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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.
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Qualified veterans: WashU McKelvey School of Engineering and the VA will cover 100 percent of your graduate tuition.
- Required Courses (Choose 9)
Project Management in Healthcare (T71-507)
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.
Introductory Overview of Operational Excellence in Health Care (T71-501)
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)
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)
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)
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).
Healthcare Financial Models (T71-505)
This course provides an overview of how healthcare financing and reimbursement systems work in the United States. The course focuses on the evolution of insurance, HMOs, and managed care. Students learn how hospitals, outpatient centers, clinicians, and other providers are reimbursed for the services. Private and public reimbursement; state rate setting; risk management; new models of reimbursement; the role of billing, coding, and accounts receivable; and managed competition are explained.
Innovation Science and Human Centered Design/Human Factors (T71-506)
This course is intended to introduce the student to the concept of "design thinking" as well as the process for innovating. It is dependent on an individual's ability to observe what people are actually doing and how they are doing it. It also requires an iterative process for understanding, synthesizing, ideating, prototyping, testing, and implementing. Emphasis will be placed on how to build stakeholder/user personas and requirements as well as map their emotional experience with a process to gain more insights than a quantitative analysis alone would provide. Healthcare needs a "human-centered" design approach to navigate the blurring of lines between product and service, provider and patient. Designers of processes, methods, and systems now must take the needs of the entire world, including the environment, into account. Human factors will need to be applied during the iterative process to account for human factors and the parameters of users and uses.
Capstone Seminar (T71-508)
This course integrates the learning from all disciplines and subject matter presented in the Master's in Healthcare Operational Excellence program to complete a comprehensive, practical project in a healthcare-related organization. It will include a summary of the key topics covered within the program and how these apply to student's projects. The course will also focus on leading organizational change and fostering a culture of continuous improvement in healthcare and related service organizations into the future.
Capstone Project (T71-509)
The capstone project incorporates operational excellence principles, the lean management system, rapid cycle improvement methods, data analysis, change management, facilitation, project management and healthcare cultural issues, integrating lessons learned through the coursework to demonstrate students' mastery of operational excellence in healthcare. Students will work in multidisciplinary teams, delivering a final project that applies their cumulative coursework within a context of real industry work.
- Elective Courses (Choose 1)
Human Performance in the Organization (T55-583)
Gain insights and practice in the art and science of leadership. This course addresses the leadership and management capabilities required to move into positions of greater responsibility, with a focus on technology-based organizations. Topics include leadership, goals, motivation and performance, management of change, conflict and effectiveness, organizational development and work design. Because when a leader gets better, everyone gets better.
Communication Excellence for Influential Leadership (T54-584)
Exceptional communicators become extraordinary leaders. This course will guide students to learn to exceptionally communicate their message by applying refined nuances that inspire and transform those with whom they converse. Through a proven communicative process, students will acquire skills necessary to differentiate them as leaders. Students will learn how to communicate across a variety of settings using strategies that result in clear, vivid, and engaging exchanges. Students will practice: storytelling; creating and using clear visuals; engaging listeners; demonstrating passion when speaking; responding to questions with clarity and brevity, and, using their distinctive voice as a leadership asset. Each student will learn how to assess his or her own communication capabilities, adjust to different listeners, and how to evaluate speaker effectiveness and provide valuable feedback to others. Video recordings will be used to demonstrate incremental communicative changes throughout the course, and to show how these strategies bring about outstanding leadership.
Please visit Tuition and Financial Assistance for Graduate Students for tuition information.
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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.