30 Jun 2009

Harvard Business School Announces New Program on Managing Healthcare Delivery

Program will help clinicians and physicians <br />enhance care delivery design and processes

BOSTON— Harvard Business School (HBS) today announced plans to offer a new Executive Education program for healthcare professionals called Managing Healthcare Delivery. The program, scheduled to begin in October, will be led by Richard Bohmer, a physician and faculty member at Harvard Business School and author of Designing Care: Aligning the Nature and Management of Health Care.

Senior Lecturer
Richard Bohmer
Photo: Stuart Cahill

Previous healthcare reform debates have not often addressed the issue of how healthcare is delivered to patients. Amid the current push for reform, however, policymakers and healthcare leaders are increasingly recognizing the importance of better healthcare delivery as a critical component in improving the value, efficiency, and effectiveness of care.

"To achieve the ambitious goal of outcome-oriented care, we have to improve organizational design and management skills across the entire system of care," said Dr. Bohmer.

"For too long the healthcare discussion has focused on answering the question, 'How do we pay for it,' with less attention given to the 'it' for which we are paying," he said. "This is changing rapidly, and we want to equip clinicians and administrators with the knowledge, tools, and, scenarios they'll need to design and improve healthcare delivery systems within their institutions."

Dr. Bohmer argues that as medical knowledge and expertise have increased, the treatment of certain problems has become more predictable while other patient problems remain uncertain. Carrying out these very different types of care processes requires different management systems, resources, tools, and personnel, but most healthcare organizations are not set up to do this. As a result, there is a misalignment between patients' health problems and the processes and treatments applied to solve them.

The new Managing Healthcare Delivery program examines organizational structure and processes within hospitals, the impact those structures have on healthcare delivery, and the growing role that sound and proven management techniques have on helping healthcare teams cure disease and prevent suffering.

"Using real-world case studies from leading healthcare institutions, participants will leave better equipped to identify and manage the organizational changes required to simultaneously implement best practices for well-understood health issues, create the new knowledge required to solve complex health problems, and embed that knowledge into next generation clinical practice," said Dr. Bohmer.

Program participants will build skills in strategy, finance, operations, and leadership, while acquiring new perspectives and models for innovation. The program's four main areas of focus are:

  • Design - developing effective operational models, teams, and delivery strategies
  • Perform - improving day-to-day operations and processes
  • Innovate - fostering an environment of learning and leadership
  • Apply - testing key concepts in an organization

"We are delighted to continue building the robust HBS Healthcare Initiative through this new program," said Professor David Yoffie, Senior Associate Dean and chair of Harvard Business School Executive Education programs. "With greater awareness of the economic and social impact of improved healthcare systems, we feel it is important to offer healthcare professionals new insights and skills that can help them unlock innovation and manage dynamic care settings most effectively."

Managing Healthcare Delivery is an intensive three-week program, delivered over a nine-month period; the first module begins on October 25, 2009.

Richard Bohmer is a physician and member of the faculty at Harvard Business School. His writing and research have focused on health-care operations strategy, technology adoption, patient safety, and clinical process design and improvement. In addition to leading Managing Healthcare Delivery, Dr Bohmer chairs another HBS Executive Education program titled Leading High-Performance Healthcare Organizations.

About the HBS Healthcare Initiative
The HBS Healthcare Initiative (HCI) serves as a gateway for healthcare research, educational programs, and collaboration. Priority is placed on applying the best principles of performance management and innovation to this complex industry. HCI engages with faculty, students, alumni, Executive Education participants, and many other parts of the University, including Harvard Medical School. Through this powerful alliance of key stakeholders, HBS aims to educate leaders who will make an immediate and lasting impact on the healthcare industry. For more information about related activities at Harvard Business School, please visit the Healthcare Initiative website.

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.