CEO Melvin Samsom has taken the decision to leave Karolinska University Hospital


Melvin Samsom has decided to leave his position as CEO of Karolinska University Hospital but will continue in his position until spring 2019.

- I have been at Karolinska University Hospital for four years and during that time had the privilege of leading the major changes we are implementing together with our fantastic employees. We have now reached a point where the hospital needs a new form of leadership moving into the next phase.

- I want to ensure the best possible handover conditions for the next CEO and have therefore already today met with the Director of the Stockholm County Council, Malin Frenning to offer my resignation. I will remain in my position until spring 2019, says Melvin Samsom.

Melvin Samsom was recruited to Karolinska University Hospital as CEO in 2014 to lead the major change phase that Karolinska was about to enter. Important aspects of Melvin Samsoms background when he was asked to join Karolinska were his experience from leading change in other similar university hospital environments (UMC Utrecht and Radboud UMC in the Netherlands) and in addition his international experience from the Mayo Clinic in USA and the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia.

During 2014 a major change process was initiated with the decision to implement the Future Healthcare Plan in the County of Stockholm (FHS) and to prepare for the planning and move into the new hospital building in Solna (NKS).

- I accepted the roll as CEO for Karolinska because I believe strongly in the direction of the future healthcare plan and due to the opportunity to create a new structure for highly specialized care, research and education for the future.

- I am proud of what we have achieved and look forward to the final moves into the new hospital building in Solna, the continued introduction of our new assignment and the continued development of our operational model with new ways of working and increased patient involvement, says Melvin Samsom.

Karolinska University Hospital has built a new operational model during Melvin Samsoms time at the hospital. The direction towards a thematic healthcare system was already part of the thinking behind the new hospital building in Solna. To take advantage of these opportunities and to address the challenges that faced the healthcare sector for a long period, the hospital leadership and board members decided to develop a new way to organize and work in healthcare with the focus being on the patient journey through the care system.

- We identified several long-term problems; fragmentation of care, insufficient patient involvement, inconsistent quality of care and increasing cost levels that we needed to solve in a new way. The unique combination of a highly specialized assignment and a totally new infrastructure in Solna and in Huddinge gave reason to discuss how we could create something new that would give our patients the best possible care, continues Melvin Samsom.

The thematic organization and the new ways of working have been largely introduced and the hospital is now entering a new phase where fine tuning and adjustments are being made in the operational content and organization and with focus on creating a good working environment for employees.

- We are not ready yet, some challenges remain and need to be further developed. It is important to have full involvement from employees and patients in that work. There are also many examples that show that we are moving in the right direction towards building sustainable healthcare for our patients both today and in the future.

- We have exerted a lot of energy, and had the courage to, start a journey towards a more sustainable healthcare organization, something that has also provided inspiration to colleagues from around the world. Karolinska University Hospital has an important role in the healthcare world, concludes Melvin Samsom.

Some examples of Karolinskas results from recent years:

  • Quality has improved, in Dagens Medicins comparison between university hospitals in Sweden, Karolinska have moved up from seventh place to third place and is number two in the ranking for medical quality.
  • Quality has been improved within specific areas such as stroke and cardiology (Swedheart) and patient satisfaction has increased within for example Theme Heart and Vascular and is now 96.7%.
  • Availability has improved within a number of areas, for example neuro surgery and cancer.
  • Patient involvement has increased through the patient representatives are represented at the patient flow tables. A strategic patient committee on the overall hospital level has been introduced.
  • Exerted efforts have been made with the problems that Karolinska has had with the following od rules and routines – one example is the the Macchiarini case
  • Cooperation with KI has intensified where the parties now work with formulating a common strategic direction
  • International cooperation has increased with amongst other things that Karolinska initiated the European Alliance of University Hospitals (EAUH) together with other university hospitals. Karolinska has many visits from healthcare organizations in Sweden and from other countries who want to learn from our change journey.