The Bewustzijnsproject is a new project within the SHE program Research in Education. It aims to integrate the topic of cost effectiveness and providing high-value, cost-conscious care as new, important elements in the medical residency programs. The origin of this project lies in the medical training region of the Southeast of the Netherlands, where a few years ago “high-value, cost-conscious care” was made into a spearhead of the policy for the residency programs. The project “Towards high-value, cost-conscious health care” is a three-year project that started December 1st, 2015. The College Medical Specialities (CGS), which is part of the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG), has commissioned this project.

Because of previous work in this area, Maastricht University/SHE will be responsible for putting the project plan into effect. The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) finances the project.

The main aim of the project is to develop practical tools for residents and practicing physicians to include “high-value, cost-conscious care” in the residency-training program. High-value, cost-conscious care contains a wide range of topics that can be clustered around three themes: organising cost-consciousness and effectiveness, choosing wisely to prevent excessive use of diagnostic tests and overtreatment, and risk management and ethics.

Medical teachers will dispose a variety of (within this project) tested methods to train residents in providing high-value, cost-conscious care. Another important goal is to develop a community of learning, in which knowledge and experiences will be shared between all those who are involved in the project. At a national level, all training regions will be invited to actively participate in the project. They will develop good practices and contribute to listing all initiatives on this topic for developing a toolbox. At December, 1st 2018 the formal regulations and training programs for all medical specialties should include that professionals in training to be a medical specialist (i.e., residents) are taught in consciously choosing high-quality, cost-conscious care.

Scientifically, this project aims for a deeper understanding of how to best train residents regarding providing high-value, cost-conscious health care. Effects of training initiatives will be investigated, making use of both quantitative and qualitative data. Also long term implementation strategies will be focus of attention, as the project aims to deliver sustainable training initiatives to warrant development of future residents’ skills in this respect. Project results will be presented at national and international conferences on medical education and will be published in national and international scientific journals, as well as journals for professionals.