NRP 74 «Smarter Health Care»
A national research programme for smarter healthcare

The Swiss healthcare system is considered one of the best in the world. Indicators such as life expectancy, number of health professionals and patient satisfaction clearly illustrate this. Nevertheless, there are various challenges. The ageing of the population and the increasing incidence of chronic diseases call for change: the healthcare system, which today focuses on the treatment of acute diseases, must further orient itself towards prevention and health promotion as well as long-term, patient-centred and integrated care.

On the recommendation of health policymakers, representatives of family and internal medicine, and the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, a broad-based process was initiated to construct a concept for strengthening health services research. Subsequently, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) was commissioned by the Federal Council to implement a national research programme on health services research. This was designed by the members of the current steering committee, the National Research Programme 74 "Smarter Health Care", and approved by the Federal Council in 2015. The programme runs from 2016 to 2022 and has a total budget of CHF 20 million.

Goals of NRP 74

  • To provide scientific information on the key challenges for improving health care for people with chronic diseases;
  • the long-term optimisation of the availability, accessibility and linkage of health data, and
  • fostering a strong research community that conducts world-leading health services research.


To achieve these goals, the programme is funding 34 high-quality research projects on key challenges in the Swiss health care system. It also supports young researchers in NRP-74 projects with the training programme "Emerging Health Care Leaders" (EHCL) in order to build a solid network of future leaders and strengthen the research community. Finally, it supports the transfer of knowledge between research, policy and practice.

Finding solutions - together with the actors of the health care system

The research priorities of NRP 74 give rise to overarching questions on the smart design of health care regarding quality of care, coordination, care models, patient participation, costs and remuneration, health data and strengthening health services research. Researchers from the NRP 74 analysed their results with regard to these questions. They discussed and sharpened their findings together with stakeholders in the health care system. These findings will be presented and discussed at the synthesis conference.

Steering Committee of NRP 74

Prof. Milo Puhan, University of Zurich (President)
Dr Penny Hollander Feldman, Center for Home Care Policy and Research Visiting Nurse Service of NY
Prof. Steffen Flessa, University of Greifswald, Germany
Prof. Thomas Gächter, University of Zurich
Prof. David C. Goodman, Dartmouth Medical School, USA
Prof. Dr Katharina Janus, Center for Healthcare Management, Paris, and Columbia University New York, USA
Prof. Michel Wensing, Radboud University Medical Centre, Netherlands
Prof. Marcel Zwahlen, University of Bern

other players

Milo Puhan

President of the steering committee

University of Zurich, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)

Stephanie Schönholzer

Programme manager

Swiss National Science Foundation

Manuela Oetterli

Head of knowledge transfer

INTERFACE Policy Studies, Research, Consulting

Rolf Heusser

Head of EHCL Programme

University of Zurich, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)

Wennberg International Collaborative

The Wennberg International Collaborative (WIC) was founded in 2010 by Dr. David Goodman of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice (U.S.) and Professor R. Gwyn Bevan of the London School of Economics and Political Science (U.K.). The inaugural meeting was held at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2010.


The goal of the Collaborative is to accelerate research into the causes and consequences of unwarranted health care variation across regions and providers. The WIC was organized in response to the complex and often controversial nature of this research that has led to slow progress in many countries. The Collaborative seeks to reduce barriers in the field through sponsoring research and policy meetings, facilitating collaboration amongst members, advocating for health care data availability, and serving as a clearinghouse for research and policy findings. The primary focus of the WIC is variation in health system performance within countries, although some members also examine variation across countries.


The WIC is a community of scholars and policymakers (and their interests, ideas, and technical capabilities) that provides support to emerging investigators and projects. Presentation topics during meetings range from new critical questions, novel methods, recent findings, and innovative policy and improvement ideas.


The goal of the Collaborative is to accelerate research into the causes and consequences of unwarranted health care variation across regions and providers. The WIC The Fall Research Collaborative meeting is a small meeting, convened by invitation, which is primarily directed at health care investigators and other interested researchers. The meeting is generally held in London or Oxford. The WIC prioritizes attendance for early investigators and those from countries where the study of health care variation is less developed. The meetings have a high level of interaction and networking.

The Spring Policy Collaborative meeting has open registration and rotates to a different country each year (2015 Berlin, Germany; 2016 Pisa, Italy; 2017 Melbourne, Australia; 2018 Zurich, Switzerland.) These meetings have a greater emphasis on the policy and improvement aspects of variation, and are also relatively more focused on the health care system of the hosting country. International attendees are also welcome to attend.

Prof. David C. Goodman

Professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, Founder of WIC, Steering Committee, Member of NRP 74

Dartmouth Medical School, USA

Gwyn Bevan

Professor for policy analysis, Founder of WIC

London School of Economics and Political Science

Jordan A. Taylor

Organizer of the WIC Spring Policy Meeting 2022

Dartmouth Medical School, USA