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Health Outcomes and Policy Research

Pharmacoeconomics, Health Policy, Health Informatics, and Health Services Research

Health Outcomes and Policy Research is focused primarily on pharmacy and the medication use process, health disparities, and policies related to health care systems that impact access and economics.

Specifically, we engage in health outcomes, policy, and community-based participatory research that pertains to pharmacy systems, health systems, e-health systems, legal and regulatory systems, and community social capital. Our research includes studies of the cost of illness, cost effectiveness, cost-benefit, medication errors, patient perceptions of providers, cost of care-giving, and economic impacts. Our unique areas of strength within this body of research are medication therapy management outcomes, health disparities, and translational research. We approach these three areas of study both individually and collectively by engaging the interdisciplinary skills of our faculty and students.

Health Policy – This concentration of the Health Outcomes and Policy Research program is designed to provide an intense, academic foundation for students pursuing careers in research, teaching, and health administration. The formal curriculum provides a comprehensive understanding of the methods used for health services research, health policy research, and health policy analysis. Required courses include extensive experiences in quantitative and qualitative research methods, health economics, health systems functions, and health care policy formulation and analysis.

Pharmacoeconomics – The program in Health Outcomes and Policy Research, with a concentration in pharmacoeconomics, is designed to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for evaluating the economic, clinical, and humanistic outcomes of medical treatment. Topics addressed include the use of pharmaceuticals, appropriateness and quality of care, patient outcomes, large database analysis, patient satisfaction with care, costs of both appropriate and inappropriate medication use, public policies related to health care, and pharmacoepidemiological considerations. The course of study examines the respective roles and behaviors of healthcare professionals (e.g., physicians, pharmacists, nurses, allied health workers) involved in patient care and the influence of healthcare-related organizations (e.g., managed care, health maintenance organizations, public and private insurance, and pharmaceutical manufacturers) on health outcomes. Very important to the medication use process and the understanding of health disparities is the role of the patient.

Health Informatics – This area of research is timely in that health systems are now substantially reliant on information management systems and increasingly vulnerable to damage due to improper management of these systems. The Health Informatics PhD Curriculum requires 77 total hours with 36 required course hours, 15 elective course hours, 18 dissertation hours and 8 seminar hours. The Department of Health Informatics and Information Management offers the doctoral level courses. Graduates of this program will have a specific area of expertise in health outcomes and policy as well as a core of interdisciplinary knowledge. They will become researchers, scholars, teachers, thinkers, and planners in the demanding and changing field of health informatics and information management.

Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Quality Improvement:

The Institute for Health Outcomes and Policy (IHOP)’s Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Quality Improvement meets the growing need for healthcare quality and outcomes and population health specialists who can grow and sustain a culture of continuous improvement. This 12-credit certificate program prepares professionals in healthcare to implement quality improvement initiatives and to manage populations of patients to optimize efficiency and effectiveness of care and services. Participants learn to use the techniques of statistical process control, selected tools from operations research and quality improvement, information management technology, and qualitative decision-making applications to ultimately improve clinical health outcomes for patients and communities.

The distance-based format allows healthcare professionals to advance their education while working full-time, and also provides students with a rigorous curriculum and access to the resources and experts at UTHSC. Courses are offered in fall and spring semesters.

Requirements: Bachelor degree or health-related degree, with a grade-point average of at least 3.0 from an accredited college or university (health profession degree or health-related degree preferred); official transcripts; letter of intent describing the applicant’s specific area of interest (200-word minimum); a combined score (verbal and quantitative) of at least 300 on the revised Graduate Record Examination, and minimum score of 4.0 on the analytical writing section; a score of at least 213/79 on the computer-based/ Internet-based TOEFL or evidence of proficiency in English for students whose native language is not English; and three letters of recommendation.

Deadline: March 15

Chair and Program Director: Simonne S. Nouer, MD, PhD | 901.448.5189 | snouer@uthsc.edu

Last Published: Feb 11, 2020