School of Population Health

Evidence-Informed Decision-Making (PHCM9781)

image - Evidence-Informed Decision-Making

PHCM9781 Evidence Informed Decision Making which is a core course for the Master Health Management (MHM) program can now be taken as an elective by students enrolled in other programs from 2020.

Description

In this course you will be introduced to different types of decision-making and the level of evidence you will need to make different types of decisions in health services management. Some decisions need evidence and to obtain evidence you will learn how to search the literature for evidence related to a health services issue. Some decisions require the highest level quality of evidence so you will be introduced to study designs applied in medical research and epidemiological principles to evaluate the methodological shortfalls associated with the different designs. Other decisions need lower levels of evidence and you will learn about the appropriateness and flaws of methods for collecting lower level evidence. With this knowledge you will be able to determine the level of evidence you require to make a decision and critically appraise the evidence for flaws. You will also learn to interpret commonly used statistical techniques in health related and health services research. Your new skills will be applied and assessed to a set of papers related to a health service issue.

Credit points

This course is a core course of the Master of Health Leadership and Management program and Master of Infectious Diseases Intelligence programs, comprising 6 units of credit towards the total 48 units of credit, required for completion of the study program. It can also provide six units of credit towards other programs, such as the Master of Public Health.

Mode of study

External (Distance) and Internal (Face-to-Face) classes on campus.

Course aim

The aim of this course is to introduce you to evidence-based decision making by developing your understanding of knowledge and evidence, skills in searching for evidence and critical appraisal skills of relevant research to inform your decision making in health management.

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Understand the meaning of research evidence and knowledge translation and how this applies to management practice in healthcare
  • Identify key health management decisions, the role and level of evidence to support decision making, and how to access appropriate and relevant sources of information
  •  Identify an appropriate study design for the category of question, the strengths and limitations of each study type and the quality of evidence it provides
  • Explain the appropriate use and interpretation of descriptive and inferential statistics and how this informs decision making in healthcare
  • Apply critical appraisal tools and evidence-based frameworks to research publications and evaluate the strength of recommendations
  • Identify the challenges of delivering evidence-based intervention, at scale, across different health and care contexts
  • Describe key concepts in health economics and apply an evidence-based approach to economic evaluation when making management decisions
  • Describe effective strategies that maximises the use of research to inform decisions in health policy, digital health and resource constrained environments
  • Communicate and lead the day-to-day practice of evidence-based decision-making with staff, patients and consumers of healthcare
Learning and teaching rationale

This year we have focused on developing an engaging and inclusive curriculum that directly applies theory to decision making across different healthcare contexts. Over the course of ten consecutive weeks, we will use different modes of teaching (i.e. face-to-face and webinars), assessments and learning strategies (i.e. small group tutorials, case studies) to develop your critical appraisal and management skills.

Assessment

Assessment 1 - Short Answer
Weighting: 35%
Length: 1300 words

Assessment 2 - Online Quiz
Weighting: 25%
Length: 25 multiple choice questions (MCQs)

Assessment 3 - Board Report
Weighting: 40%
Length: 1250 words

Learning resources

Learning resources for this course consist of the following:

  1. Course notes and readings.
  2. Weekly lectures (either face to face or online).
  3. Moodle discussion board.
  4. Webinars (external students only)
Textbooks

There are many excellent Evidence-Based Practice/Medicine textbooks.The preferred textbook for this course is Evidence-Based Practice Across the Health Professions (Tammy Hoffman), ), but you may wish to read alternative texts listed below to assist your understanding:

  1. Tammy Hoffmann. Evidence-Based Practice Across the Health Professions. 2nd Edition Churchill Livingstone ISBN 9780729541350
  2. David Katz. Jekel's Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Preventive Medicine, and Public Health. 4th Edition Saunders/Elsevier ISBN: 9781455706587
  3. Jeremy H Howick. The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine. Wiley Blackwell. SBN10 140519667X   ISBN13 978140519667
  4. Susan Hamer and Gill Collinson. Achieving Evidence-Based Practice, A Handbook for Practitioner. 2nd Edition. Elsevier ISBN 978070202776.