Doctor of Health Administration Curriculum

Online DHA Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) program, students will have the proven knowledge, skills, and attitudes to:

  1. Relate economic theory to the organization, financing, and delivery of health services and public health systems in the US. (economics/finance)
  2. Compare how healthcare models are expected to benefit patients, providers, payers, suppliers, and society. (management)
  3. Cite examples of the role of health administrators as decision-makers, leaders, and moral agents in the context of governance, health policy and health law. (policy)
  4. Assess methods for implementing the laws and regulations related to healthcare practices of institutions, providers, and third-party payers such as patient safety, privacy of patient information, and billing for the purpose of improvements to the organization and/or patient processes and outcomes. (quality improvement)
  5. Describe methods to optimize efficiency, improve outcomes, and reduce health inequities in the delivery of health services in health entities across the country. (systems)
  6. Identify key components of effective bi-directional communication (oral, written, electronic, and non-verbal) between patients and the healthcare system including health literacy, cultural competence, and language barriers. (communication)
  7. Describe how leadership and teamwork can drive innovative solutions in healthcare delivery. (leadership)
  8. Discuss how the scientific method is essential to finding solutions to practical problems facing healthcare organizations. (research)

Skills

  1. Use competency in fiscal stewardship to ensure solvency of the organization and increase access to affordable care as a means of improving population health. (economics/finance)
  2. Apply principles of workplace management to address critical issues in the healthcare workforce including diversity, equity, and inclusion. (management)
  3. Advocate for policies and programs that will better serve institutions and communities. (policy)
  4. Apply data-driven decision-making concepts, such as population health management, to current and future challenges in healthcare systems.  (quality improvement)
  5. Use evidence-based methods to reduce health inequities in the delivery of health services. (systems)
  6. Adopt methods for diagnosing and resolving conflict without resorting to the use of power, manipulation, and control. (communication)
  7. Develop collaborative internal and external relationships that support the mission and values of the institution. (communication)
  8. Use strategies that are mission-focused, align strategic priorities and result in change initiatives. (leadership)
  9. Apply best practices in health administration research to create solution-focused outcomes. (research)

Attitudes

  1. Performs the healthcare administrator role in ways that demonstrate professional integrity.
  2. Interacts with others using awareness, open-mindedness, sensitivity, and personal accountability.
  3. Considers social and behavioral aspects of health and their contribution to the health of individuals and populations when making decisions.
  4. Advocates for the integration of new and emerging approaches to effectively promote health equity.
  5. Seeks to increase diversity of healthcare professionals and the scientific workforce.
  6. Advocates for the reduction of inequities in the availability, accessibility, and delivery of health services.

Fall 2022

Term I (8 weeks)

  • Onsite Orientation - 1 credit hour
  • Health Economics - 3 credit hours
  • Introduction to Value-based Care Models and the US Healthcare System-2 credit hours

Term II (8 weeks)

  • Fiscal Stewardship for Health Administration Leaders - 3 credit hours

Spring 2023

Term I (8 weeks)

  • Effectively Managing and Inspiring the Healthcare Workforce - 3 credit hours
  • Health Administration, Management & Policy - 3 credit hours

Term II (8 weeks)

  • Strategic Planning for Advancing a Digital World - 3 credit hours

Summer 2023

Term I (8 weeks)

  • Relationship Building through Negotiation, Mediation and Conflict Resolution - 3 credit hours

Term II (8 weeks)

  • Policy & Politics for Healthcare Leaders - 2 credit hours

Fall 2023

Term I (8 weeks)

  • Policy, Law, & Regulation for Healthcare Leaders - 2 credit hours
  • Achieving Compliance in Healthcare - 3 credit hours

Term II (8 weeks)

  • Applied Research Methods in Health Administration - 3 credit hours

Spring 2024

Term I (8 weeks)

  • Current Topics in Health Administration - 2 credit hours
  • Informed Decision-Making Using Data Driven Methods - 3 credit hours

Term II (8 weeks)

  • Global Health Systems - 3 credit hours

Summer 2024

Term I (8 weeks)

  • Communication, Marketing and Public Relations for Health Administration Leaders - 2 credit hours

Term II (8 weeks)

  • Developing Global & Cultural Competence - 3 credit hours

Fall 2024

Term I (8 weeks)

  • Leadership in Healthcare - 2 credit hours
  • Leading through Change - 3 credit hours

Term II (8 weeks)

  • Solution-Focused Capstone in Health Administration I - 3 credit hours

Spring 2025

Term I (8 weeks)

  • Solution-Focused Capstone in Health Administration II - 3 credit hours

Total: 55 credit hours

List of Elective Courses

(Electives to 60 Credits)

