This year the EOC Scientific Report has a new layout. Each chapter is developed in a new structured, organised way. This allows the reader not only to gain an overview of the research carried out at the EOC, but also to appreciate in detail the research activities of each EOC clinical service, department or laboratory.
Considering the above, I would like to highlight that many of the finest hospitals not only provide health services, but also perform medical research. The quality of service in hospitals is evaluated in several ways, for example using a Quality Improvement (QI) implementation approach. Research impact is also an achievement of a good hospital and can be measured by citations indices (e.g. Impact Factor, h-index).
In this connection, in 2016, the scientific productivity of the EOC proceeded with its upward pattern in terms of quantity of its publications (+52% compared to peer-reviewed publications in 2012) and was almost comparable to 2015 in terms of quality (see the analysis of the total Impact Factor, shown in the charts in chapter 8).
The citation frequency of the EOC publications was also analysed by Thomson Reuters Web of Science platform and has constantly increased in the last 5 years. In particular, the EOC h-index was 44 in this timespan, and this value indicates an achievement of a good institution as it measures the research impact and, therefore, the quality of services.
Also in 2016, the research laboratories (IOR/IOSI for oncology and LBN/NSI for neurosciences) and all the EOC clinical services significantly contributed to producing top-level research and obtaining high acknowledgement at national and international levels.
Furthermore, the institutional Clinical Trial Unit (CTU-EOC) has increased its activity by building fruitful collaborations with new departments and services, since it started in 2012. It has undertaken the full development and conduct of projects and has provided more complex services (see also chapter 4).
In 2016, the EOC was accepted as an associate member of the Swiss Clinical Trial Organisation (SCTO), and a representative of the EOC can participate in the SCTO Steering Board as an observer without voting rights.
Through the Clinical Trial Unit, the EOC participates in some of the SCTO projects and is a member of the EUPATI Advisory Board of Switzerland. EUPATI is the European Patients’ Academy on Therapeutic Innovation, which provides education and training tools for representatives of patient organisations.
This positive development in quality of clinical and translational research activities, conducted within the EOC hospitals, institutes and laboratories, is certainly crucial for the newly-established Human Medicine Master of the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences of the Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI).
Clinical and translational research projects covering all the main areas of medicine and biology are actively promoted and developed.
To this end, an Official Registry of the EOC studies was created, with the support of the EOC Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department, whose research activity is detailed in the new chapter 7.
The Registry of the EOC studies started on 7th April 2014 and was included in the www.eoc.ch website as a web-based resource in July 2016. It contains information on clinical and translational trials carried out in the EOC hospitals, publicly and privately funded or not supported by sponsors (see also chapter 6).
The Registry is a tool of great importance for ensuring and improving the quality of the trials, promoting information exchange and facilitating collaborations within the scientific community.
Therefore, research now has become a fundamental part of hospital activities in order to guarantee the quality and safety of the services provided to our patients.
Indeed, it is impossible to carry out research without keeping completely up-to-date, otherwise there would be no hope of receiving funding for the research projects. We are all fully aware of the fact that constantly keeping up-to-date in our different fields and activities is an essential prerequisite to ensure that our patients receive the most innovative therapies available and the correct treatment in an efficient and effective manner.
Finally, I wish to thank all those people who through their hard and silent work and passion for their different fields, contribute, day after day, to ensuring the availability of the most suitable diagnostic, therapeutic and healthcare approaches, based on state-of-the-art scientific evidence, while supporting scientific progress in the medical-health field, despite the difficulties sometimes found therein.
I would like to end by pointing out that patient care based on the best scientific evidence remains and will always be our foremost concern.
Fabrizio Barazzoni MD MPH
FMH Prevention and Public Health
Head of the Medical Area of the EOC Head Office
Head of the EOC Academic Education, Research and Innovation Area (AFRI)
Chair of the Scientific Research Advisory Board