News items Tijn Kool appointed professor of appropriate care

11 April 2023

Tijn Kool has been appointed professor of Appropriate Care at Radboud university medical center / Radboud University. He conducts research in how healthcare professionals can be facilitated to deliver appropriate care and to reduce low-value care. 

Tijn Kool works at Radboudumc IQ Healthcare department since 2011. In his new position as professor of Appropriate Care, he will focus the next five years on research into how best to organize the transition to appropriate care. Appropriate care is care with added value for the patient. Important in this transition is reducing low-value care. This requires a structured approach with tailored interventions. According to Kool, involving healthcare providers as well as patients and citizens is essential. Kool: "We really need to work together on this.

Do-not-do recommendations

Tijn Kool has been working on appropriate care at IQ healthcare since 2011. In 2016, he presented a list with Do-not-do recommendations for medical specialists. With this, he accelerated the discussion in healthcare about what care is and is not appropriate. Lists for nurses followed later with Nurses & Carers Netherlands and for general practitioners with the Dutch association of general practitioners. These included, for example, reluctance on the part of general practitioners to refer for knee problems. 

Kool leads the program To do or not to do?, in which he collaborates with many healthcare providers who show that reducing inappropriate care is necessary and feasible. 'I can use that knowledge and experience in fulfilling my role as representative of the university medical centers in the national Healhcare Evaluation and Appropriate Use program,' Kool said.

Healthcare Agreement

Healthcare is under high pressure due to rising demand for care and insufficient staffing. That is why a sustainable organization of healthcare is of great importance, as described in the Integral Care Agreement. Tijn Kool: "Expectations in healthcare are sky-high, for both patients and healthcare providers. But the possibilities are limited. The effectiveness of much healthcare services is overestimated. We need to look more critically at which care fits which patient. And if care is not appropriate, we need to stop it. That means a change in attitude and behavior. Programs like To do or not to do? and Healthcare Evaluation and Appropriate Use have proven that it can be done.' 

Research on interventions to provide appropriate care in medical-specialty care and family medicine are a major pillar of Kool's research. In the coming years, he will also focus on mental healthcare and elderly care. In addition, he will continue to teach students about reducing low-value care. That education is crucial, according to Kool: "It is precisely the new generation of doctors and nurses that must come to take it for granted that they make the appropriate choice together with the patient. And that sometimes that choice is also doing nothing.'


Tijn Kool (1964, Rome) studied medicine and economics at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. In 1995 he obtained his PhD with research on the possibilities of a health market. He then worked as a healthcare manager at the UMC Utrecht and from 2001 he started  his research group at research and consultancy firm Prismant. The common thread of this research was quality of care such as patient satisfaction and experience surveys and the development of indicators on mortality, length of stay and readmissions. He has been working at Radboudumc since 2011. In the summer of 2023, the book How to reduce overuse in healthcare? a practical guide will be published under his editorship, in collaboration with the international Choosing Wisely Network.

Mr. Prof. Dr. R.B. Kool was appointed professor of "Appropriate Care" as of April 1, 2023, for five years.

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Pauline Dekhuijzen

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