  • MPH504e Social and Behavioral Aspects of Health
  • MPH622e Bridges to Health Equity
  • MSHI504e Legal, Ethical & Social Issues in Risk Management
  • MSHI503e Clinical Operations, Thinking & Communication
  • MSHIxxx Clinical Decisions Support Systems
  • MSHIxxx Data Mining & Analytics Techniques 

Core Courses & Descriptions

Health Economics (3 credit hours) – Core
Students will explore current issues related to the organization, financing, and delivery of health services and public health systems in the US.  The course includes a review of economic theory and the application of economic analysis to the health sector.  Students will compare and contrast the determinants of health, the supply and demand for health and medical care, medical care expenditure, utilization, and health production, health insurance and how these issues have been addressed by the market and by the government. Students will use key concepts in health economics to develop decision-making skills that can be applied to current challenges in healthcare policy and practice.

Fiscal Stewardship for Health Administration Leaders (3 credit hours) - Core
Learners will be exposed to best practices used to evaluate and acquire new health information technologies to meet the requirements of healthcare users (provider, clinic and/or health system). Topics include information system specifications, request for proposal/quote, total cost of ownership (TCO), contract agreements, and health information trend analysis.

Introduction to Value-based Care Models and the US Healthcare System (2 credit hours) – Core
This course is an introduction to the economics, public health policies, health equity, and social determinants which shape health care delivery in the U.S. In addition, this course will provide an introductory platform to one of the most important topics in health care transformation today – value-based health care. The course will explore public policy, financial stability, legal and regulatory frameworks, administration, health literacy, and public health; value-based approaches to organizing health care delivery, improving health outcomes of patients, and controlling runaway health care costs will also be discussed.

Health Administration, Management, and Policy (3 credit hours) – Core
Leading within an ever-evolving healthcare industry requires health administrators to be equipped to respond to complex challenges and opportunities. Leaders who possess an open mindset bolstered by critical thinking skills are best positioned to assess internal and external inputs to successfully lead themselves, their organizations, and those served. Students in this class will define their core leadership approach and competencies within the context of leading in a rapidly changing environment. This course will explore topics to include leadership theory, policy and planning, leadership ethics, and leading people. Class readings, discussions and writings will provide for rich dialogue and learning leading to practical applications of theory and techniques. Upon completion, students will have produced a position paper addressing a topic of relevance within the industry and should gain a substantive understanding of how to transfer learnings into successful practice as a healthcare leader.

Effectively Managing and Inspiring the Healthcare Workforce (3 credit hours) – Core
Human resources in the healthcare workforce, represented by the knowledge, skills, and motivation of the clinical and non-clinical staff, are key determinants of system efficiency and effectiveness.  Students will investigate the role of health administrators in addressing critical issues related to workforce distribution, training and professional development, retention, and increasing the diversity of healthcare professionals and the scientific workforce.

Strategic Planning for Advancing a Digital World (3 credit hours) – Core
Healthcare leaders are often called upon to respond to challenging circumstances, often without the benefit of economic, social and/or political certainty.  Students will study advanced research in the areas of organizational strategy, adaptability, and performance with three things in mind: institutional mission and values, strategy formulation, and strategy implementation to effectively position a healthcare institution for the future.

Relationship Building through Negotiation, Mediation and Conflict Resolution (3 credit hours) – Core
Conflict is inevitable.  This course allows students to develop skills to address conflict with emotional intelligence and care, avoiding the human tendency to jump to solutions prematurely.  Students will adopt methods for diagnosing the full scope of the conflict and assessing the needs to be addressed to resolve the conflict without resorting to the use of power, manipulation, and control.

Healthcare Policy and Politics for Healthcare Leaders (2 credit hours) – Core
Students will explore the formation of health care policy from a theoretical perspective taking into consideration fundamental realities about how politics – primarily the concern of politicians to be elected and re-elected – influences the formulation of health care policy.  In addition, how policies impact stakeholders and shape environments in a variety of healthcare settings will be examined.  Using this context and approach, executive leaders will be more effective advocates for policies and programs they might support or champion to better serve the institutions and communities they serve.

Law & Regulation for Healthcare Leaders (2 credit hours) – Core
Students examine their role as decision-maker, leader, and moral agent in the context of issues of governance, health laws and mandates, as well as health policy issues and practices currently affecting the healthcare industry.  Students will develop skills to influence and change existing healthcare policies and practices.

Achieving Compliance in Healthcare (3 credit hours) – Core
Students apply an interdisciplinary and ethical approach to achieving compliance in healthcare as a means of cultivating a culture of accountability and quality improvement.  Careful attention is given to methods for implementing the laws and regulations related to healthcare practices of institutions, providers, and third-party payers such as patient safety, the privacy of patient information, and billing practices in the context of patient needs, interests and improving health equity.

