Research Economics and Management

With our research we focus on the themes of labor markets, aging, sustainability, innovation, market governance, banking, financial markets, entrepreneurship, marketing, and consumer behavior.

Vincent Peters

PhD candidate

"I want my scientific research to contribute to the improvement of health care."

What is the main goal of your research?

Researcher portrait TiSEM Vincent Peters

My research focuses on the organization of care for people with Down syndrome. Patients with Down syndrome typically have so many health issues, and as a result are confronted with such a wide range of health care providers, that that their caregivers sometimes get lost in the complex maze of care provision. If the care providers are not properly coordinated and not collaborating smoothly, there is a risk of treatments being missed or overlap between treatments ensuing. Care providers in hospitals are concentrated in multidisciplinary outpatient clinics, coordinated by a pediatrician. Besides this, there is primary health care, carrying out the care plan drawn up by the pediatrician: the primary care physician (family doctor), the physical therapist, etc. In my research, I start by mapping out the care clinics, because these are organized differently in every hospital. I try to find out how exactly they are organized. What types of collaboration are there, and what do these look like? Subsequently, I try to extract the ’best practices’ in the organizations. For example, children with Down syndrome will often need to undress for the pediatrician as well as the physical therapist. If you plan the appointment with the physical therapist right after the visit to the doctor, the child will only have to undress once.
The theoretical framework I use in my research comes from supply chain management: the model is that of modular organization. Every type of care is cut up into little component pieces. By combining these components, a fairly standardized package can be offered that is not only cost-efficient, but that can also be tailor-made for individual patients. That way, patient-centric care can be offered.

How does your research contribute to solving societal problems?

The research question comes from the Jeroen Bosch Ziekenhuis (JBZ) (Hjeronymus Bosch Hospital in Den Bosch). The resident pediatrician there noticed that the way the down clinic was organized could be much improved. This PhD research was subsequently started as a result of that, within the framework of the chair of ‘Organisatie van ketenzorg’ (Integrated Care Organization) (Prof. Bert Meijboom), made possible also by JBZ. This research on Down patient care also provides a nice testing ground, because I will extrapolate and adapt the results I find there to the organization of care for patients with other complex disabilities, particularly in terms of collaboration and coordination.

What is your main motivation?

I want my scientific research to contribute to the improvement of health care. During a traineeship at Prisma – a health care institution for people with mental disabilities – I was confronted with health care for the first time, and it made a strong impression on me. I can see myself going into health care after I finish my PhD. But on the other hand I also started teaching not too long ago, and I really like that too. So maybe that’s what I am going to do after I finish.

Who is your role model?

I don’t really have a role model. I’m not the kind of person to idolize people and try to follow in their footsteps. I do owe a lot to my father, who taught me to work with my hands. Thanks to him I’ve become very handy at doing all kinds of odd jobs, so that I can fix a lot of practical problems myself. Besides that, I’ve noticed that as an eager football player my affinity lies with the silent forces, the hard workers on the pitch that allow the technical players, the ‘Messis’, to shine. That is also how I see myself, as a hard worker doing a lot of work in the background.