Free Online Course on Practical Improvement Science in Health Care

HarvardX and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement are offering free online course on Practical Improvement Science in Health Care. The only prerequisite for the course is curiosity, but the reward is a lifetime of improvement.

This seven-week course will teach you the skills and tools of improvement science to make positive changes in health, healthcare, and your daily life. The course will start on January 18, 2017.

Course At A Glance

Length: 7 weeks
Effort: 2-5 hours pw
Subject: Health & Safety
Institution: Harvard University and edx
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $99
Session: Course Starts on January 18, 2017

Providers’ Details

Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. Harvard faculty are engaged with teaching and research to push the boundaries of human knowledge. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

About This Course

Developed through a collaboration between HarvardX and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, PH 556x: Practical Improvement Science in Health Care: A roadmap for getting results will provide learners with the valuable skills and simple, well-tested tools they need to translate promising innovations or evidence into practice. A group of expert faculty will explore a scientific approach to improvement — a practical, rigorous methodology that includes a theory of change, measurable aims, and iterative, incremental small tests of change to determine if improvement concepts can be implemented effectively in practice. Faculty will present this science through the lens of improving health and health care, but will also share examples of how improvement can (and does) influence our daily lives.

Why Take This Course?

Each week, learners will dive into engaging, interactive materials and relevant resources to start building an improvement toolkit that will serve them long after the seven-week course ends. Learners will immediately put their new skills to the test as they work each week on a personal improvement project that will show them the power of the science that has improved healthcare — and other industries — around the world for decades.

Learning Outcomes

  • Why improvement science is valuable in health, and health care, and daily life.
  • Why understanding a system is critical to improving a process.
  • The value of conducting iterative tests of change.
  • How an improvement project evolves into reliable, standard work.
  • How to design and execute a personal improvement project, including an aim, measures, and tests of change.
  • How interprofessional teams come together to do successful improvement work.

Course Syllabus

Lesson 1: What is the Science of Improvement?
Lesson 2: Applying the Model for Improvement
Lesson 3: Introduction to Measurement for Improvement
Lesson 4: Practical Tools that Support Improvement (including a seven-piece toolkit)
Lesson 5: Using Systems Principles to Spread Improvement
Lesson 6: Working within Interprofessional Teams
Lesson 7: Implementing Sustainable Improvement Work


Don Goldmann

Chief Medical and Scientific Officer for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

Dave Williams

Executive Director, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

Don Berwick

President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)



How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • edX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once applicant sign up for a course and activate their account, click on the Log In button on the homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

Apply Now

, , , , , ,

Sponsored Links
Need Scholarship Help? Comment and Discuss.