Conducting health services research is not a linear but a continuous process of development and interaction between both the societal and the research domains. Health services research is driven by policy issues and practical problems in the health care sector. New issues and problems need to be translated into research questions, and the research has to be sensitive to the problems of the health care sector.
This translation is facilitated by researchers consulting with policymakers and other stakeholders in order to achieve the most valid study design (co-creation). Stakeholders determine whether the research design developed will give timely answers to their questions or problems (suitability). Researchers determine whether the stakeholders' needs are feasible.
The research conclusions, its interpretation of results and its meaning for daily practice may then lead to a new policy or an adjustment of existing policy. New questions and/or problems automatically arise after implementation and can then be translated into further research.
High quality research
This continuous process of development and interaction only works when its underlying research products are of the highest quality. Therefore, NIVEL's research has to be performed and assessed according to the prevailing scientific standards. High standards of scientific research is a relevant value in its own right, but academic reputation is also important because it fosters society's acceptance and use of the results of our research and this in turn affects the recruitment and retention of talented researchers.
Because of the high scientific quality of NIVEL's research, policymakers can reliably base their decisions on our results. NIVEL's ability to integrate our health services research, with its relevance to society, from different perspectives makes it a unique partner in the policymaking process and a contributor to improving policy and practice in health care.