University Hospitals


This SIG focus on advancing international knowledge exchange, performance improvement and collaboration among University Hospitals. Through this unique forum, university hospitals play a leadership role in advancing the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of patient care delivery systems around the world.


Overview of the Activities


In 2014 and 2015 the UH-SIG worked in an international study of end-of-life care practices.


In 2016 the group undertook a study of the relationship between the university and the hospital.


Following World Hospital Congress 2017, Taipei, the group agreed to implement a thorough research of best practices fostering Innovation in University Hospitals settings. This led to a three-year collaborative program called “Management of innovation; development and dissemination by UH. Implications of disruptive innovation”.


In 2018, the first steps of this collaborative project were launched, and the methodology was presented in 2019 during the 43rd World Hospital Congress in Muscat, Oman.


The University Health System Consortium (UHC), the US-based alliance of leading nonprofit academic medical centers and their affiliated hospital members, serves as the UH-SIG’s Secretariat.


2018-2020 Collaborative: Fostering Innovation in UH settings


The UH SIG will explore over a 3-year cycle how University Hospital across the world harness innovation. This long-term study will look at different perspectives and explore the link between the educational centers and the industry. In a first round of market research the UH SIG will identify the process and market developments in UH settings, investigate 3rd generation UHs (a hybrid of University and Industry) and the idea of Innovation as PRODUCTS and SERVICES allowing or linking entrepreneurs to resources. Other topics considered during this first market research are regulation of patents, allocation of funds, partnership with the corporate worlds and how to capture innovation to better support and disseminate knowledge and talent.

Roadmap 2018-2019


Survey to UHs, will be disseminated among our members, first round, then to a selected list of non-members of interest in engaging UH with innovation. Three dimensions of the UH under investigation: Care – research – teaching.


After starting with a typology of UH and studying the economic strategy of innovation in UH, we will identify common instruments, trends and process to support innovation, and assess evidence collected from survey.


The topics to start with in the first round will include definitions, technical approaches, practices involved.


In a second phase, we will work on the institutional perspective of innovation and quickly move on towards a manual of best practices, in order to identify the “Champions of Innovation in UH”.

2016 Collaborative: Co-operation between University Hospital and University


This benchmarking study aims to better understand and explore the various relationships and governance structures that exist between universities and academic medical centers around the world. The first phase of this project includes an online survey to share information about practices of university hospitals around the world.


A survey was designed to collect information as a first action plan. A one single, collaborative, organizational response survey submitted per organization.


Findings were presented during the UH-SIG session being held at the IHF Durban 40th World Hospital Congress 2016 in Durban, South Africa.


This session featured a panel of experts from several participating countries who shared their structures along with successes, challenges and learnings as well as innovative ideas and approaches that helped forge successful relationships among partners in healthcare training, research and care delivery. The session titled: Relationship and governance between universities and academic medical centers: A Global Survey, was held on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.

2014-2015 Collaborative: End of Life Care Study


Recognizing the growing appreciation for the practice of end-of-life (EOL) care around the world, the University Hospital Special Interest Group (UH-SIG) realized a study to:


  • foster collaboration among IHF member university hospitals,
  • establish world-wide connections among EOL care professionals, and
  • facilitate the collection and sharing of approaches used in the delivery of EOL care, as well as lessons learned.


The initial phase of this collaborative study involved gathering of basic information regarding EOL care services provided by university hospitals worldwide. The online survey was developed and conducted by the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), Secretariat for the IHF UH-SIG. The UHC-SIG EoL survey and findings was the topic of a session and panel discussion at the IHF Leadership Summit in Seoul, Korea in November 2014.


For more information on the IHF Special Interest Groups, please contact the IHF Secretariat (