Tuesday, July 25th
Start time: 12noon, at Conference Venue
End Time: 5-6pm
Group Size: 10–30 (Tours will be cancelled with less than 10 attendants. Additional tours will be organized if the interest exceeds capacity.)
Cost: $25 U.S. dollars per person
Pick Up Location: Conference Venue
Erasmus Medical Center – Erasmus Medical Center is the largest academic medical center in the Netherlands, and ranked first for research on clinical medicine in Europe. It conducts leading research on genomics, being the first to sequence the MERS DNA, and many other fields, and delivers world-class care. Steve Jobs received treatment at Erasmus MC. Erasmus MC is currently in the process of rebuilding the facility, designing and implementing world-class patient care facilities, as well as the hospital information system. The guided tour will offer a general introduction into Erasmus Medical Center, a visit to several innovative health service facilities, as well a presentation of the information systems, including present and future developments. The visit will emphasize technology and data-driven health service improvements. The tour will end with a brief visit of Rotterdam historic district Delfshaven.
Reinier de Graaff Gasthuis – Founded in 1252, Reinier de Graaf Gasthuis (RdGG) in Delft is the oldest hospital in the Netherlands. Its 3000 employees and more than 200 medical doctors serve a population of almost half a million in and around the beautiful historic city of Delft. Reinier de Graaff Gasthuis has been recently rebuilt with much attention to patient experiences and patient flow. Reinier de Graaff Gasthuis is known for its operational excellence, and being the leanest hospital in the Netherlands. The visit will include presentations on Reinier’s lean adoption, implementation and progress, and include a hospital tour along lean practices in various departments. After the hospital visit, the field trip includes a guided walking tour of the famous and historic city centre of Delft.
Ministry of Health and Dutch Healthcare Quality Institute – This field trip will initially bring us to The Hague for a visit to the Ministry of Health, Welfare & Sport. The Department of International Affairs will provide an overview of the Dutch health system, its achievements and challenges. The Dutch health system is consistently ranked 1st in Europe since 2007 and known for its equity, accessibility, and quality. After the visit to the Ministry, we will pay a brief visit to the historic Binnenhof, where the Dutch Parliament and Senate reside, before transferring to the Dutch Healthcare Quality Institute. The Dutch Healthcare Quality Institute monitors performance of all health services providers using large indicator sets and information systems. It collects and transforms the big data that forms the basis for health policy and national improvement initiatives.
Saturday, July 29th
Start time: TBA
End Time: All Day
Group Size: 10 – 30. (Tours will be cancelled with less than 10 attendants)
Costs: $55 U.S. dollars per person
Pick Up Location: Conference Venue
On Saturday July 29, 2017, we will organize a number of social tours, which are routed such that participants can be dropped off at the airport or train station in the afternoon for departures. This may be convenient for participants transferring back to their homes and the participants transferring to the EURO OHRAS conference in Bath, which starts on August 1, 2017.
Social Tour Amsterdam – The world famous tourist destination Amsterdam, capital of Netherlands, is located just 50 miles from Rotterdam. Among other well-known attractions, it hosts world-class museums, and a lovely inner city with its circular canal structure. The organized tour will start at 8:30am and take participants directly to Amsterdam for a visit to the Rijksmuseum, which hosts many paintings from the Dutch golden century, including Rembrandt’s De Nachtwacht (The Night Watch). Next, the tour includes a walking tour of the inner city, including lunch, and a canal boat ride. On the way back, the tour visits Schiphol International Airport at 4pm, before returning to Rotterdam around 5pm.
Social Tour Water – This second tour is themed around water engineering. It starts at 9am and first visits the famous UNESCO World Heritage site of Kinderdijk, with its unique collection of 19 authentic windmills. These windmills are considered a Dutch icon throughout the entire world and witness a long history on fertile lands below the sea level, as is still the case for the majority of the Dutch population. The trip continues to the Delta werken (Delta works), where we will enjoy our lunches. They form a series of construction projects that protect most of the southwest of Netherlands from the sea. The works consist of dams, sluices, locks, dykes, levees, and storm surge barriers. They remind us of a long Dutch history of living with the sea, water, floods, and show how these challenges have been overcome. This trip will very likely also bring great opportunities to take a dive into the sea, or lay on one of the wide and sandy Dutch beaches. The trip will take us back to Rotterdam Central Station at 5pm.
Gouda & The Hague – This tour starts at 9:30am and takes us straight to Gouda, home of the world’s most famous cheese. Gouda is approximately 20 miles from Rotterdam. It is a beautiful historic town, with, of course, a cheese market, ‘De Waag’, a cheese Museum, and anything else imaginable related to the cheese. After enjoying all of those as well as an early lunch, we will continue to The Hague, to visit some highlights of this city that hosts the Dutch government and the Peace Palace. In the unlikely event of rain we can visit the Escher Museum or watch Vermeer’s in the Mauritshuis. Otherwise, the beach of Scheveningen is the most popular and lively in Netherlands. Participants can be dropped at The Hague Central Station at 4pm, from which there are direct train connections to Schiphol Airport (30 minutes). We will be back in Rotterdam before 5pm.
Self-Organized Day Trips – Please note that almost all famous cities in the Netherlands are within one hour by train from Rotterdam Central Station, which is a two-minute walk from the Venue and main conference hotels. Closest are Delft, Gouda, and Dordrecht. The Hague is still less than 30 minutes. Dordrecht is accessible by waterbus, which also brings you close to Kinderdijk.
Amsterdam Utrecht, Alkmaar, Leiden, all are quickly and conveniently accessible by public transport. Almost all Dutch speak English well and are known to be helpful. It is easy and safe to travel on your own except perhaps for the occasional high season pick pocket. Good beaches are nearby in Hoek van Holland and Scheveningen. Amsterdam is certainly the most special city to visit, but is sure to be completely packed with tourists in July and August. Expect very long queues at any place of importance especially on the weekends (unless you have made reservations).
The Belgium town of Antwerpen is also less than an hour by train. A bit further are Gent, Brussels, and Brugge. All of them are well worth a visit. A good time for a Belgian weekend on the way to the U.K. to Bath for the EURO ORAHS conference that starts August 1, 2017.
Alternatively, you may simply enjoy Rotterdam, which hosts the largest harbour in Europe, many buildings of importance in modern architecture, some fine museums, good shopping districts, a wide choice of bars and restaurants, from very affordable ones, to typical Dutch, local, and immigrant food from all over the world. Rotterdam also hosts four restaurants with a Michelin star and, for those culinary ambitious, three restaurants with two Michelin stars. Rotterdam is a top 10 place to visit according to Lonely Planet.