Course Descriptions

Through the Master of Health Administration Program, launching fall 2020, your courses will prepare you to lead health care organizations with strategic vision, management skills, technical knowledge, and health care expertise. The below course descriptions are a sampling of some of the courses and subject matter that will be prepare you for the next step in your career.

Strategic and Operations Program Management

This course is an introduction to understanding:

  • The competencies, roles, and responsibilities of public health and health managers
  • Health organizations, which are complex and changing in response to community needs and changing environments
  • The skills required to establish and maintain organizational culture and organizational change
  • Talent and team management

Through readings, class discussion, and analysis of case studies, you will explore and identify key management and leadership challenges affecting public health and health; formulate and evaluate alternative solutions to problems; and learn to present your analysis of managerial plans and proposals, orally and in writing. The course will emphasize skill development in the management of mission, strategy, operations, and the business aspects of health organizations.

Health Economics

The intent of this course is to train future public health practitioners in the economic and political questions that emerge in the development of health systems. The course will review core economic principles applied to the role of federal and state governments, the private sector, and the competitive marketplace. It will provide an overview of traditional microeconomic theory and practice as applied to demand, supply, competition, monopoly, and social welfare. It will drill down on topics such as the role of governments, the private sector, market competition, government failure, and market failure. Special sessions will address clinical services, non-clinical services, the health care workforce, health financing, health-related manufacturing sectors (pharmaceuticals, medical technology, and information technology), and leadership/health management.

You will experience guided, semester-long exercises in analyzing and developing strategic development plans from a public health professional's perspective to inform political and economic decision-making. We focus on health systems as a way to understand the more general competencies involved in the application of economic analysis, which include political, financial, technical, and organizational skills.

When you have successfully completed this course, you will be able to:

  • Analyze the key policy and public health challenges faced by the U.S. and other health care systems using economic principles, market analysis, and health policy formulation
  • Design policy recommendations to address some of the public health challenges faced by vulnerable population groups that are consistent with underlying economic principles, market analysis, and health policy formulation
  • Apply the principles of economic evaluation to selected problems in the health sector and health industry vertical markets

Using Data for Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Health Care

This course explores the analytical methods health care managers and executives must use to critically interpret the findings of comparative effectiveness studies and to use hospital-derived data for assessing and improving quality of care and process performance. The course structure contains four overarching topics:

  • Biostatistical and epidemiological methods for comparative effectiveness research
  • Statistical process control
  • Scope and limits of evidence-based medicine
  • Hospital-based and public sources of health care data

Health Informatics and Technology

This course covers the modern application of information technology that is critical to supporting operational knowledge in managing health care delivery organizations. Heath care decision-makers have to meet head-on the dynamic challenges of health care delivery quality, cost, access, and regulatory control. This course integrates healthcare information systems as integral to quality initiatives including measurement of systems inputs, processes, and outputs with special emphasis on systems outcomes research and organizational accountability to various stakeholders, not the least of which is government regulators.

Transforming Health Care Delivery Seminar 1: LEAN Process Improvement Tools and Methods

This active workshop-styled course will showcase effective methods to measure, analyze and improve process controls using LEAN principles. This course goes into great detail about the core methodologies of LEAN and its application to various health care scenarios. Students will be expected to actively participate in case studies and apply the LEAN tools and methods to achieve gains in effectiveness and efficiency in processes leading to greater optimization. Topic areas include Kaizen and Teams, Process Mapping, Flow and Pull Systems, Deployment, and measurement and control. The course meets 5 times over the course of a semester. Each meeting is schedule for 6-7 hours.

Quantitative and Analytical Methods for Evidence-Based Decision-Making

While health care innovations offer unprecedented opportunities to improve health and reduce suffering, they also disrupt traditional care processes and put stresses on the health care delivery system.  With the increasing use of electronic medical record for patient care and availability of administrative databases at national, state, and local levels, data used for decision-making in healthcare are abundant. Using these data sources, there have been numerous studies documenting unexplained variations in practice and patient outcomes, with unacceptable rates of medical errors and inefficiencies in health care delivery.  These challenges require major changes in the way we measure the value of health care delivery and subsequently use this information to improve its effectiveness and efficiency. To meet these challenges, this course trains students indeveloping, analyzing, and disseminating evidence that can guide clinical and organizational decision-making toward improvements in the quality, safety, infection control, ‘appropriate’ use, outcomes and efficiency of care delivered in the healthcare delivery systems.

Leadership, Ethics and Professionalism in Health Care

This course provides students with an understanding of what makes an exceptional leader. This course explores and builds competencies in leadership, management, ethical behavior and professionalism in health care.  Over the 12-weeks, students will be exposed to leadership and management theories, critical leadership behaviors which shape culture and the key skills required for leadership and management development.  Students will also explore the intersection of leadership authenticity and ethical behavior as well as professionalism in health care.  Students will learn from real world case studies and experiences faced by health care leaders every day.

Transforming Health Care Delivery Seminar 2: LEAN as a Management System

This interactive workshop-styled course will build upon Lean process improvement principles discussed during Seminar 1 building towards understanding and using Lean as a management system. Students will learn how to effectively monitor, evaluate and deploy strategies to eliminate waste and defects in this intensive course. Topics challenge participants to create and manage teams, identify value streams and strive to prioritize customer satisfaction through quality programs. Multiple management and leadership tools are introduced and practiced throughout this seminar. The course meets 5 times over the course of a semester.

Marketing for Health Care

This course examines the role of marketing in various healthcare settings. With an emphasis on the perspective of the consumer, students will gain the tools to effectively complete tasks such as market research, understand the role of segmentation in the current market, and master a number of marketing-communications strategies.

Foundational Managerial Skills Seminars

These intensive short training courses will immerse students in additional skill set areas necessary to become highly functioning and effective managers. The 5 areas of training focus will complement the substantive curriculum of the program and focus on: project management methods, Excel and SAS essentials for managers, giving professional presentations, effective time management, and creating and managing functional teams (collaboration). Students will receive expert instruction on best methods/practices related to health care delivery, practice those methods in active small group settings, and share lessons learned in each of these areas. Students will be expected to actively participate in case studies and complete a project for each short course/module.

Two credits are allocated across the five short courses. One of these short courses will be offered every semester with each meeting scheduled for 7.5 instructional hours for the 0.5 credits.  See below for exact credit breakdown.

Capstone

Participants will have the opportunity to work on a health care improvement project addressing an important management problem faced in either their employer’s organization or in another host institution. This action learning project will enable the application and integration of Lean principles and course material into a coherent response and potential solution(s) to an actual healthcare delivery issue. These projects will form a repository of knowledge that program cohort peers can use to learn from and share.

Administrative Internship

The MHA administrative internship consists of collaboration between the student, a site supervisor/preceptor, faculty advisor and Program Director. The internship provides students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of lessons learned in coursework and apply to an administrative fieldwork setting relevant to a student’s area of interest in health care delivery management.