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Workshop Abstracts

Evaluating integrated maternity care in the Netherlands; the potentials of a nationwide data-infrastructure


Eline De Vries

National Institute For Public Health And The Environment, NL
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In recent years, various policies have been implemented to improve the quality of maternity care in the Netherlands. To gain insight into their effects, we initiated a nationwide data-infrastructure. In this workshop, we describe the data-infrastructure, discuss how the data-infrastructure (can) contribute(s) to the evaluation of the effects of policies, and explore the opportunities and limitations thereof in an interactive discussion. Two cases serve as examples to discuss the use of the data-infrastructure to evaluate integrated maternity care policies: 1) experimental implementation of bundled payments for maternity care, 2) monitoring the nationwide ‘first 1000 days approach’.


In the Netherlands, multiple registries containing nationwide observational data are available. We linked claims data (2011-2018) with data on health outcomes and quality of maternity care (2000-2018). In total, this combined dataset contains over 3 million pregnancies. We enriched this dataset further by data from Statistics Netherlands among which educational level, household income, debts, work status and household composition. We were also able to link parents to their children based on Statistics Netherlands. So far, this nationwide data-infrastructure was used to evaluate the first effects of the experimental implementation of bundled payments in maternity care and to identify baseline results regarding the ‘first 1000 days approach’.

Aim and objectives

We aim to provide insight into the methodology used to integrate multiple observational datasets into an inclusive data-infrastructure and we aim to clarify the use of this data-infrastructure to evaluate integrated maternity care policies by providing two exemplifying cases. During the interactive discussion, we aim to discuss opportunities and limitations of such data for the purpose of policy evaluations including their suitability for causal inference, and stimulate discussion of possible other applications of the data-infrastructure.

Target audience

Researchers, policy makers, healthcare providers and others interested in integrated (maternity) care, big data, observational data and/or evaluating (health)policy.

Learnings/take away messages:

-              Opportunities and limitations of a nationwide data-infrastructure to evaluate policies via causal inference methods

-              From data to knowledge; how to use and interpret the data?

-              The value and possibilities to  integrate qualitative research in interpreting the quantitative data and outcomes 


1: Explaining the data-infrastructure (15 mins)

Presenter: Eline de Vries

We explain the process of data collection, linkage and dataflow and provide background information on the included observational data from several Dutch nationwide registries.

2: Using the data-infrastructure to evaluate health policies (30mins)

Presenters: Zoë Scheefhals, Joyce Molenaar

We show the use of the data-infrastructure for policy evaluation in integrated maternity care and give insight in the data, methods, results and possible future steps.

3: What’s next? An interactive discussion (45 mins)

Chair: Jeroen Struijs (+presenters)

After a round of questions and general discussion, the audience is divided into smaller groups. To stimulate more in depth discussions, statements are presented. At the start and end of each discussion-round, we use Mentimeter (a real time voting-tool) to let participants show (dis)agreement with statements and how opinions have changed after the discussion. The chair summarizes key takeaways.

Preferred length

90 mins


How to Cite: De Vries E. Evaluating integrated maternity care in the Netherlands; the potentials of a nationwide data-infrastructure. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2021;21(S1):365. DOI:
Published on 01 Sep 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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