Prehospital Research Group

Jo Kramer-Johansen
Jo Kramer-Johansen

What is prehospital research at OUS?

The Prehospital Research Group (PRE) strives to be a driver in research, innovation, professional advancement, and education within our sector. Our services cater to between a fifth (Ambulance Services) and a third (Emergency Medical Communication Centre) of Norway's population. To improve evidence-based treatment and professional progress, we collaborate with academic institutions locally, nationally, and internationally.

Research strategy and action plan

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Research in the prehospital environment is a young field marked by the necessity for extensive collaboration among various professions and medical disciplines. We may not "own" specific medical conditions, but we encounter all types of conditions at a stage where diagnoses are still provisional, and time-sensitive decisions, procedures, and evacuations are crucial.

Our overarching research goal is to provide the highest level of care for each patient using the most suitable resources, while also ensuring readiness for the subsequent patient whose needs may be unknown. To achieve this, we examine the processes of recognition (diagnosis and severity), treatment (encompassing pharmacological assistance, device use, and professional care), and transportation in relation to patient safety, medical ethics, and patient outcomes.

A deeper understanding of how early diagnosis and treatment impacts patient care and outcomes is vital in anticipating healthcare needs that are effective, safe, equitable, and sustainably cost-effective for society. The foreseen challenge of healthcare personnel availability underscores the importance of our research. We also believe that encouraging our employees to engage in research and quality improvement initiatives will not only make us a more appealing employer, but also reduce attrition in our service.

Our main fields of research are: 

  • Cardiac arrest research
  • Transfer and retrieval 
  • Prehospital medical treatment, new technology and biosensors
  • Safe and optimal prioritization and resource allocation

Our organisation

PRE  and the Division of Emergencies and Critical Care  have a joined research committee. However, the final authority and responsibility for research within PRE are held by the head of our division and rooted within the line management structure. Our division head and research leader share positions both at OUS and the University of Oslo. A research coordinator provides administrative support for researchers throughout our division. We engage in various activities to bolster research quality, integrity and best practices. These include research group meetings, journal club meetings, an annual two-day research seminar and a six-day writing retreat held each year.

All of our researchers belong to the same research group. They are primarily employed either by the Air Ambulance Department or by the Department of Research or Quality Improvement. The latter was formerly known as the Department of Norwegian National Advisory Unit for Prehospital Emergency Medicine - NAKOS. Most of our researchers pair their research with clinical work.

We have a productive research collaboration with the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation (SNLA), which generously funds several of our PhD projects and provides part-time positions for the respective PhD students. In a similar vein, OsloMet offers internal funding for PhD students engaged in prehospital projects.

 
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