Master's Degree in Health Delivery Science

American healthcare is undergoing a striking transformation. Driven by changes in value-based healthcare financing, burgeoning information and computing technologies, and advancements in data analytics and performance improvement science, healthcare delivery is rapidly evolving in ways that require multidisciplinary expertise like never before. In order to succeed in the midst of dynamic changes in healthcare financing and delivery, healthcare systems must become facile with managing and interpreting big data; learn how to implement health information technology in clinical practice; perform continuous self-assessments to ensure high-quality, safe and effective care; measure and address patient preferences and values; and, ultimately, ensure all these activities are cost-effective. This is exceedingly hard to do, but there is a science for doing it all, called health delivery science (HDS).

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.

The Cedars-Sinai Master's Degree in Health Delivery Science (MHDS) is a unique, highly applied, 20-month, harmonized curriculum that explores four interrelated disciplines:

Students are deeply embedded within teams operating in Cedars-Sinai — the largest hospital in the western United States and a member of the 2016-17 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Honor Roll. A structured capstone project affords unparalleled opportunities to gain pragmatic and applied skills that reinforce classroom didactics. Graduates leave the program with a thorough understanding of modern HDS principles. Students gain hands-on expertise in data visualization, data-analytic and cost-effectiveness-analysis software programs; learn about modern digital health science, including mobile health (mHealth) applications, wearable biosensors, social media analytics and electronic health records (EHR); and upon completing the program are prepared to enter a wide array of healthcare employment and leadership positions.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts the addition of 15.6 million public health jobs by 2022. The MHDS program at Cedars-Sinai teaches skills that confer a competitive employment advantage to its graduates seeking jobs in this burgeoning sector.

To achieve these goals, the curriculum features four didactic cores in support of an applied capstone project. For detailed information about each core and supporting classes, please visit the Curriculum and Courses page.


What Makes the Cedars-Sinai MHDS Program Different?

A number of key 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
  • Offers students a modern and generalizable skillset applicable to any healthcare system in America
  • Assigns students to project mentorship teams from the start, allowing them to work closely with practitioners in the forefront of health delivery science, which culminates this extremely embedded work with an applied capstone project
  • Provides exposure to digital health science, including use of wearable biosensors, social media analytics, electronic health record (EHR) 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
  • Teaches skills that confer a competitive employment advantage to its graduates seeking jobs in this burgeoning sector, which is forecasted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to add 15.6 million public health jobs by 2022

Overview of near patient technologies used at Cedars-Sinai. Students in the MHDS program learn about these technologies in HDS 201A.

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. Students are not housed in an affiliated school or program, but rather are integrated directly in the Cedars-Sinai healthcare system.

By teaching leading-edge methods in data analytics, data visualization, cost-effectiveness analysis, digital health science, program evaluation, outcome measurement, performance improvement and implementation science, and by coupling these didactic skills with an applied capstone project working with experts throughout Cedars-Sinai, our students are equipped to be successful in any healthcare system in America.

Cedars-Sinai presents an unparalleled opportunity for the MHDS student to flourish: it is the largest hospital in the western United States, includes a broad range of payment models and provider practice types and employs a faculty with wide expertise in health delivery science. Students benefit by learning theoretical models while combining didactics with the pragmatic reality of healthcare delivery. In contrast to a typical school of public health 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 and culminate this intensely embedded work with an applied capstone project, described in depth in the Curriculum and Courses page.

Students selecting the MHDS program over a traditional master of public health degree learn applied techniques of high value to healthcare employers. Knowledge about applied health economics is of tremendous use to anyone making value-based decisions in healthcare. Hands-on, intimate knowledge of data visualization and decision-analytic and health-analytic software programs allow students to apply their skills immediately. Finally, the deep exposure to digital health science, along with exposure to the Cedars-Sinai/Techstars Healthcare Accelerator, provides MHDS students with the experience and know-how for using biomedical innovations in their future endeavors.


Where Can MHDS Students Work After Graduating?

Students graduating from the Cedars-Sinai MHDS program are eligible for a wide variety of selective employment opportunities. The unique combination of health analytics, digital health science, health economics and performance improvement, coupled with hands-on experience in the clinical trenches, creates graduates who are ready to succeed in virtually any healthcare delivery organization. Graduates may be uniquely positioned to take leadership, administrative or operational roles earlier than otherwise possible.