Scientific research in the field of cardiology

In addition to their clinical tasks, some of the cardiologists employed at the cardiology clinic participate in research work. There are no full-time research positions, but it is possible to engage in full-time research over a period of a few months on a research grant. Some of our project leaders are not employed by the Division of Cardiology but have full-time positions elsewhere. In researcher-based projects, research grants are awarded to specific researchers, while research on pharmaceuticals and instruments is funded by the relevant companies. External funding is required to employ other research personnel, including research nurses. Medical students perform projects for their advanced studies and doctoral theses as part of the ongoing research projects. Research is carried out in close cooperation with several other research communities and facilities. Diplomas in nursing science are also completed at the Division of Cardiology.

In 2012, Professor Pekka Karma, the former Chief Medical Officer at HUCH, published a report on scientific research carried out in HUS and its impact on the treatment of patients. According to the report, the majority of scientific research in the HUS area is carried out at HUCH. In addition to documents and statistics, information was also gathered through extensive surveys with the researchers and care providers. One of the conclusions was that research carried out in HUS greatly affects the level of care. Over 85% of the research groups working in the HUS area have generated new knowledge which has influenced clinical practice within the hospital district, and often research results have been implemented in a wider area.

According to Professor Karma, the benefits of research work are two-fold: patients benefit from the observations and innovations in the form of improved patient care and from the additional personal expertise and knowledge gained by the physicians who engage in scientific research. Research results have influenced treatment practices not only nationally but also internationally. In the working groups preparing Current Care Guidelines, 94.1% had HUS researchers as members and one in three working groups had the chair from HUS. Furthermore, nearly all Current Care Guidelines are based on scientific evidence also produced in HUS. Experts from HUS participated in nearly 80% of the working groups preparing recommendations for the implementation of health care measures (HALO project), and 60% of the HUS researchers who completed the survey reported that their research results have been cited in international textbooks and manuals.

In international evaluations, research carried out in HUS has been successful. The research community comprising HUCH and the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Medicine is rated one of the top five European research communities on clinical medicine. According to the report, patients in HUS hospitals have benefited from novel treatments more than expected.