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NIVEL Primary Care Database (NIVEL Zorgregistraties eerste lijn) uses routinely recorded data from health care providers to monitor health and utilisation of health services in a representative sample of the Dutch population.

What is the aim of NIVEL Primary Care Database?
The aim of NIVEL Primary Care Database is to do research on developments in health and the use of primary health services in the Netherlands.

NIVEL Primary Care Database answers questions like:

  • For what health problems do people seek medical treatment?
  • How do primary care facilities co-operate?
  • What kind of care do patients receive?
  • How can the health care system be improved?

What kind of data does NIVEL Primary Care Database collect?
NIVEL Primary Care Database collects data that is routinely recorded in the health care provider’s electronic health record system. This includes data on health problems and treatment.


Video introduction

Who participates in NIVEL Primary Care Database?

  • General practitioners
  • Physiotherapists
  • Exercise therapists
  • Dieticians
  • Speech therapists
  • Primary care psychologists
  • GP out-of-hours services
  • Health centres

These data are combined and supplemented with information about pharmaceutical care and secondary level care collected by other organisations.

Health care providers who participate in NIVEL Primary Care Database receive periodic feedback reports that enable comparison with their peers. For an example of the feedback report (in Dutch), see: www.nivel.nl/mijnpraktijk-demo.

NIVEL handles the data in accordance with the Dutch Data Protection Act.

  • Researchers have no access to identifiable patient information, such as name, address or citizen service number.
  • Research results cannot be traced back to individual persons, health care providers or health care organisations.
  • Participating health care providers receive information material to display in their waiting room (poster and leaflets).
  • Participating health care providers may withdraw from NIVEL Primary Care Database at any time, and without stating reasons.

The privacy protocol (in Dutch) can be downloaded at www.nivel.nl/zorgregistraties.

Steering committees with representatives from national associations of health care providers decide about the use of the data. The governance protocol (in Dutch) can be downloaded at www.nivel.nl/zorgregistraties.

Questions about NIVEL Primary Care Database?
If you have any questions about NIVEL Primary Care Database, you can contact the help desk via zorgregistraties@nivel.nl, or + 31 (0)30 272 9814.

 NIVEL has been a WHO Collaborating Centre since 1987. In that role NIVEL has contributed to the support of health care reforms in the WHO European Region. NIVEL is currently carrying out several projects commissioned by WHO. The projects are intended to provide countries with information and mechanisms to support policy to strengthen the primary care level of health care.


The projects are under preparation in close cooperation with Member States. Currently running projects are:

  • Comparison of primary care in 10 countries in transition
  • Development of a module to assess prevention and interventions on NCDs for the Primary Care Evaluation Tool (PCET)
  • Evaluation of structure and provision of primary care in several countries (e.g. Tadzhikistan, Republic of Moldova, Andorra and Curaçao)


 European FlagAs a national research institute and centre of expertise, NIVEL participates in several international projects

Ongoing projects


Joint Action on Chronic Diseases (JA-CHRODIS)
JA-CHRODIS is a European collaboration that brings together over 60 associated and collaborating partners, from 26 countries. These partners work together to identify, validate, exchange and disseminate good practices on chronic diseases across Europe and to facilitate their uptake across local, regional and national borders.
Project description


Evaluating costs and quality of primary care in Europe. is an EC funded project under the Seventh Framework Programme.
The project aims to evaluate primary care systems in Europe against criteria of quality, equity and costs.
Project website

APRES investigates the appropriateness of prescribing antibiotics in primary health care. Based on the gained insights, guidelines for prescription behaviour of antibiotics throughout Europe will be developed
The project is a multicountry collaboration, started on 1st October, 2009, and will run for 4 years
Project website
PIL-S Study on the package leaflets and the summaries of product characteristics of medicinal products for human use
Duration: 2011- 12
NIVEL involvement: Leading partner
TRANSFoRm  - Translational Medicine and Patient Safety in Europe
www.transformproject.eu. (logo staat op deze website)
Duration 2010 – 15
NIVEL involvement: Collaborating partner
DUQuE - 'Deepening our Understanding of Quality Improvement in Europe
Duration: 2009 -13
NIVEL involvement: Collaborating Partner
Study on the set-up of organ donation and transplantation in the EU Member States, uptake and impact of the EU Action Plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation
Mid-term Review