IXP Course: UK; Improving Patient Outcomes in National Health Service Hospitals - Harvard Business School MBA Program

IXP Course: UK; Improving Patient Outcomes in National Health Service Hospitals

Course Number 6019

Professor John A. Quelch
Senior Lecturer Richard M.J. Bohmer
On-campus meetings during Fall term: TBD
January Term travel: January 7-20, 2015
Program fee & travel costs: (see details on financial aid eligibility)
3.0 credits applied toward Winter term requirements
Enrollment: 30

Career Focus

This course will be of particular interest to students interested in healthcare and exploring the role that national government can play in providing quality service at scale in a developed country. Students planning to lead, advise, or invest in companies with a current or anticipated future presence in the United Kingdom (UK) will also find this course appealing.

By bringing students to one of Europe's most populated and cosmopolitan centers, London, this course will also provide exposure to a highly diversified and advanced business environment; one in which the government must also play an integral and entrepreneurial role. As such, this IXP course will strengthen students' understanding of the relationship between public and private sectors in a developed nation.

Educational Objectives

Through a series of classroom meetings and an immersion experience featuring team-based projects, the IXP will explore first-hand the role that national government can play in providing universal healthcare to a developed society. We anticipate that this IXP will allow students to work in cooperation with the NHS and government officials at strategic points throughout the course of the program in an effort to understand how the delivery of publicly-funded healthcare that is free at the point of need can be made efficient and achieve high levels of quality.

Course Content and Organization

Overview and Introduction: The IXP will meet for class sessions in the fall in an effort to (1) provide an overview of the institutional context of the healthcare system in the United Kingdom, (2) examine closely the work of the National Healthcare Service (NHS), and (3) allow some time for student teams to work together and prepare for travel.

Projects: Six teams of five or six students will each be assigned to a London-area hospital and charged with a quality improvement project. Teams will be briefed on the National Health Service (NHS) and their specific sites during the first three days in London. They will work at their respective sites for seven days meeting all stakeholder groups. There will be a mid-course idea exchange among the groups. During the last three days, teams will prepare their reports and present to their hospital sponsors. There will also be a plenary idea-sharing session involving all the teams.

Deliverables: Student teams will present their ideas for a quality improvement intervention during the final three days of the travel portion of the IXP. Feedback during these capstone events will later be incorporated into a final paper to be submitted by students early in the Spring term.


There are no prerequisites.

The IXP Model

In contrast to FIELD 2 Global Immersions, IXPs are customized according to individual faculty research and are designed to enable students to take an active role in the construction of their learning. In many instances, IXPs are built with a specific focus in mind and teams of students are called upon to collaborate directly with local company partners to scope projects, collect data and organize work plans before and during the immersion. Alternatively, some IXPs are designed to provide a more macro-level understanding of business practices in a specific country, and require students to prepare for engagement with a number of firms representing multiple industries. Longer in duration than FIELD 2, IXPs also tailor learning via field-based exercises, panel presentations, guest lectures, alumni events and plenary visits to relevant companies and organizations.

Course Credit and Fees

Students who successfully complete this IXP will earn 3.0 course credits, which will be posted in the Winter term.

HBS will provide in-country logistics for IXPs (including accommodations, select meals, and local travel) but students will need to contribute a fee of $4,200 towards defraying a part of these costs. In addition, students are responsible for their international round-trip air travel to London. Students who have an existing financial aid application on file may submit for additional financial support to participate in this IXP. Please see the Financial Aid website (login required) for more information on financial support for IXP courses.