It all started with a public research and development project within the Norwegian Industrial and Regional Development Fund (now Innovation Norway) in 2001.

The background to VAR Healthcare was the new health legislation and the health and quality reform of 2000/2001, which imposed heightened requirements for the coordination and quality assurance of health services. At the same time, the authorities laid down requirements for increased use of ICT to streamline, coordinate and improve communication between the various organisations and institutions.

The project involved various hospitals, local authorities and educational institutions.

The Norwegian Nurses Organisation became owner in 2002, in part to ensure the further development and operation of VAR and to process the results of the OFU project. 

In spring 2012, Cappelen Damm AS took over as owner, and VAR Healthcare was set up as a dedicated department and digital initiative within the publishing house.

The name VAR is derived from the old Norse word “vǫr”, which means to “take care of, watch over, guard, be aware of”. In old Norse mythology Var was a goddess associated with wisdom who was so wise that no secret could be concealed from her. This is an appropriate name for our evidence based tool which contributes to wise and visible nurses, and safe patient care.