Health Services Research, PhD Competencies

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Core Competencies

  • Demonstrate core knowledge of key issues, current and seminal research literature, conceptual frameworks, and research tools that indicate the acquisition and application of skills and abilities in Research and Computational Methods, Knowledge Discovery and Health Informatics, and Health Systems and Policy;
  • Develop high-level content expertise in one or more broad fields and/or applications in health services delivery, management, health data analytics, and health care finance, concordant with the student’s concentration and specialization;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the complexity of the health system;
  • Synthesize the process of constructing policy and management alternatives based on decision support/selection metrics for options;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the organization, delivery, and financing of health care services and the impact on public health;
  • Design and conduct research from idea conception to study design, data collection, selection, and application of appropriate analytic methods, interpretation of results, publication of findings, and translation to management programs and policies;
  • Communicate scientific findings effectively through written and oral methods to technical and lay audiences; and
  • Uphold standards of professional and scholarly integrity in interactions with peers and the community at large.

Workplace Competencies

All students graduating from the program will be prepared to perform the following duties related to a variety of workplace environments: 

  • Act as the Principal Investigator (or similar leadership role) to coordinate research activities intended to produce new knowledge and appropriately disseminate research findings;
  • Initiate and direct activities related to the identification, design, development, and implementation of funded research projects based on an understanding of the health care system and current areas of population health, health systems, and health policy research;
  • Identify and implement empirical approaches in research and evaluation projects on health systems and health policy that will yield the strongest causal inferences, yet be feasible given data and resource limitations;
  • Develop proposals for external funding for health services research and program evaluation in an area of specialization;
  • Supervise and mentor research analysts by sharing approaches to solving concrete problems and providing feedback on work performance;
  • Establish and maintain collaborative relationships with external research funders and partners;
  • Engage in strategic and budget planning related to research to meet the goals of the project and organization;
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing;
  • Work independently and adapt to rapidly changing deadlines.

In addition, the student’s selected concentration prepares them for more specialized competencies related to selected job opportunities aligned with each concentration.

Health Systems and Policy Workplace Competencies

  • Select and employ conceptual frameworks that guide research and program evaluation projects related to a defined area of study in public and population health, health systems management, or health policy;
  • Lead research and evaluation studies in areas of health care cost, quality, and access;
  • Evaluate effect of changes in reimbursement policy on organization, cost, utilization, and quality;
  • Serve as client and colleague contact for analytical or statistical expertise in health care enterprises and policy entities;
  • Apply appropriate quantitative techniques to collect and analyze data to support managerial decision making and/or research in an area of practice or policy specialization;
  • Prepare technical reports and journal articles for presentation to health care organizations, clients, professional associations, and the public;
  • Participate in teaching administrative and clinical professionals and students in health systems and allied health undergraduate and graduate programs; and
  • Contribute to curriculum and program development in health systems management and health policy.

Knowledge Discovery and Health Informatics Workplace Competencies

  • Collaborate with employees and faculty across multiple disciplines and with health system leaders to draw upon institutional data bases to advance population science and evidence for decision support in health systems management;
  • Facilitate collaborations within health care organization and health information technology entities responsible for electronic health records, administrative databases, and information systems and operational health IT tools;
  • Serve as a resource for other investigators and analysts who are interested in incorporating health informatics tools into their research and evaluation projects, data mining for identification of quality improvement opportunities, and developing robust electronic platforms for research collaboration and translation;
  • Participate in teaching health professionals and/or professional and health science undergraduate and graduate students in an area related to health informatics and health data analytics; and
  • Contribute to curriculum and program development in health informatics and analytics.

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