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About me

  • Senior lecturer in Medical Management Karolinska Institutet, Senior lecturer in Psychology, Umeå university.
  • Research group leader SOLIID (Sustainable Organizational Learning, Innovation, Improvement and Development in Health and Social services).

Research description

Organizational behavior and management in health service organizations, with a special interest in leadership, organizational development, quality improvement and organizational innovation and learning processes.

The field of work and organizational psychology embraces three analytical levels: individual (e.g. cognition, stress, motivation, decision making), group (e.g. communication, leadership, team development) and organization (e.g. strategy, structure, culture, power, politics and development processes). My research aspires to involve a multilevel system view when investigating complex organizational phenomena.

Currently I lead five research projects (VINNVÅRD, VINNOVA, SFO-V) focusing on building organizational structures and processes that enhances sustainable learning, innovation, development and improvement in complex organizational systems. They involve both health and social services and are based on an action oriented and a mixed methods approach. Collaborators are Västerbotten and Jämtland county councils, Sörmland region, the National Board of Health and Welfare and the universities of Umeå, Luleå and Gothenburg.

I am a co-researcher in the nation-wide project Safe delivery focusing on improving patient safety in all child delivery clinics in Sweden. It is initiated by the Swedish Midwife Association, Swedish Pædiatric Association, Swedish Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology and financed by Patient Insurance LÖF.

I am involved in CHEPSAA, an EU-funded project on how to strengthen capacity for health policy analysis in five African countries, an AFA-funded project on how to combine Lean and health promoting activities at Enköping hospital, and an SKL-project on strategies for implementing large scale interventions in elderly care. During 2010-2012 I coordinate the international research network on Organizational Culture and Quality Improvement research.

Previously I have been engaged by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL) resulting in two reports on organizational development and the managerial role in health care. My thesis concerned the experienced managerial role in periods of organizational change, testing a social constructivist and a rational/cognitive approach while addressing their weaknesses and strength.

Since 1993 I have been engaged in university courses in organizational psychology, organizational development and leadership for managers in general and in health and social care particularly, some on international basis.

Selected Publications

Nyström, M.E., Strehlenert, H., Hansson, J., Hasson, H. (2014). Strategies to facilitate implementation and sustainability of large system transformations: A case study of a national program for improving the quality of care for the elderly people. BMC Health Services Research, 14 (1):401.  DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-14-401.

Höög, E. Lysholm, J., Garvare, R., Weinehall, L., Nyström, M.E. (2014). Quality Improvement in large healthcare organizations: Searching for system-wide and coherent monitoring and follow-up strategies. Journal of Health Organization and Management (In press).

Nyström, M.E., Hansson, J., Garvare, R., Andersson Bäck, M. (2014). Locally based Research and Development units as knowledge brokers and change facilitators in health and social care of older people in Sweden. Evidence & Policy, Vol 11 (In press).

Richter-Sundberg, L. Nyström, M.E., Krakau, I., Sandahl, C. (2014). Improving treatment of depression in primary health care: A case study of obstacles to perform a clinical trial designed to implement practice guidelines. Primary Health Care Research & Development, Vol 15, available on CJO2014.  doi:10.1017/S1463423614000243

Nyström, M.E., Garvare, R., Westerlund, A., Weinehall, L. (2014). Concurrent Implementation of Quality Improvement Programs in Healthcare – Coordination or Conflict? International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol 27, Issue 3, pp. 190-208.

McAlearney, A.S, Terris, D.D., Hardacre, J., Spurgeon, P., Brown, C., Baumgart, A., Nyström, M.E. (2014). Organizational Coherence in Healthcare Organizations:  Conceptual Guidance to Facilitate Quality Improvement and Organizational Change. Quality Management in Health Care, October/December 2014 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 254–267doi: 10.1097/QMH.0000000000000044

Kardakis, T., Weinehall L., Jerdén, L., Nyström M.E., Johansson H. (2014). Lifestyle interventions in primary health care: Professional and organisational challenges. European Journal of Public Health, Feb, 24(1):79-84. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckt052. Epub 2013 May 30.

