Cedars-Sinai has launched a new master’s degree program in Health Delivery Science to teach students how to evaluate and improve the delivery of healthcare in the digital age.
Watch the video, above, for a brief visual tour of our unique program.
About the Program
The Cedars-Sinai MHDS program is designed to train tomorrow’s healthcare leaders; its unique curriculum prepares graduates for a successful career in emerging healthcare fields, including digital health science, mobile health, health technology assessment, big data analytics, performance improvement and health economics. Students are embedded within teams operating in Cedars-Sinai — the largest hospital in the Western United States and a member of the 2016-2017 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Honor Role. A structured capstone project affords unparalleled opportunities to gain applied skills that reinforce classroom didactics. Deep exposure to digital health science and access to the Cedars-Sinai/Techstars Healthcare Accelerator provide students with the first-hand experience and know-how for applying biomedical innovations in healthcare. In contrast to a typical University-based curriculum, students in the MHDS program are assigned project mentorship teams from the start, work closely with practitioners in the forefront of health delivery science, are embedded directly within a major healthcare system, and culminate their work with an applied capstone project that they present to hospital leadership.
American healthcare is undergoing a striking transformation. Driven by changes in value-based healthcare financing, burgeoning information technologies, and advancements in data analytics, healthcare delivery is rapidly evolving in ways that require multidisciplinary expertise. To succeed, healthcare organizations must manage and interpret big data; learn how to implement health information technology; ensure high-quality, safe and effective care; measure and address patient values; and, ultimately, ensure all these activities are cost-effective.
Overview of near patient technologies used at Cedars-Sinai. Students in the MHDS program learn about these technologies in HDS 201A.
The degree is for students seeking to develop foundational skills and knowledge in health delivery science with an aim to become leaders in healthcare organizations. The program is ideal for students who may be considering a more traditional degree in public health, yet are seeking deeper exposure to modern analytic techniques and applied skills. Or, for students contemplating an MBA, but who are interested in the business of healthcare delivery. The program is also well suited for pre-health students who seek additional experience in healthcare before starting an MD, RN, PharmD, or other clinical degree. Many of our students are already healthcare professionals who are now exploring how to expand their influence within and beyond their organizations.
The cost is $5,000 per trimester, or $25,000 for the full degree. This is lower than most comparable programs. Our focus is on recruiting the best students in the nation to our competitive and cost-efficient program. Employees of Cedars-Sinai health system can apply to our tuition assistance program, here: Tuition Assistance Overview (PDF). We also provide a limited number of academic scholarships each year for highly meritorious individuals from both within and outside of Cedars-Sinai.
Program Duration and Schedule
Because many of our students are actively employed, we developed an executive-style schedule for the MHDS program. Most classes are taught Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Students also work on their capstone project for 12 hours per month on a schedule agreed upon with their primary mentor. Classroom didactics fit within the first 15 months of the program. For students who have previously taken a course in biostatistics in an accredited program, they may place out of this requirement and complete all classroom work within 12 months. The remaining time is spent on the capstone project and twice monthly journal clubs. Students can conduct their capstone project off site as approved by the program leadership, and the journal club is transmitted via web conferencing for those who cannot be on campus for that session. The full program, including classroom didactics and capstone project, spans 20-months.
Where Can MHDS Students Work After Graduating?
Because 18 percent of the United States gross domestic product is dedicated to healthcare, it is vital for healthcare systems to become expert in cost-effective care delivery; there is a science to maximizing the value of healthcare. The MHDS program at Cedars-Sinai is the first of its kind to combine aligned biomedical sciences into a single, applied degree that focuses on best practices in value-based healthcare delivery directly within a hospital system. Students are not housed in an affiliated school or program, but rather are integrated directly in the Cedars-Sinai healthcare system. This arrangement equips students to be successful in any healthcare system in America; graduates are eligible for a wide variety of selective employment opportunities and assume leadership, administrative or operational roles earlier than otherwise possible. Graduates may develop careers in digital health science, healthcare administration, program evaluation, health information technology, and applied health economics, among other areas.
What Makes the Cedars-Sinai MHDS Program Different?
Many attributes distinguish the MHDS program from other typical master degree programs. In contrast to a typical school of public health curriculum, the MHDS program:
- Combines biomedical sciences often taught separately, including health analytics, health informatics, and healthcare financing as well as performance measurement and improvement
- Is a shorter and more efficient program than typical master's degree programs, allowing our students to learn well, learn efficiently and then get out and work
- Is a highly-applied degree that focuses on both academic training and pragmatic skill building
- Allows students to gain hands-on expertise in data visualization, decision-analytic and health-analytic software programs, imparting skills that can be applied immediately
- Embeds students directly and meaningfully on the front lines of healthcare delivery, allowing them to work hand in hand with diverse professionals actively managing decisions in a top-tier healthcare system
- Assigns students to project mentorship teams from the start, allowing them to work closely with practitioners in the forefront of health delivery science
- Provides exposure to digital health science, including use of wearable biosensors, social media analytics, electronic health record best practices, virtual and augmented reality in healthcare, mobile health applications and medical informatics
- Teaches how to perform health economic analyses yourself — an essential skill in modern value-based healthcare delivery
- Exposes students to the Cedars-Sinai/Techstars Healthcare Accelerator, providing med-tech entrepreneurs with unparalleled knowledge about how to position biomedical innovations within the broader health delivery ecosystem