The culmination of master’s degree programs in healthcare management is often the development of Healthcare Management Capstone Projects. If you are approaching this milestone in your education, you might wonder what some of these projects look like.
What are Healthcare Management Capstone Projects?
“Capstone” is defined as the crowning achievement. Students who have invested six or more years in their higher education use the skills and the knowledge they have acquired to research and address real-world problems. The project is presented as a formal research paper. This often leads to practical solutions implemented in the communities and systems they address. Colleges and universities have different requirements concerning Healthcare Management Capstone Projects, but the studies generally involve oversight by a mentor or faculty advisor.
Some Capstone Projects Address Local or Community Issues
In recent years, capstone projects at Brattleboro Hospital have made real impacts on the healthcare systems there. According to the Marlboro College website, one problem the hospital had was nurse retention. One out of four new nurses left the hospital after one year. Information learned in one capstone project showed that a major cause of this attrition was that the new nurses felt they lacked team support at the hospital. They also felt unwelcome by the current staff. The student researcher recommended beginning a nurse-mentor program that has resulted in the attrition rate dropping to one out of eight.
Another capstone project addressed the inefficiency of incident reporting at the Brattleboro Retreat, an addictions recovery facility. The reporting system they were using resulted in duplication of entries and confusion in documenting the interventions for the incidents. The student, in her capstone paper, addressed the creation and implementation of an information technology system. The resultant system cut down on duplication in data logging and gave the staff a secure and quick way to access incident data.
Resource: What is a Health Information Manager?
Students at the University of California at San Diego developed a fictitious community health center to study the effect that integration of high-tech information systems would have on delivery of services. The three-month-long program looked at a variety of healthcare issues in the light of the implementation of the technical systems.
Capstone Projects also looked at National and International Issues
The website for prestigious Johns-Hopkins University showcases many Healthcare Management Capstone Projects. Graduates from this school are encouraged to think about issues that affect the country or even the world. One recent capstone project researched the practicality of using farmers’ markets to address the problem of obesity and inadequate diets in Baltimore. The study goal was to connect the results of the study with nutrition problems in other countries as well.
Another project at Johns Hopkins studied Direct Portable Reuse systems to remedy the scarcity of drinking water in some areas. The systems introduce treated waste water into the drinking water treatment process to provide a source of safe and sufficient drinking water. Both of these research papers could have global impact.
Graduate students in healthcare management work with many issues from cost effectiveness in healthcare facilities to raising the standard of healthcare for the US and other countries. Healthcare Management Capstone Projects are the first step in a professional life with the potential to change the way we at look at healthcare delivery as a world community.