About the program

Focused on continuous improvement methodologies, the curriculum offered in this degree prepares leaders in service, health care and other operational environments to utilize a toolset allowing them to eliminate waste, innovate and improve patient and employee experiences in St. Louis and around the globe.


The 30-unit (10 courses) Master of Health Care Operational Excellence, is intended for practitioners and process managers in the health-care industry. Students in this program will learn the principles and science of process analysis and continuous improvement in health-care environments.

The 15-unit graduate certificate in Health Care Operational Excellence is also offered and can be transferred into the degree program at any time. Students in this program will enable healthcare professionals to lead teams and large initiatives in an operational excellence environment.

Debra Williams
Director of Professional Education Marketing

Registration, Tuition Fees & Payment Policies

Qualified veterans: WashU McKelvey School of Engineering and the VA will cover 100 percent of your graduate tuition.


Required Courses

Introductory Overview of Operational Excellence in Health Care (T71-501)
3 Units

This introductory course is designed to prepare students for the Master of Health Care Operational Excellence program. Students will learn the fundamentals of operational excellence principles and how the organizational complexities, regulatory and economic framework, and nuances of healthcare impact the ability to apply them. Students will research and explore both healthcare and non-healthcare examples of performance improvement and operational excellence efforts within different organizations and from different stakeholder perspectives. Throughout the course, students will gain an understanding of how the various methods, both social and technical, can plan an integral role in achieving operational excellence, and how to identify and mitigate challenges and barriers. Specific methods will include facilitating teams, change management, lean, six sigma, project management and the importance of principle-based deployments rooted in changing behaviors and transforming culture. By completing this introductory overview course, students will understand the level of personal transformation in mindset and skills that will be necessary in order to successfully impact the changes needed for health care operational excellence.

Facilitation Skills/Change Management (T71-502)
3 Units

The course integrates strategy and organizational due diligence with facilitation and change management strategies. By examining the relationship between employees, teams and organizations students will explore each level and practice assessing and facilitating team processes to maximize productivity and results for members and stakeholders. The course addresses how to get things done when teams lack leadership or authority. Supporting topics include how to build teams, how to manage meetings, how to build relationships beyond the team, and how to keep teams effective over their life span. Students will learn processes of change and the techniques of change to various types of organizations while using useful design frameworks for facilitation.

Lean Healthcare Concepts, Tools and Lean Management Systems (T71-503)
3 Units

Students will learn and apply core Lean tools including Value Stream Mapping, 5S, Visual Management, Standard Work, JIT, Push/Pull, Error Proofing, and Daily Management. Critical to applying Lean effectively, participants will also learn how to plan and lead Rapid Improvement Events and other group activities and tactics. This program has been adopted by BJC executive leadership and is identified as a core competency for transformational efforts. Students will also learn the essential elements of a Lean Management System and how to accomplish sustainable results and the development of a continuous improvement culture.

Six Sigma Concepts and Tools (T71-504)
3 Units

This course is designed to teach the tools associated with the 5 DMAIC phases (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control). Some of the tools considered for inclusion are: Critical to Quality Matrix (CTQ), Failure Modes Effectiveness Analysis (FMEA), Statistical Analysis, Contingency Tables, Hypothesis Testing, Confidence Intervals, Correlation & Regression, ANOVA (Analysis of Variation), Pareto Analysis, Statistical Process Control (SPC), Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA), Data Collection, Time Studies, Root Cause Analysis (RCA), Fishbone Diagramming, Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ), SIPOC, Detailed Process Mapping, Cause and Effect tools, Design of Experiment (DOE).

Project Management in Healthcare (T71-507)
3 Units

This course is a practical experiential orientation to project management processes, including relevance and application. Students will be exposed to the art of project leader competencies and emotional intelligence in addition to the science of traditional project management methodologies in a healthcare setting. Participants will engage in project initiation including strategic organizational alignment, concept of why and charter development. Project planning will include scoping, elicitation of stakeholder requirements, work breakdown structure, scheduling, cost, quality, resources, communications and risk management. Healthcare related project management and execution will be the focus of practical application along with other outside healthcare industry relevant examples. Learners will apply management of triple constraint (time, cost, schedule) and skills to align executive sponsor(s) and key stakeholders. Exposure will include disciplines of execution, monitoring and controlling and closing processes. The course will integrate core concepts of initiating change, portfolio and program management, business analysis, performance improvement and effective facilitation in a healthcare setting.



Meet our faculty

Kevin Leeseburg Performance Improvement Consultant with BJC Healthcare’s Center for Clinical Excellence.

Kevin Leeseburg

  • Adjunct Instructor
John Miller Director of Cultural Transformation at St. Louis Children’s Hospital

John Miller

  • Adjunct Instructor
Matt Morgan Senior Consultant for Performance Excellence at St. Louis Children's Hospital, emphasizing lean operations and human-centered design

Matt Morgan

  • Adjunct Instructor
Sheyda Namazie-Kummer Director, Clinical Advisory Group – Center for Clinical Excellence at BJC HealthCare

Sheyda Namazie-Kummer

  • Adjunct Instructor
Kim Orton Leader transforming vision into action

Kim Orton

  • Adjunct Instructor
Stacy Sedlack Performance Improvement Consultant at St. Louis Children's Hospital

Stacy Sedlack

  • Adjunct Instructor
Lashonda Session Lead Consultant experienced in developing leaders focusing on change management, facilitation and coaching within team-based environments

Lashonda Session

  • Adjunct Instructor
Eric Warnhoff Director of System Operations of Transformation Support in the Center for Clinical Excellence at BJC HealthCare

Eric Warnhoff

  • Adjunct Instructor
Andrew Wilkey Lead Process Improvement Consultant with BJC for St. Louis Children's Hospital

Andrew Wilkey

  • Adjunct Instructor
Edwin Zuluaga Process Improvement Consultant in Performance Improvement with BJX for St. Louis Children's Hospital

Edwin Zuluaga

  • Adjunct Instructor

Graduate Tuition

 Please visit Tuition and Financial Assistance for Graduate Students for tuition information.


Johanna Sengheiser
Graduate Financial Aid Analyst & Accountant

Engineering Graduate Admissions


Full-time status for Master’s Students is defined as: Enrolled in 9 units or more OR Enrolled in any “883” placeholder course (Masters Continuing Student) 

Full-time status for DSc Students is defined as: Enrolled in 9 units or more OR Enrolled in any “884” placeholder course (Doctoral Continuing Student)

Full-time status for PhD Students is defined as: Enrolled in 9 or more units OR Enrolled in any "LGS 9XXX" placeholder course. PhD students are required to maintain full-time status.

  • Tuition is based on the number of enrolled course units. When a student takes 9 or more units, a flat-rate tuition is applied. A per unit rate is applied if a student is enrolled in 8 or less units. 
  • Tuition for full-time students is determined by each student’s prime division, not by the division that teaches the course. Students should check with their department before enrolling in courses outside their division. 
  • International graduate students are not permitted to register for fewer than 9 units without special permission from the Office of International Students and Scholars.

Free Lectures & Webinars 

Learn more