COLLABORATION. Last Friday saw the grand inauguration of R building at Mölndal hospital. The building will be a large space focusing on musculoskeletal functions and diseases, with the ambition to become a creative meeting place for researchers, students, colleagues and various patient groups.
The first sod of earth for the large 7,000 m2 building was dug out in March 2015 and the project has cost almost quarter of a billion Swedish kronor. The space now offers highly specialized research, teaching and conference areas. The building is five stories above ground plus a basement with a culvert system that reaches the rest of the hospital. The premises have been designed with flexibility in mind, in order to meet all the specific needs. The idea is to stimulate close collaboration and utilize the synergistic effects between the different departments working there.
The building will be a joint resource across the hospital in terms of research and teaching, and will also house administrative spaces for orthopedics. The Department of Orthopaedics (which is one of 16 departments in the institution for clinical science) at Sahlgrenska Academy is also based here.
In addition to medical research, rehabilitation research and nursing research, there will also be laboratories with advanced instrumentation, healthcare and treatments all sharing the space. Examples of activity include the Simulator Center, the CPR unit, Skills Laboratories, Occupational Orthopedics, the Lundberg Laboratory for Orthopedic Research and the Histology Laboratory, the medical library and the Crisis Management Room.
Short lead times created good results
The inauguration was prefaced by several speakers who stood in turn on the small stage. The first was Johnny Bröndt (M), Chairman of the Hospital’s Board of Directors. His involvement dates back to 2015, when he was the person honored to dig up the very first sod of earth. He explained about the building’s progress and its ten visionary points. Maria Ådahl (L), first vice-chair of the Property Management Committee and the architect for Johanneberg Science Park, was in charge of numerous aspects including artistic decorations, and Eric Hanse, Assistant Dean of Sahlgrenska Academy, spoke about the three foundations of the building – research, training and healthcare. All three highlighted the fact that the university hospital’s proud traditions can now continue to be developed in a technically advanced and innovative environment.
Anders Hyltander, manager for Area 3 at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, was given the honor of pressing the official red button. But before the balloons and confetti fluttered down with a fanfare, he thanked everyone who had contributed to R building being completed.
“Yes, there have been so many people involved in order to achieve this successful result,” said Anders, “the hope now is for the building’s combined competence to create a national skills center for the musculoskeletal system, a ‘center for excellence’.”
Collaboration to achieve movement
The audience was then invited to move to the light, airy assembly hall where four orthopedics researchers – together with the prominent professors Henrik Malchau, Helena Brisby (also head of the Department of Orthopaedics), Jon Karlsson and Johan Kärrholm – had prepared a slideshow on SU’s orthopedics clinic and the Sahlgrenska Academy’s orthopedics department. The four provided a clear and interesting highlight of the many different aspects involved in research results and treatment within orthopedics. Some of their many examples are shown below:
Henrik Malchau began by explaining that production (or in layman’s terms, operations) of primary hip prostheses had doubled between 2012 and 2016. And despite there being no increase in number of available beds, the level of quality has nevertheless increased. This is where the ‘value-based healthcare’ (VBV) project has been one of the success factors resulting in fewer complications and more satisfied patients. Further VBV projects will be continued in future.
Om organisationen pratade Helena Brisby, och för närvarande har avdelningen för ortopedi över sjuttio doktorander, och man ser ett tydligt ökat intresse för forskningen. Detta resulterar i uppemot tio disputationer årligen och över hundra publikationer. Även 140 läkarstudenter tas om hand per termin.
Helena Brisby spoke about the organization. The Department of Orthopaedics currently has over 70 Ph.D. students, and there is a clear increase in interest for research. This results in upwards of ten thesis defenses each year and over a hundred publications. Around 140 medical students are also dealt with each term.
