Health Services Research

Although the quality of Dutch healthcare has an internationally high score, large differences exist at the same time between institutions and healthcare professionals. In recent years accessibility of care has been subjected to pressure due to increasing costs. The field of Health Services Research encompasses these particular social  issues.  

Health Services Research (HSR) studies the accessibility, quality and costs of healthcare with a view to increase knowledge on structure, process and outcomes of care provisions for individuals and populations, while also actually improving these through a practical application of the knowledge acquired.

In the United States the latter part of the application is also referred to as Health Service Delivery Science. HSR is for the most part done by multidisciplinary research teams (epidemiology, medicine, sociology, psychology, economics, political science). International comparison is an important aspect of health services research, because we are continuously looking for good practices elsewhere so as to acquire knowledge on how to improve care in the Netherlands. Finally, in health services we study health policy with a view to determining the outcomes of actual policy on the performances of a healthcare system.   

Prof.dr. Gert Westert is head of health services research within IQ healthcare.