Reshape Health Care with an Online Master’s Degree in Health Care Innovation
Are you ready to make a positive change in health care? Do you want to gain advanced problem-solving skills that will help you discover what’s causing challenges to patient care and operational inefficiencies—and develop, test, and scale solutions? Then the MHCI may be the right degree for you. More than an MBA or MHA, the Master of Health Care Innovation (MHCI) can teach you to apply multiple perspectives to a problem, strengthen your ideas through collaboration, and lead the way to improved health care now.
There have already been seismic changes in the health care landscape, and more changes are on the horizon due to rising health care costs, a greater move toward health equity, and an increasingly digital landscape. Organizations need leaders who can think critically, understand different perspectives, and view health care as an interrelated ecosystem.
If you are considering admission to an MHCI degree graduate program, you are likely already working as a health care professional or in an adjacent area. At Penn, our health care innovation students work in careers as diverse as:
- Physicians and nurses
- Executives, directors, and managers
- Analysts and specialists
A diverse student body can be one of the benefits of a graduate program in health care innovation. Students can network and learn as much from each other as they do from their faculty. Networking can help you find a new position or a collaborator who adds value to your innovation project.
Graduates of an MHCI degree program have earned promotions or moved to a different area of health care. Career outcomes can include positions in innovation, transformation, strategy, health equity, nudge units, operations, or growth, whether as executives, founders, directors, or managers.
A graduate degree in health care innovation can also help you move from clinical work as a nurse or physician into leadership or a more senior role aligned with improving health care.
Not only can a graduate degree in health care innovation lead to a new career path, it can also help you improve health care in your current position. Graduates of Penn’s MHCI program have become more innovative thinkers and leaders, whether in their current roles, in shaping new positions for themselves, or in advancing to different employers.
Perhaps you have noticed processes that aren’t working in your organization, but you are not sure how to advocate for change. Maybe you want to bring greater health equity to those in your community. An MHCI degree gives you the tools you need to make real change.
In our program, the core courses that teach these skills include:
Survey the complex background of the American health care system, how it shapes the present, and where it offers opportunities for innovation in health care policy, payment, quality, and access moving forward.
Examine the key concepts of behavioral economics—including how people’s actions and biases influence their health behaviors—and methods such as designing choices environments or incentive programs that nudge people to increase treatment adherence, reduce costs, and shape wellness behaviors.
Examine inefficiencies resulting from waste, variability, and inflexibility, and acquire methods to engage in the ongoing process of reducing these negative impacts without sacrificing quality of care.
Explore the work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in health care organizations, clinical spaces, and affected communities, and contribute to advancing health equity through evidence-based frameworks, tools, and techniques that promote equitable and sustainable implementation of new initiatives.
Explore transformative practices in health care, the leadership techniques that have led to their success, and ways to direct change within your organization.
Apply analytical and design thinking as this course guides you through developing innovation projects—generating ideas, defining problems, testing, and preparing for delivery—and defining strategies to solve health care problems.
Penn’s MHCI also offers electives in AI, digital health, leadership and legal issues, connected business strategy, health economics, and quality improvement and value.
Penn’s online Master of Health Care Innovation forges a diverse network of innovative thinkers and leaders passionate about improving health care. The multidisciplinary curriculum—taught by world-renowned faculty—builds students’ skills to face urgent needs and long-term challenges. From its inception in 2017, the MHCI was created as an online degree to be delivered with high quality and high touch.
Highlights of our unique online master’s degree include:
Although our courses are rigorous, our students report that the flexibility of our graduate program and the support from our faculty and staff make the work manageable—even with an unpredictable life and work schedule.
Our faculty are also the best in their industries. Our faculty are successful in their respective fields and show you how to attain your own success. Core courses are taught by faculty from the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School, among other esteemed schools across the University of Pennsylvania.
You will enjoy a rich experience interacting with your cohort because you will join other students who are passionate about leading change. Not only will you learn from one another, you will also support each other in class activities.
Each student brings unique experiences based on their career and prior work. Your health care innovation classmates will reach across sectors of health care to include:
Health systems, hospitals, and home health care
Biotech, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices
Startups and venture capital
Health care consulting
Finance and technology
Federal agencies and related organizations
Many of our Penn MHCI students report starting a new role with the skills they gained in our program—some were even promoted or moved to new positions immediately upon starting the graduate program. Multiple students have founded their own companies. They’ve told us that the experience of earning our online master’s degree in health care innovation gave them the tools they needed to be successful.
Whether you are seeking a new role or aiming to enhance your current one, our course content can be immediately applied to your work. Courses such as behavioral economics can help you improve patient experiences and outcomes. Health equity is not only a core course but woven throughout the curriculum, so you can help turn equity into action. The Translating Ideas Into Outcomes course can help you bring your ideas for innovation to life through methods for testing hypotheses rapidly building support for your initiatives from stakeholders.
To best understand what you can do with an online master’s degree in health care innovation, see what our alumni have accomplished:
- A neurologist wanted to revamp a broken system. He started by calling his own practice, then taking a front-row seat with schedulers at his sleep center. This class exercise in contextual inquiry helped him lead changes to overcome inefficiencies. Now his work includes a senior leadership position in innovation, outcomes, quality, and big data for the sleep center.
- A director of regulatory and legislative policy at a large health care association drew inspiration from MHCI guest speakers, course discussion boards, and assignments when she met with stakeholders and drafted a white paper for her organization’s National Health Equity Strategy. This data-driven, cross-departmental initiative aims to reduce racial health disparities, particularly in maternal care, behavioral health, and vaccination.
- A business development leader at a digital health startup knew how to navigate a product roadmap. He found the challenge was navigating the health care ecosystem. Through the MHCI, his health care knowledge grew and his innovation skills sharpened. He discovered ways to address innovation in behavioral health, value-based care, and health care plans while accelerating his career growth.
- A director of finance for a department at a large New England hospital seeks ways to optimize health care costs while maximizing quality of care. He credits the pitch skills he refined during MHCI courses with advancing an ambulatory care strategy. His department can now direct routine services to community sites, reserving hospital-based imaging for highly complex cases. And his career has advanced to a senior role encompassing enterprise finance.
- A hospital medical director created an innovation hub to address clinician burnout, using the program as a springboard to tackle issues like infection reduction, length of stay, and improving communication with patients about side effects.
- A director of revenue cycle management in a large health system is using behavioral economics knowledge and process improvements to cut down on authorization-related insurance denials, saving her organization significant dollars.
- During the pandemic, a Midwest health care leader and dermatologist built a rural health division to integrate multiple critical care hospitals. Behavioral economics principles helped her build buy-in for collaborative models of care to benefit patients and providers alike. Her next project: leading a partnership to create a new medical school that will address a shortage of specialists in rural areas.
What will you do to make positive changes in care?
Are you ready to spearhead change in health care? Learn how our online master's degree in health care innovation can help you reach your professional goals and improve health care.
Contact program staff at MEHPonline@pennmedicine.upenn.edu with questions.
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