She explained about the translational research on stem cells which, in their surroundings, likely contribute to the regeneration of spinal and articular cartilage, and about the new treatment possibilities that can hopefully be found in this field. There are also biomechanical studies underway on spinal injuries, for example, in young athletes – how do the injuries occur and why; which movements are dangerous? And what about all the trends in sports – is it really a good idea to wear compression stockings when running? Helena Brisby also dealt with these further fields of research.
Johan Kärrholm highlighted the research area surrounding dynamic radiostereometric analysis (RSA), a field in which the hospital has gained international recognition. RSA is also used clinically today. Using this technology, implant and skeletal movements can be measured with high resolution, in order to measure joint wear, predict the loosening/rejection of prostheses, skeletal growth and the healing of fractures. Bone and muscular tumors, as well as osseointegration, are also key areas where there is collaboration with other units within and outside the University of Gothenburg.
Jon Karlsson spoke about ‘arthro research’ within ligament injuries, which is currently seeing the creation of new operative techniques to simplify and shorten the rehabilitation period, and not just for elite athletes. The collaboration here is through the entire healthcare chain in order to design preventative measures and improve the whole care process. In addition, several international collaborations within the field of keyhole surgery, for example, are an important part of activities.
Jon Karlsson also spoke about the Centre of Advanced Reconstruction of Extremities (C.A.R.E.). Research is currently ongoing, but there are also concrete treatments, including nerve transplants and electrical stimulation to activate new functions following paralysis and falls, etc. The R building, he stated, also provides improved opportunities for movement research and treatments. Read more about this ongoing movement research under the heading Rundtur i Hus R: På gång för patientens bästa. (in Swedish).
Register research is significant
Register research, or register-based research, is big in Sweden and our national quality register is unique in many respects. Within the field of musculoskeletal diseases there are currently 13 different registers and further registers for orthopedics. Sweden obtained its first register as a result –knee replacement register in Lund in 1975. A few years later in 1979, the hip replacement register was created (today known as SHPR, the Swedish Hip Arthroplasty Register), explained Johan Kärrholm. Our register research provides us unique opportunities to get feedback on treatments, measure cause and effect, work for improved equal access to healthcare, etc.
A rich walking tour
Then it was time for a walk around the building’s airy interior. A number of manned sections showcased the different activities. We were allowed to test our movement in the walking laboratory, to measure our gait. Artwork was displayed at strategic points and one floor had hanging displays of abstracts from current congresses and similar events. And before you knew it, two hours had whizzed past, with many new contacts made.
Artistic decoration – reaching out to so many people
The artistic decoration has been key, and straight away in the lobby between the hospital and R building, you are met by artwork on the ceiling titled Jag tar mig dit [“I’ll get there”] – a photographic installation of somersaults, by Pernilla Zetterman. According to the specification, the artwork should create ‘a bridge’ between healthcare and research. Read more (in Swedish):
The entrance to the building on the ground floor has large open spaces with space for exhibitions, a café, teaching rooms and meeting rooms, a library, study square and an assembly/meeting hall. Here is where you can see the understated tapestry Definitely Gold. “In public art, you have to aim for monumental pieces that speak to many different people,” explained Richard Sangwill, head of the art department at Västfastigheter, in conjunction with the purchase of Annika Ekdahl’s beautiful textile piece Definitely Gold. From 14 October – 11 February the tapestry will be lent to the Waldemarsudde exhibition on Annika Ekdahl’s enchanted world. Read more (in Swedish):
At the café and along by the lift and staircase landings is a floor to ceiling colorful glass sculpture by Emil Holmer. Read more (in English):
There are also two outdoor pieces in the form of the stone sculptures Clavicula, consisting of one larger piece and 5 smaller seating pieces) by Peder Istad. Read more (in Norwegian):
And there’s even more decor to enjoy……
Read more about the art exhibition (in Swedish):
TEXT: SUSANNE LJ WESTERGREN
IMAGE: Jag tar mig dit, Medicinska biblioteket and R-huset: Photographer Julia Andersson
OTHER IMAGES: SUSANNE LJ WESTERGREN