Informed Decision-Making Using Data-Driven Methods (3 credit hours) – Core
Healthcare leaders can only make informed decisions if they are given the opportunity to synthesize a wide variety of quality data related to the issue at hand.  Students will examine techniques to transform data into the information needed to make critical decisions, considering regulations, laws, institutional policies and the needs of administrators, managers, providers, and patients.  Students will examine the types of data available, identify the most frequently used data sources and elements for health decision-making, learn how to access data sources, and apply them to the decision-making process using a case study approach.  Students will also develop skills for presenting data to external and internal stakeholders.

Current Topics in Health Administration (2 credit hours) - Core
Students will gain insight into the current challenges facing healthcare leaders and will critiqued methods to optimize efficiency, improve outcomes, and reduce health inequities in the delivery of health services in health entities across the country including health systems, hospitals, outpatient facilities, long-term care facilities, and home health care agencies.

Global Health Systems (3 credit hours) - Core
This course is designed to allow students to examine health systems from a global perspective.  Students will study approaches to care delivery and health services financing, evaluate care delivery models, and recommend improvements to their performance. The course focuses on overviews of health systems in developed and low- and middle-income countries and their approach to addressing health related issues, including the burden of disease, vulnerable populations, disaster management, and equity in the delivery of health services. In particular, an extensive overview of the financial, organizational, and professional complexity of the U.S. healthcare delivery system is presented.

Communication, Marketing and Public Relations for Health Administration Leaders (2 credit hours) - Core
Students will examine key principles and approaches used in marketing, mass communication and public relations, with a focus on their application to healthcare organizations.  Emphasis is placed on building collaborative relationship with communications personnel to support the organizational mission and values.  In addition, students will investigate how these principles and approaches can be used for crisis communication, promoting health literacy, social media communication, and reaching high needs populations.

Developing Global & Cultural Competence (3 credit hours) - Core
Students will develop key skills in critical and creative thinking, communication, and multi-cultural awareness and appreciation in order to succeed within their own health systems and with global partners.  With a strong emphasis on inclusiveness, ethical agency, and allowing for diverse perspectives, civic and global engagement, and compassionate communication, students will explore key strategies for working collaboratively with their healthcare counterparts in the US and worldwide.

Leadership in Healthcare (2 credit hours) – Core
This course will help students develop problem-solving skills, learn the foundations of leadership theories and strategies, and negotiation, and mediation strategies.  Students will study the four capabilities of emotional intelligence and their trains to inform and understand their own tendencies as leaders and team members. Through leadership-focused learning using real-world examples, students will explore how strong leadership and teamwork can drive innovative solutions in health care delivery. Students will implement the four functions of management (i.e., planning, organizing, leading, and controlling) into practice through a series of assignments, activities, and case studies.

Leading Through Change (3 credit hours) - Core
Because the world changes daily, effectively leading a team through change is a necessary skill to cultivate in 21st century leaders.  This course ensures that students understand that challenges to organizational change can be internal and external to an organization and that recognizing the source drives the change solutions.  Students will reflect on their views and beliefs about change and learn how to influence others to engage in change willingly and work as a high performing team toward a future goal.  Students will research strategies that are mission focused, align strategic priorities, and result in change initiatives that meet project outcomes of time, cost, quality, and equity.

Applied Research Methods in Health Administration (3 credit hours) – Core
Students will review and critique advanced quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research in health administration.  Other topics will include study design, internal and external validity, and the use of the scientific method in healthcare with an eye on the practical application of study findings to healthcare organizations.

Solution-focused Capstone in Health Administration I  (3 credit hours) - Core
This course is part one of a two-part capstone application experience.  Students will integrate the knowledge and skills gained from the DHA curriculum into a project using a solution-focused approach.  Students are required to select a topic that is relevant to healthcare administration and encouraged to base their selection on their interest and career goals.  By the end of the course, students will prepare a thorough analysis of the issue and describe their vision for the future in terms of organizational performance as it relates to the issue selected.    Prerequisite:  Successful completion of all DHA coursework.  Students on academic probation may not enroll in this course.

Solution-focused Capstone in Health Administration II (3 credit hours) – Core
This course is part two of a two-part capstone application experience.  Students will continue their project started in Solution-focused Capstone in Health Administration I by adding a thorough analysis identifying what about the issue is already working (e.g., successes and resources) and address next steps toward realizing a solution.  Prior to graduation, student will present their capstone project in oral and written form.  Prerequisite: Successful completion of Solution-focused Capstone in Health Administration I.