The Aachen-Maastricht Alliance
International experts in hospital management and business will speak at the MCC Hospital World 2008 (Berlin, 8-9 September). Here, Dr Guy Peeters, CEO of Academic Ziekenhuis Maastricht, and Dr Robert Bider, CEO of the Hirslanden Private Hospital Group, summarise their presentations on the creation of a European University Medical Centre
The RWTH Aachen University Hospital and the Maastricht University Hospital with their corresponding medical faculties are located centrally in the EU region Meus-Rhine.
With their partnership the university hospitals strive to establish a common leading position: a European Centre of Reference.
With the cooperation agreement, signed on June 8, 2004 in the Land Parliament of Maastricht, the Executive Boards of both hospitals confirmed their intention to intensify the co-operation. Meanwhile, both medical faculties have joined in this project. Such a (trans-national) co-operation agreement is unique in the European hospital sector and in university medicine in Europe.
Objectives and opportunities of further intensifying the co-operation
Since spring 2007, the Executive Boards of Maastricht UMC and the University Hospital Aachen have carried out an ongoing feasibility study that examines the objectives and opportunities to create a leading European University Centre for top medicine.
The combination of the two individual forces will significantly improve the corresponding national position. A stronger profile development will be facilitated. In addition, the strategic alignment and excellent positioning of RWTH Aachen University and Maastricht University will offer the best possible outline conditions to become a European and worldwide leading institution in growth sectors such as medical technology and life sciences. Due to the increased attractiveness of hospitals and faculties in Aachen and Maastricht it will be possible to engage international outstanding and capable institutions and scientists. Further benefits will result from the achievement of an internationally competitive critical mass, complementarities and synergies in scientific resources, teaching capacities, management competence and machinery equipment.
Implementation example: Vascular Surgery
The partners established a joint Centre for Vascular Surgery: Each hospital has fully employed physician and nursing staff, whereas the director of the centre, Professor Michael Jacobs, travels between both locations. Communication with staff is possible by video conferencing. Moreover, corresponding technological solutions enable Maastricht UMC to retrieve information, e.g. patient files stored in Aachen and vice versa. An IT system has been developed to enable neurophysiologists to monitor top-level thoraco-abdominal aorta aneurysma (TAAA) surgery in Aachen from their department at Maastricht UMC. The European Vascular Centre Aachen-Maastricht was accredited recently.
More details of this project can be heard at the MCC Hospital World 2008 (www.hospitalworld.info) meeting in September.
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