Healthcare Analytics

Developing Healthcare Professionals in
Quality Improvement and Patient Safety

Healthcare is rapidly advancing in knowledge and technology, yet the challenges associated with quality and patient safety persist. The U.S. healthcare system, including healthcare policy, requires significant changes to address current gaps in quality. In short, skillful professionals are needed to lead change and improvement in healthcare beyond the current paradigm.

Misericordia University's graduate program in Healthcare Analytics is embedded in the values and traditions of the Sisters of Mercy; Mercy, Service, Justice and Hospitality, aimed at increasing knowledge; building skills and fostering impactful professionals prepared to creatively and diligently strive towards improving health and healthcare delivery. Unique to the Misericordia program are the emphasis upon: 1.) Interprofessional practice, and 2.) The Patient/Family Perspective.

PROGRAM OPTIONS

  • Master of Science in Healthcare Analytics (36 credits)
  • Certificate in Healthcare Analytics (18 credits)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • First and only program of its kind in NEPA region
  • 7-week courses offered entirely online
  • Part-time or full-time option
  • 18-credit post-baccalaureate certificate can be applied to the master's degree completion
  • Designed for the experienced clinical and non-clinical healthcare professional
  • Dedicated to developing professionals committed to healthcare quality
  • Healthcare data analyst positions are slated to grow approximately 19% between now and 2024, faster than average growth in healthcare fields (www.bls.gov)

CONTACT

For more information about the program, contact George Godlewski, PhD., MSW, Program Director at 570-674-6233 or ggodlewski@misericordia.edu.

George Godlewski

For Admissions related questions, contact Maureen Sheridan at 570-674-6451 or msheridan@misericordia.edu.

Mission and Goals

MISSION

The Graduate Healthcare Analytics Program strives to continuously evolve and improve to prepare competent impactful professionals to best serve our community of interest related to health and healthcare quality and improvement. Faculty members strive to "foster intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and respect for persons in an environment where all are welcome". The high level of graduate academics challenges students to think critically and to seek new solutions to societal and healthcare problems. As outlined in the mission statement of the College of Health Sciences and Education, students in our Healthcare Analytics program collaborate as members of interprofessional teams while preparing to be high caliber independent professionals. Focus upon ethical foundations to deal with complex healthcare issues and ethical dilemmas is a significant part of the program. The need for life-long learning and maintaining currency and competency are stressed throughout the program. Students are encouraged to see issues through diverse lens and to view themselves as committed members of a global society requiring their engagement and concern.

GOALS

More specifically, the Graduate Healthcare Analytics Program is aimed at the following objectives:

1. Demonstrate competence in quality improvement, healthcare quality and skills used to undertake improvement and support change.

2. Critically and accurately assess healthcare quality status, measures and processes including attention to social justice, cultural appreciation and diverse groups to improve quality in healthcare.

3. Describe and interpret the role of the quality professional to providers, leaders and staff of health care organizations as well as to patients, payers, regulators and policy-makers.

4. Work in collaborative and inter-professional relationships, communicate effectively (orally and in writing), and embrace accountability in the context of social, political, ethical, regulatory and legal considerations of healthcare.

5. Critically evaluate and apply theories and research findings to provide impactful improvement efforts and contribute to an atmosphere of meaningful organizational learning.

6. Demonstrate critical thinking, information management, leadership and ethical behaviors in interactions with individuals, groups, organizations and populations.

7. Demonstrate critical self-assessment to support continual professional development.

8. Demonstrate curiosity and critical thinking to foster exploration and research that contribute to scholarship and knowledge creation.

Admission Requirements

Admission Criteria

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with 3.0 or higher GPA including undergraduate course completion of:
    • 3 credits in research with grade of 3.0 or higher
    • 3 credits in introductory statistics with grade of 3.0 or higher
  • Experience (clinical and/or non-clinical) in health care, i.e. delivery system, payer organization, etc. is recommended but not required.
  • The on-line design of this program requires students to possess basic computer proficiency.
  • Proficiency in the English language is required.

Transfer Credits

Up to 9 transfer credits for the Master's degree are available upon the approval of the Program Director. Transfer courses must be: 1.) Completed within the last 5 years; 2.) Earned at an accredited institution legally authorized to grant graduate degrees and 3.) Completed with a grade of "B" or better.

Curriculum

This curriculum requires the completion of 36 credits. To provide the broadest possible student experience, the curriculum is composed of required courses as well as electives to support student goals and interests. The organizing framework of the curriculum is based on quality improvement competencies in the arena of healthcare quality: data sets, measurement, analysis, improvement science, change management, leadership, etc.

Whereas, some programs separate quality and patient safety via course foci and selection, this program demands the integration of quality and patient safety. The two components are fundamentally inextricable and to separate them is to create a false dichotomy that hinders improvement. Course content will include the following themes or foci:

- Population Health

- Ethics

- Social justice

- Leadership

- Creativity/Curiosity

- Inter-professionalism

- Patient Experience

Systems Theory is a foundational paradigm of the curriculum. Although Lean-six sigma concepts and skills will be presented the methodology is not considered exclusive in the curriculum. Appreciation of diverse groups will be explored with attention paid to health disparities, an expression of healthcare quality.

The program's pedagogy will be rooted in contemporaneity and include affective learning, experiential learning, cognitive learning and reflective learning via analysis, critical thinking, case review, presentations, project work, interviews, etc.

Where possible, the Healthcare Analytics program will provide integrative educational experiences.

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