Course Description

The word “operations” derives from the Latin “opus,” and opus means work. So by definition, operations is about work. This course offers an introduction to operations management: after completing the course, you will be able to use a systematic approach for analyzing and improving your work in health care settings. This will benefit patients, teams of care providers, and staff.

The course includes an examination of inefficiencies resulting from the three system inhibitors: waste, variability, and inflexibility. And it provides methods, including creation of charts and graphs, for engaging in the ongoing process of reducing these negative impacts without sacrificing quality of care.

Course Topics
  • What is health care operations?
  • Health care as a process
  • Lean ops in health care
  • Understanding variability
  • Flexibility and agility
  • Managing the service organization

A segment on inventory, flow rate, and flow time in a health care context, from Health Care Operations

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify key performance indicators in health care systems, as well as the factors that inhibit optimal performance.
  • Analyze health care activities as processes from the perspective of providers and patients.
  • Apply the tools of operations management in order to identify and mitigate sources of waste and barriers to efficiency, as well as undesirable outcomes.
  • Summarize methods for forecasting demand, predicting utilization and variability, smoothing variability, and determining appropriate staffing levels.
  • Recommend process improvements and innovations to improve patient / client satisfaction.
Final Deliverable

The culminating work for this course is in the form of a report for leadership that includes a value or attribute map, course tools (diagrams/charts) applied to your work, and strategic recommendations to improve an identified organizational challenge.