Runtime: 2014-2018
Client: ZonMw – the Netherlands organization for health research and development

Project description

In the TopCare experiment, three non-academic hospitals have received funds (30 million euros) from the Ministry of Health for a period of four years (from 2014 until 2018) to provide highly specialized care and to conduct medical research that is not reimbursed in the regular system. The hospitals in the experiment are the Eye Hospital in Rotterdam, the Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein and ETZ in Tilburg. TopCare is meant as a policy experiment to find new ways of organizing and funding highly specialized care and medical research in the three hospitals and similar non-academic hospitals. We were asked to evaluate the program, for which we have developed a mixed methods research design, including ethnographic studies of research infrastructues in the hospitals and measurement of patient flows and research output.


Jeroen Postma, Annemieke van Dongen, Roland Bal, Leona Hakkaert


Presentations at the EHMA, EGOS and AOM conferences.


  • Interim report: TopZorg (December 2016). In this report, we set out to analyze the policy background for the TopCare program, situating it both in the developments of hospitals and health research policies. Further we develop a set of criteria for the evaluation of the program in which we define ‘societal impact’ of the program in terms of patient flows, quality of care, research output, amongst others.
  • Final report: Evaluatie Topzorg (December 2018). Jeroen Postma, Annemieke van Dongen, Leona Hakkaart & Roland Bal. Rotterdam: ESHPM.