Nyström, M.E., Höög, E., Garvare, R., Weinehall, L., Ivarsson, A. (2013). Change and learning strategies in large scale change programs: Describing the variation of strategies used in a health promotion program. Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 26, Issue 6, pp. 1020-1044. doi: 10.1108/JOCM-08-2012-0132

Höög E., Garvare, R., Ivarsson, A., Weinehall, L., Nyström, M.E. (2013). Challenges of managing a multi-sectoral health promotion program. Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 26, No.4, pp. 368-386. doi: 10.1108/LHS-12-2011-0048

McAlearney, A.S, Terris, D.D., Hardacre, J., Spurgeon, P., Brown, C., Baumgart, A., Nyström, M.E. (2013). Organizational Coherence in Healthcare Organizations:  Conceptual Guidance to Facilitate Quality Improvement and Organizational Change. Quality Management in Health Care, 22(2):86-99, April/June 2013. doi: 10.1097/QMH.0b013e31828bc37d

Edvardsson, K., Ivarsson, A., Garvare, R., Eurenius, E., Lindkvist, M., Mogren, I., Small, R., Nyström, M.E. (2012). Improving child health promotion practices in multiple sectors – outcomes of the Swedish Salut Programme. BMC Public Health 2012, 10/2012; 12(1):920. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-920.

Nyström, M.E., Westerlund, A., Höög, E., Millde-Luthander, C., Högberg, U., Grunewald, C. (2012). Healthcare System Intervention for Prevention of Birth injuries – Process Evaluation of Self-Assessment, Peer Review, Feedback and Agreement for Change. BMC Health Services Research 2012, 12:274, doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-274.

Nyström, M.E., Terris, D.D., Sparring, V., Tolf, S. Brown, C. R. (2012). Perceived Organizational Problems in Healthcare – A Pilot Test of the Structured Problem and Success Inventory. Quality Management in Health Care, Vol 21, No. 2, pp 93-103.

Millde-Luthander L, Högberg U, Nyström, M.E, Pettersson H, Wiklund I, Grunewald C. (2012). The impact of a computer assisted learning programme on the ability to interpret cardiotochography. A before and after study. Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare 2012 Mar;3(1):37-41. doi: 10.1016/j.srhc.2011.10.001.

Edvardsson, K., Ivarsson, A., Eurenius, E., Garvare, R., Nyström, M.E., Small, R., Mogren, I. (2011). Giving the offspring a healthy start: Parents’ experiences of health promotion and lifestyle change during pregnancy and early parenthood. BMC Public Health, 2011, 11:936.

Edvardsson, K., Garvare, R., Ivarsson, A., Eurenius, E., Mogren, I., Nyström, M.E. (2011). Sustainable practice change: Professionals’ experiences with a multi-sectorial child health promotion programme in Sweden. BMC Health Services Research, March 22; 11:61. 

Winge M, Johansson LA, Nyström M, Lindh-Waterworth E, Wangler B. (2010). Need for a new care model - getting to grips with collaborative home care. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2010;160 (Pt 1):8-12.

Nyström, M. (2009). Characteristics of Health Care Organizations Associated With Learning and Development: Lessons From a Pilot Study. Quality Management in Health Care, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 285–294.

Nyström, M. E. The complexity of the managerial role in public organizations. Research report, project financed by The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, 210 pages, 2009 [In Swedish].

Nyström, M. E. Organizational development and improvement in health care: Lessons from research and good examples. Research report, The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions ISBN:978-91-7164-301-8, 238 pages, 2007 [In Swedish].

Doctoral dissertation

Nyström, M. E. Contrasting perspectives on the subjective managerial role. Doctoral dissertation from the Department of Psychology, Umeå University, SE-90187, Umeå, Sweden, 2005: ISBN 91-7305-881-5.

Financing (external funders)

VINNVÅRD (Consortium: VINNOVA, Vårdalsstiftelsen, SKL, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs); VINNOVA; Patient Insurance LÖF; EU- Fp7- Call for Africa; AFA Insurance; Strategic Research Programme in Care Sciences; The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT); Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL).


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