School of Leadership and Professional Advancement

705 Libermann Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Phone: 412.396.5600
Fax: 412.396.5072

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    Healthcare Leadership Course Descriptions

    Leadership in the Healthcare Environment

    The healthcare delivery system in the U.S. is undergoing rapid change.. This course will frame the most significant leadership and management challenges in the context of dynamic, macro-environmental issues and orient students to current theories and practices in healthcare leadership. Topics may include: emerging models of healthcare governance, financial implications of the shifts to outpatient and home-based care, healthcare organizations and social responsibility, and advances in behavioral medicine. The course also introduces students to classical and current views of leadership and to the process of graduate-level scholarship. Students gain a foundation in theories and models of leadership, assess their own leadership styles, and learn to develop and answer research questions in leadership. For adult students returning to the graduate classroom, support is provided for honing critical thinking, writing, and information literacy skills.

    Strategic Leadership in Healthcare Delivery

    In this course, learners explore how to lead others by co-creating and implementing a strategic vision in and with their team, department or organization. They will not only learn tools and techniques for maximizing organizational impact in a resource-constrained context, but they will focus on engaging others in strategic thinking and action. The course provides learners with knowledge of key concepts, principles, and processes of strategic change, as well as their application at the individual, team, and organization levels. The course is specially designed for change catalysts to discover their roles, leverage their skills, and execute key tasks throughout the processes that characterize developmental, transitional and transformational change.

    Leading and Managing People in Healthcare

    Managing people in healthcare organizations of the future goes far beyond attracting and retaining skilled professionals. In highly specialized, matrix and networked organizations, inspiring people to consistently deliver peak performance is a consummate challenge for experienced leaders. Throughout this course, the themes of leadership identity, recognized and affirmed by self-awareness; understanding and exercising political savvy; and recognizing multiple relational dimensions of leadership will guide both the understanding and practice of leading people and managing relationships. Effective leaders recognize talent in others, delegate responsibility, and hold others accountable. Beyond such basics, leaders will be called on to influence others through effective use of self, lead multi-disciplinary teams, and infuse continual feedback and communication into everything they do. Leading by influence will be the watchword for getting results without using authority, although tomorrow's managers will need to use hard power, soft power and - above all - smart power.

    Operations Management in Healthcare Delivery

    The healthcare industry requires cost accountability, quality, and service delivery. This course will focus on operational effectiveness and efficiency in a managed care environment, given the added challenge that healthcare leaders face of maintaining a productive environment that is fiscally sound, promotes quality patient care, and maintains service excellence. Topics covered may include: service quality and design of customer experience, waiting lines and queuing theory, quality assurance, project management, flexible staffing, health information management systems, productivity and work design, facility location and design, forecasting, and simulation.

    Organizational Behavior in Healthcare

    This course will help students apply current organizational theory and practice to address new realities in the healthcare environment. Foundational concepts such as job design, reward systems and motivation, interpersonal and group dynamics, conflict management, work-life balance, and organizational culture will be covered. Through case studies, discussion, group exercises and role playing, students will gain fresh insights into challenges facing healthcare organizations today such as: an increasingly diverse workforce (e.g., persons with disabilities, multiple generations, gender and LGBT issues, etc.), workplace violence, and bullying. Students will also explore advanced topics such as systems thinking, team learning, and ways of creating and maintaining a "healthy organization."

    Financial Management in Healthcare Delivery

    Healthy organizations require sound fiscal management. Beyond having financial literacy, healthcare leaders need to understand the importance of financial resources as well as constraints; basic principles of cost accounting, capitation rates and reimbursement; and risk management and controls. Operational realities, strategic priorities, and macro-economic issues in the healthcare industry will be considered. The course will also emphasize leadership functions such as how to make the business case for change, communicating persuasively using numbers, and the graphical representation of data.

    Leading Quality Improvement in Healthcare

    In this course, students learn ways that employees and work teams can systematically identify and realize opportunities to improve patient and organizational outcomes. When framing problems and identifying solution criteria, students will adopt a multiple-stakeholder perspective, acknowledging priorities of patients and families, providers, insurers, policy makers, and regulators. Emphasis will be placed on: data-driven and evidence-based decision making, the integration of both creative approaches and analytic methods, and building organizational capacity for effective problem solving. Students will learn pragmatic approaches for solving complex and wicked problems and will learn how group decision support tools can enhance organizational decision making, leverage scarce resources, and optimize performance of the total system.

    Legal and Ethical Issues for Healthcare Leaders

    This course teaches healthcare leaders how a grounding in labor law and other legislation and regulatory requirements relevant to healthcare (i.e., OSHA, ADA, HIPAA, ACA, HITECH Act, JCAHO standards, etc.) inform the decisions they make and how they may be able to use the law to further organizational objectives. It also highlights ethical challenges entailed in contemporary healthcare administration and gives students ethical frameworks and approaches by which to lead in the context of day-to-day decisions. Students will learn by studying cases dealing with such issues as: sexual harassment; fairness and organizational justice; balancing mission with a profit imperative; social and environmental responsibility versus business goals; the competing values of other actors in the healthcare environment (e.g., suppliers, regulators, funders, etc.); and upholding professional codes of ethics and maintaining personal integrity.

    Leading Healthcare Policy Change and Innovation

    Healthcare organizations need to monitor and respond to changes in the external regulatory and policy environment. In this course, students learn to anticipate policy changes and forecast potential impacts with a view to creating scenarios that guide decision making, minimize risk, contain costs, and maintain operational and quality standards. Once internal policies are implemented, their effects must be measured and adverse outcomes mitigated. The more leaders can learn from this cycle, the greater the opportunity to innovate operational practices that capture efficiencies while adding value to patients and their families.Networked.

    Leading IT Integration in Healthcare

    Technology is a major driver of change in healthcare organizations today with shifts toward: electronic data interchange (EDI) for medical claims; telemedicine, e-consultation and e-visits; records management; outcomes databases; system-wide sharing of patient data; HIPAA and data security; and use of mobile applications by patients and physicians. This course assumes a strategic view of technology as a key enabler of organizational effectiveness. It offers IT managers and other organizational leaders fundamental perspectives on leading change both in a technical environment and on an enterprise-wide level. Students consider the human side of technical change, learning how culture, participation, communication, and collaboration are critical success factors when implementing technical change. By considering such challenges and/or those brought about in the context of post-merger integration, BPR, and/or ERP/CRM implementations, students learn proven leadership approaches that avoid common pitfalls, add value, and enhance the likelihood of success when leading technology-driven change.

    Networked Leadership and the Continuum of Care

    In this course, students will consider how provider organizations can ensure coordination and integration, continuity and transition, and access to care throughout the so-called "cradle-to-grave" continuum of care. The complexity of managing these key dimensions of service is formidable, as different parts of the continuum are subject to different regulations, accrediting organizations and reimbursements. Topics of interest may include: clinical integration; accountable care; managing new models for payment and risk (while facing resource constraints); and forming and managing inter-organizational relationships, joint ventures, and partnerships.

    The Healthcare Leadership Challenge: Colloquium Project

    This required seminar provides students with opportunity to integrate knowledge they have gained throughout their graduate program. Students will be guided in designing and developing a substantial research or design project that incorporates significant learning from the liberal arts, humanities, social sciences and leadership theory. Students are encouraged to craft meaningful projects that applies theory to practice while adding value in the organizational context of their choice. The resultant product is a tangible demonstration of mastery as a healthcare leader.