VU University Medical Center was founded on 1 January 2001. It was created by the integration of the VU hospital, which opened in 1966, and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam's Faculty of Medicine, which was founded in 1950. The history of medical science at VU Amsterdam stretches back to the beginning of the last century. The motto adopted by the VU hospital was 'Medicina Miseriacordiae Ministra' (medicine is the servant of mercy). This motto characterizes the Christian tradition from which the VU hospital sprang. Its priorities are human dignity and respectful treatment.
Involvement, care, and ambition are the core values of VU University Medical Center. Medical ethics play an important part. Recommendations made by the medical ethics committee give care providers guidelines when using a new method of -treatment and new types of care. All scientific research is reviewed in advance by a Medical Ethics Review Committee (MERC).
In addition, VU University Medical Center's procedures are characterized by an ambition to make care as good and as efficient as possible. The aim of the interdisciplinary approach adopted by VU University Medical Center is to enable consultation, diagnosis, treatment, and results to be conducted and concluded, as far as possible, in a single visit to the outpatients department or clinic.
The Client Advisory Board for University Hospitals (CRAZ) monitors and promotes the quality aspects of care given to patients, and represents the common interests of patients in the UMCs. In addition, VU University Medical Center regularly has its policy assessed by the Amsterdam branch of the Federation of Patients and Consumer Organizations in The Netherlands. Patients are being involved in the early stages of several care-innovation initiatives at VU University Medical Center so that they can participate in shaping the way care is organized.
Photo: Jetty Hoeksema, Quality and Efficiency Team Manager for ZONmw (Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development), whose role also involves commissioning research work. "VUmc is an institution where scientific research and patient care go hand-in-hand. This is of crucial importance for applied, policy-oriented research in general, and for efficiency studies in particular. Fruitful collaboration between care-sector professionals, clinical epidemiologists, and economists is the key to successful research."
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