Apple Names MHCDS a “Distinguished Program”

The Master of Health Care Delivery Science program was recognized for its innovation, leadership, and educational excellence.

The Master of Health Care Delivery Science program was recognized for its innovation, leadership, and educational excellence.

Apple, Inc. has selected the Master of Health Care Delivery Science (MHCDS) program—a collaboration between Tuck and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI)—a “Distinguished Program” for 2015-2017. The designation recognizes educational programs around the world that display outstanding innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and it gives such programs a platform to share their insights and methodology with a broad audience of educators, technology specialists, and students.

The MHCDS is a unique distance education program that helps health care professionals in every corner of the industry reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. It does this through an 18-month blended learning curriculum that features online and residential courses taught in an integrated way by professors at TDI and Tuck.

The 50 MHCDS participants stay in their careers and communities while enrolled in the program. They visit Dartmouth for short sessions and, the rest of the time, interact with professors, staff, and colleagues remotely, through online educational platforms such as Canvas and iTunes U.

One key to the success of this program has been its innovative use of technology. Every participant receives an iPad loaded with course materials such as lectures, videos, articles, and book chapters. The materials are constantly updated by a team that includes faculty, curriculum specialists, and IT professionals. In addition, participants use the iPads—or laptops, desktops, and sometimes even smartphones—to log into live class sessions and participate in discussions with full audiovisual capabilities.

“This recognition from Apple highlights Dartmouth’s approach to distance education,” said Robert Shumsky, professor of operations management and co-faculty director of the MHCDS program. “We’re looking to provide an educational experience that immerses the student in the process, keeps them engaged, and makes sure that what they learn sticks with them and is used.”

This experience is facilitated in part by a seamless integration of health care policy and business courses, something made possible by online course materials that are easily shared among faculty and staff. “Having all the materials freely available to all the faculty is incredibly useful,” Shumsky said. “As I prepare for class, I can look back and see all the lectures that another professor gave, and the discussions he had with his students. And we can cross-utilize cases across the curriculum, because it’s all in this electronic format.”

The result is an online program that meets Dartmouth’s high standards for student engagement and teaching, and is uniquely capable of endowing participants with the knowledge and networks to transform health care delivery. “This is essentially the Dartmouth brand, with a twist,” said Josh Kim, director of digital learning initiatives at Dartmouth. “It’s an intimate, rigorous education for people who can’t live here the whole time.”