Health Services Unit (USS)

We carry out our activities within the broad field of healthcare systems and services research and have been contributing with our work for many years.

Measuring and describing populations’ health as the main factor to explain needs, expectations and preferences, use, practices, supply and demand of healthcare services and care. Analysis of the interactions across these various elements, their evolutions and determinants, notably psychosocial. This field also comprises data generation and indicators production.

Accompaniment, evaluation and research on interventions and health policies aimed at informing decision-makers and improving the health system. At macro level, this activity field engages in public policies aimed at providing answers to cantonal, Swiss and international healthcare systems issues. At meso level, it targets existing or innovative care, prevention and promotion activities. At micro level, it engages in healthcare services quality and cost effectiveness.

Helathcare services & evaluation research

Study field targeting persons, institutions, organisations and resources dedicated to care, which ultimately aims that healthcare systems and services are patient centred, accessible, efficient, fair and responsible. The organisation and planning can be examined at professionals’ level, at organisational, structural, financial levels, or in terms of quality of care.

Methodological research and advice on:

  • Study and evaluation types tailored for healthcare services research;
  • Development, adaptation, translation and validation of data collection tools;
  • Data analysis quantitative, qualitative or mixed tools and strategies.


The issues

Health services include all services, personal or otherwise, relating to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, or to promotion, maintenance/upkeep and restoration of health. Such services are the basis of healthcare systems.

·         What are the population’s healthcare services needs?

·         Are current services organised to meet these needs optimally?

·         Are the benefits accessible to all?

·         Do they meet expectations?

The Health Services Unit examines these types of issue.

Research work

The USS’s research work primarily focusses on the health of older persons and ways of adapting the healthcare system to suit the needs of ageing populations.  The scope covered includes medical and social care facilities designed for people with a chronic functional dependency.

The USS is home to the Lc65+ cohort, which studies age-related frailty and its prevention, and the Centre for Observation and Analysis of Ageing (COAV), the result of an active collaboration with the Geriatrics and Geriatric Rehabilitation department at CHUV.

Service work

Many projects are commissioned, particularly by federal or cantonal public bodies. The unit also maintains close links with international research partners, such as the European SHARE survey (Survey of health, ageing and retirement in Europe) and the 5-COOP project (5 countries oldest-old project) dedicated to centenarians.

Areas of activity: 


Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine
Route de la Corniche 10, 1010 Lausanne - Switzerland
+41 21 314 72 72 |

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