Employees from Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus Municipality working together to create better coherence for patients and their relatives (photo: Aarhus University Hospital).


For the past six months Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus Municipality have used alternative ways to create better coherence and pathways for the citizens. The project is called Sputnik.

The purpose of Sputnik is first of all to benefit citizens by creating a better coherence for patients and relatives when they bridge the gap between hospital and primary care. This transition is sometimes perceived as difficult by patients and relatives but also by healthcare staff. The thinking is that citizens are better off in their own home and in hospital when necessary.

The project has run in the autumn of 2015 and Kirstine Markvorsen, Head of Department of Health and Care in Aarhus Municipality,  has relocated to an office at Aarhus University Hospital where she has spent time at the many clinical departments and followed the citizens after discharge when they have to finish their treatment or rehabilitation in the municipality. In this way she has experienced at first hand how the municipality and hospital collaborate – and which gaps need to be bridged.

“Sputnik is important to improve the collaboration and coherence between Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus Municipality. Our successful collaboration is necessary to ensure coherent pathways for the citizens”, says Kirstine Markvorsen.

The close collaboration has already given some positive results:

Hassan received treatment at home

Hassan (not the patient’s real name) is 16 years old and needs intravenous medicine to treat multiresistant tuberculosis. According to clinical guidelines Hassan should be admitted to hospital for eight months. Hassan has been taught have to take his medicine at home by a collaborative effort of staff from the Aarhus Municipality acute team and health clinic and Department of Infectious Diseases at Aarhus University Hospital.

In this way Hassan can stay home with his family and the hospital bed can be occupied by another patient

Two hospital admissions avoided

Kirstine Markvorsen has also experienced how the outgoing doctor-on-call works. Two admissions were avoided because of Kirstine Markvorsen’s knowledge of services offered by the municipality. The municipal acute team could manage the citizens’ needs in their own home. The citizens could avoid being admitted during the night and Aarhus University Hospital could focus their resources on already admitted patients.

Staff training

Collaboration between professionals is decisive for improving the collaboration between the hospital and the municipality. Sputnik provides the framework for this.

“Sputnik can offer advice to staff on how to improve the collaboration between the municipality and Aarhus University Hospital”, says Eva Sejersdal Knudsen, Centre Director at Head and Heart Centre, Aarhus University Hospital.

In addition to Sputnik, a cross-sectorial management project creates the framework for exchange of experiences between staff at Aarhus University Hospital and in Aarhus Municipality. At Department of Geriatrics staff trains colleagues from the municipality in the citizen’s home to continue the treatment here.

”We would like to help the citizens where they are most comfortable – in their own home. We really want to avoid hospital admission where many patients suddenly experience loss of function, weight loss and infections, which could be some of the consequence of being admitted to hospital”, says Jane Holm, Department Nurse, Department of Geriatrics, Aarhus University Hospital.

The future for Sputnik

The Sputnik project ended on 31 December 2015. It has resulted in a much closer collaboration between Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus Municipality and it has focused on the importance of a smooth transition between hospital and municipality. This will continue also in the future.

”We must continue the close collaboration between the municipality and Aarhus University Hospital because it makes a huge positive difference for the citizens”, says Eva Sejersdal Knudsen.