Health Systems Science Teaching Modules

Session 0
Session 1
Session 2
Session 3

The purpose of this curriculum is to introduce learners to several concepts in health systems science as well as teaching them tangible skills, which will enable them to be true change agents in this new health care world.

This curriculum is heavily based in the textbook by the American Medical Association Education Consortium and edited by Susan Skochelak, MD, PhD, “Health Systems Science (2nd ed.).” In it, they describe several core curricular domains at the center of health systems science including the following:

    1. Health care structures and processes
    2. Health care policy, economics, and management
    3. Clinical informatics and health information technology
    4. Population health
    5. Value-based care
    6. Health system improvement

Project Title: Health Systems Science Teaching Modules

Institution: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Project Team: Melissa Wong, MD, MHDS, Sarah Francis, MA, MPH, Tara Cohen, PhD, Kimberly Gregory, MD, MPH


    1. Introduce students to several concepts of health systems science while linking these applications to ob-gyn clinical cases.
    2. Develop skills in the following health systems sciences concepts:
      • Performance improvement and process mapping. Students will create a high-level process map after observing a postpartum hemorrhage simulation.
      • Systems thinking, event analysis, and human factors analysis. Learners will use a systems thinking and human factors approach to identify systemic failures and develop and rank potential interventions including utilizing the Human Factors Intervention Matrix (HFIX) and FACES ranking.
      • Healthcare economics and cost-effectiveness analysis. Students will become familiar with the concepts of value, cost, and effectiveness as well as how to calculate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER) and perform a budget impact analysis.

Time Required: 60 minutes per session x 3 sessions

Equipment/Staffing Required:

      • Computer / laptop and projector to display didactic videos
      • Worksheets (8.5 x 11 paper)
      • Masking tape (for Session 1)

Instructions for module:

This Health Systems Science Curriculum is a program developed in three sessions and is intended to introduce learners to several concepts within health systems science.

The exact steps to use our deliverables varies by session and is reviewed in detail in the Facilitator Guide which is enclosed in each session.

We recommend the following:

    1. Strongly encourage both facilitators and learners view the video “Session 0 – (01) Introduction to Health Systems Science and Curriculum” either in advance of the first session or at the start of the first session.
    2. Strongly encourage the facilitator to review the Facilitator Guide prior to each session so they understand the flow of the session as well as the concepts that will be discussed.
    3. Schedule three 60-minute sessions for learners. They will be titled the following:
      • Performance Improvement and Process Mapping
      • Systems Thinking and Human Factors Analysis
      • Healthcare Economics and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Each session contains the following:

    1. Video #1: Acted scene / scenario describing the problem
    2. Video #2: Didactics regarding the health systems science concept
    3. Facilitator’s Guide
    4. Activity for learners

This project was developed with the support of an educational grant from the 2018 APGO Medical Education Endowment Fund Grant Program. The project team presented a poster on this curriculum at the 2020 CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting. Since this project was not created or peer-reviewed by APGO, the accuracy of the content cannot be endorsed by the organization.