EUHA – the way forwards for nine European university hospitals


Today, Karolinska University Hospital will be hosting representatives of nine of Europe’s leading university hospitals in a digital meeting that will determine the agenda and strategy for the future. Cell and gene therapies for cancer, collaboration with regard to rare diseases, and improved quality of care by means of information-sharing are all joint initiatives for the coming years.

The European University Hospital Alliance (EUHA) is a European organisation that was founded in 2017. It comprises nine leading European university hospitals that work together to develop and improve university hospital care for patients and for healthcare workers.

Europe's university hospitals have a special role in the healthcare system, with responsibility for the provision of care, research and education, and are therefore faced with the same challenges. Within the EUHA, networks are created for the sharing of experiences and the creation of a mutual platform in order to influence decision-makers, industry and other actors. Together, the EUHA's university hospitals have more than 220,000 employees, conduct more than 300 funded research and development projects within respective organisations, and perform more than 6,000 clinical studies.

During the pandemic, the nine university hospitals have supported and learned from each other, and have created forums for discussion within various occupational categories. The creation of networks for information-sharing within different professions and for researchers, the creation of joint educational initiatives, and the promotion of international exchanges are just a few examples of opportunities that have been created by the EUHA. The sharing of medical results and the performance of comparisons between hospitals in order to improve the quality of care is also a key element of the work of the EUHA.

"Throughout our presidency, Karolinska's motto has been "Leading by doing". Employees across all nine hospitals have truly embraced this spirit in their actions during the pandemic. Experiences concerning medical results and best practice relating to working methods and processes have been shared and disseminated by everyone in an exemplary manner, which has created tangible benefits for patients throughout our continent, as well as enhancing the EUHA's role as a collaborative partner for other actors within Europe. It is with great pride and confidence that Karolinska University Hospital is now handing over the presidency of the EUHA to Barcelona Hospital Campus Vall d'Hebron", says Björn Zoëga, who is CEO of Karolinska University Hospital.

Karolinska University Hospital accepted the presidency of the EUHA in October 2020. A joint strategic plan was adopted during the autumn, which identified six focus areas for the next three years, and today the members have decided on how we, together, shall achieve our objectives.

The strategy was developed following the results of workshops conducted in accordance with the EUHA's vision, external situational analyses within the field of medicine, and interviews with staff and managers at all of the hospitals:

  • The establishment of the new European Centre for Cell and Gene Cancer Therapies (EUCCAT).
  • Joint solutions to cater for the needs of patients with rare diseases.
  • The exchanging of data between the university hospitals with the support of AI resources. Coordination (e.g.) of how compliance with GDPR shall be ensured, and to create user-friendly systems.
  • Taking of responsibility to ensure a good culture within research and innovation by means of joint projects for the publication of research results, and to ensure the accessibility and quality control of research data.
  • Working to achieve greater quality and sustainability within health and medical care by identifying and implementing best practice, by sharing patient data, and by means of benchmarking.
  • Engaging patients and increasing their participation in their own care by means of tools that stimulate the achievement of the best possible results for health and life quality. Precision medicine and new models for patient-centred care represent the way forwards.

The following hospitals form the European University Hospital Alliance (EUHA)

Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris

Barcelona Hospital Campus Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona

Charité – Universitätsmedizin, Berlin

Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam

Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm

King's College Hospital, London

San Raffaele University & Research Hospital, Milan

Universitaire ziekenhuizen Leuven, Leuven

Vienna General Hospital-Medical University Campus, Vienna

Find out more about EUHA