructions in advance of how and when these transgressions are needed, Eric Carlström and Johan Berlin say.

In another research project, Eric Carlström and Johan Berlin have studied the trauma team at a university hospital. The idea behind such a team is that an injured person or emergency care patient this way meets all the necessary specialists at the same time instead of in a series of meetings. The study showed that the work of the trauma team is very governed by its leader and that the American model for this kind of team work was followed rather rigidly.

Eric Carlström has also participated in a study of how patients in emergency rooms in Region Västra Götaland are prioritized based on an assessment tool called MTS. The conclusion of that study was that usually the most serious cases are prioritized correctly, but that the less serious are wrongly assessed in 34-37 percent of the cases.

Eric Carlström is on leave on 70 percent of full-time from University West until 2012-07-31 for research at Göteborg University. During his working time at University West, he is doing research administration and supervising a PhD student.

Eric Carlström defended his doctoral thesis I skuggan av Ädel - Integrering i kommunal vård och omsorg (In the Shadow of Ädel-integration in municipal home-care) in 2005 and has been working at University West ever since.

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