Organisational Analysis in Health Care

Subject 505-982 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2008.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 12 two-hour seminars.
Total Time Commitment: Students should expect a total time commitment outside the contact hours of three to four hours for each contact hour in this subject.
Prerequisites: 505-509 Health Program Evaluation 1
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Health Policy Programs and Economics
Subject Overview: A substantial gap exists between health care practices that research and evaluation reveal to be effective, and actual practice in many health care settings. This ‘implementation gap' between research based evidence and real life practice is a key challenge to the advance of evidence-based practice (EBP) in all areas of health care.

The purpose of this subject is to provide students with an understanding of the organisational factors in health services and health systems that affect efforts to improve health care practice, as well as practical skills in organisational analysis aimed at supporting health care improvement. It focuses on the organisational factors affecting the development, dissemination, uptake, implementation and sustainability of innovation and evidence-based practice. Understanding these issues will enable students to provide more effective leadership in organisational development aimed at supporting health care improvement initiatives.

The curriculum draws on principles from general organisational theory and applies them to analysis of organisational issues in health care settings. It also draws on applied health services research, and integrates the findings with organisational theory to elucidate key concepts and demonstrate practical skills in organisational analysis aimed at supporting health care improvement. An international perspective is adopted in that content is relevant across a wide range of health care systems.

The subject is aimed at students currently working, or aiming to work, in decision-making and leadership positions in health care including: clinical or general management; project management; government, as well as health services researchers interested in studying and improving the effectiveness of knowledge transfer and exchange.

Subject Objectives:

On completion of this subject students will possess:

  • an understanding of the key organisational factors affecting the development, dissemination / diffusion, uptake, implementation and sustainability of innovation and evidence-based practice in health care settings;
  • conceptual tools and skills for assessing the organisational factors likely to facilitate and inhibit the effectiveness of health care improvement initiatives in particular health care settings; and
  • conceptual tools and skills for choosing appropriate strategies for building organisational capacity for health care improvement initiatives in particular health care settings.
  • Familiarity with literature on organisation theory and organisation of health care, and knowledge of how to locate it
Assessment: Three 150 word tutorial exercises spread through the semester (10% in total)Two written assignments, one half way through (1500 words 30%) and one at the end of the semester (3000 words 60%)Participation in tutorials and a web-based discussion group is a hurdle requirement
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts: A set of readings will be available for purchase.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: 1. Critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Generate curiosity about the factors that shape the effectiveness of health care improvement efforts
  • Think critically about how research evidence is constructed, understood and utilised in different settings
  • Ability to use theory and research evidence to analyse problems and design solutions

2. Attitudes towards knowledge

  • Deepen appreciation of the potential value of research evidence and the barriers to its utilisation in practice
  • Value diversity of perspectives on knowledge

3. Capacity for information seeking and appraisal

  • Skills in critically appraising literature from an organisational perspective

4. Leadership skills

  • Value and appreciate their own responsibility and capacity to initiate and support change and organisational development within their workplaces

5. Communication skills

  • Understanding of the varying perspectives and conceptual frameworks of stakeholders in different parts of the health system
  • Skills for communicating key messages across professional and organisational boundaries
Links to further information:
Notes: This subject is a Group 1 elective in the Master of Public Health.

Subject Coordinator: Ms Penny Mitchell 8344 0654, Ms Jenni Livingston 8344 0655, Dr Arthur Hsueh 8344 0649

Related Course(s): Master of Public Health

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