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Round table: Measuring and optimizing the impact of European health care research on policy and practice.

Jong, J. de, Azzopardi Muscat, N. Round table: Measuring and optimizing the impact of European health care research on policy and practice. European Journal of Public Health: 2013, 23(Suppl. 1) 98. Abstract. 6th European Public Health Conference: Health in Europe: are we there yet? Learning from the past, building the future. 13-16 November 2013, Brussel.
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With health care systems becoming increasingly focused on effectiveness and efficiency, it is a logical development that the same requirements apply more and more to research production in the health care field. Health care research needs to show that investments are well spent and that it produces value for money, especially so in current times with funding budgets under pressure. But what value, and for whom, is something that is not easily defined. The terms research impact and valorisation are often used, but in different manners by different parties. From the perspective of funding bodies, both at national and European level, there is a growing focus on economic impact, emphasizing the importance of patents, products or spin-off companies. As this is less suitable for the wider domain of health care research, including health services and systems research as well as public health research, a working group of experts from international associations and national research institutes across Europe has been installed with the aim to come to a better definition and measurement of impact for the area of health care research. The workshop will contain a presentation on the results of this working group, among others addressing suitable frameworks to measure impact as well as concrete indicators in order to monitor and compare performance of projects, institutes or research programmes. Two panelists will provide additional perspectives on measuring research impact from their own backgrounds and will also provide feedback on the proposed impact methodology. What elements do they miss, is the framework feasible and suitable for the broad area of health care research. To test this latter element, another crucial means of validation is through the perspective of the audience itself. As the research domain is so wide and multidisciplinary, any proposal for measuring impact should be shared with the wider research community. For that purpose, reflections by the audience are of crucial importance. Do the findings and recommendations of the working group do justice to the particularities of this area of research? If so, then a strategy should be discussed on how to ensure that funding bodies across Europe can make use of this broader perspective of impact measurement. Key messages: The workshop will present a methodology to measure the impact of health care research. Participants can help shape this framework and thus its use by funding bodies at European and national level.