Introduction to the HSREPP project: concept, objectives and report overview.

Hansen, J. Introduction to the HSREPP project: concept, objectives and report overview. In: Hansen, J. Health services research into European policy and practice: final report of the HSREPP project. Utrecht: NIVEL, 2011. p. 7-15.
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For several reasons, policy decisions on the design of health services often lack an underpinning of scientific evidence. In part, communication channels between the research community and decision-makers may be poorly developed. But it should also be admitted that the contributions that scientists can offer are incomplete. A main reason why optimizing health care systems and services has become a priority is because of the need to contain growing costs for health care and to be prepared for future challenges of demand. Another is because health systems are increasingly seen in the larger context of general societal values like solidarity and equity that should be reflected in good access for all and
responsiveness of health care services to the population’s needs.

Its aim is to contribute to a refinement of the European agenda of priorities in health services research, tuned to the information needs of health policy-makers. This can contribute to promoting effective interfaces between the research community and policy-makers for the benefit of scientific underpinning of health care policies. Better application of available and identification of new scientific evidence should result in more effective policy measures and health care systems that are both efficient and responsive to the needs of European citizens.

This report, part of the FP-7 funded project Health Services Research into European Policy & Practice (HSREPP), addresses how health services research (HSR) can help decision-makers tackle the challenges they face and provide scientific evidence to inform policies and practices.