Theses Chair of Health Care Management

Are you interested in writing your thesis in a subject area of the Chair of Health Economics, Policy and Management?

We look forward to hearing from you.

Please find in the right column further information on the application process and the course «Boost your Master's Thesis in Health Science!». This is highly recommended if you would like to write a thesis with us.

The official guidelines of the University of St.Gallen apply to final theses. We have developed a clearly structured and transparent scheme for the evaluation of theses. Should you decide to write your thesis at the Chair of Health Economics, Policy and Management, we will be happy to share the evaluation scheme with you at the beginning of the writing process.

Special regulations apply to students of the Joint Medical Master JMM-HSG/UZH.

 

Topics for future theses at the chair of Health Economics, Policy and Management

 

These are suitable for bachelor's and master's theses and can be written in German or English. For each topic, an indication is given of which skills, fields of study and interests are particularly addressed. Generally, applications from all students of management, finance, economics, international affairs, and medicine (Joint Medical Master JMM-HSG/UZH) are welcome.
Topic Skills, Fields of study, Interests Abstract, Project
Success factors of collaboration projects in the Swiss health care system
In a Master's thesis, collaboration projects in the Swiss health care system are to be examined. The aim is to characterise the projects and identify success factors. In addition, it is important to assess how such multi-stakeholder collaborations can contribute to the further development of the health system.
This research topic requires quantitative skills and could be particularly interesting for students of economics, business administration or medicine with an interest in econometrics.

Abstract

 

 

Demand for health care services – The effect of franchise levels on health care utilization
In the Swiss healthcare system, insured persons have a franchise in their mandatory health insurance equivalent to the amount of money that needs to be paid by the insured, i.e., the amount which is not reimbursed or paid for by the health insurance. Consequently, the insurance company only pays costs exceeding the franchise. The insured can set the franchise between CHF 300 and CHF 2500. A lower franchise decreases the deductible but increases the monthly insurance premium. Insured with higher expected healthcare expenses (i.e., insured with chronic diseases) and insured with higher risk-aversion opt for a lower franchise. For patients with a higher franchise, on the other hand, there might be an incentive not to waste own resources on unnecessary healthcare services. 
This research topic is highly quantitative and might be especially interesting for economics or business students with an interest in econometrics. Abstract

Project
Equality and access in health care – The effect of premium reduction on health care utilization
In Switzerland, health insurances set premiums uniformly per person, regardless of income, but according to age and region of residence as well as chosen insurance model and deductible rate. To correct for income and to increase access to health care, the premiums of the economically disadvantaged are subsidized by governmental contributions. The aim of this premium reduction is to make health care services more affordable and thus to increase or rather level poorer people’s health care demand. 
This research topic is highly quantitative and might be especially interesting for economics or business students with an interest in econometrics. Abstract

Project
Hospital Capacity Planning – How do approaches differ in Switzerland (and abroad)?
The supply side of the hospital sector is subject to strong public regulation. In Switzerland, prices for most inpatient services are fixed using so-called diagnosis related groups (DRGs). In addition, each canton is responsible for its own hospital capacity planning, i.e., fixing the type and quantity of services (or capacity) hospitals can offer. In this process, cantons assign so-called treatment assignments granting a hospital the right and obligating it to treat a certain patient group or provide a certain procedure, e.g., radical prostatectomy.
Starting with a major reform in Zurich in 2012, cantons have adopted so called treatment-, need-, and quality-based hospital capacity planning methods. While 24 out of 26 cantons have adopted this new methodology, there are differences in the exact specifications of each planning dimension.
This research topic requires qualitative research skills and might be especially interesting for management, economics and medicine students with an interest in health policy, health care regulation, and hospital quality.  Abstract

Project
Cost of inpatient cases – Distribution and prediction of treatment costs
The costs of inpatient costs are highly skewed with systematic outliers. For that reason, modelling the distribution of costs faces multiple statistical challenges. Finding solutions to these challenges would be of high value, however, as prediction models with for instance chronic diseases and other comorbidities as features, would then allow to predict treatment costs before hospital admission. Implications of such prediction for payers (i.e., health insurances) and providers (i.e., hospitals) would be manifold.
This research topic is highly quantitative and might be especially interesting for economics or business students with an interest in econometrics. Abstract
Medical coding and hospital complications – What complications can be identified in routine data?
In Swiss hospitals, medical information, including diagnoses and procedures, are coded primarily for the reimbursement scheme. Diagnoses are documented with so-called ICD-codes (international classification of diseases) while procedures are given by CHOP-codes (Swiss operation and procedure catalogue). In principle, hospital complications, a sign for bad quality, can be identified via combinations of ICD- and CHOP-codes. Still, it is only possible to identify complications if they are coded in the routine data for the reimbursement scheme. If coding complications does not increase revenue, hospitals might not document this information and quality of care is not as transparent as it could be. As bachelor or master thesis, it could be investigated what complications can be identified in the available routine data and how the prevalence in the routine data compares to the prevalence in the medical literature. Additionally, it could be investigated how coding practices relate to treatment revenue, cost, and outcome quality.
This research topic is highly quantitative and might be especially interesting for economics, business, and medicine students with an interest in econometrics. Abstract
Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) – How do different countries use PROMs? What digital solutions exist?
Recent research on medical outcome quality recommends patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) as relevant indicators of medical quality for a variety of procedures. This quality indicators are not calculated using routine data but data is collected directly from patients by asking health-related questions about the quality of life of patients. A number of countries, including Switzerland, aim to measure, report, and reward outcome quality. Still, no overview and international comparison exists how different countries specifically use PROMs in their effort to increase quality transparency and quality of care. Furthermore, there are a variety of companies, usually start-ups, providing digital solutions for hospitals for collecting and analyzing PROM data. In a bachelor or master thesis, a comprehensive overview of how PROMs are used in different countries including the application of digital solutions could be developed. Moreover, it should be evaluated what approach might be best for reaching the goals of clinicians and health policy makers.
This research topic requires qualitative research skills and might be especially interesting for management, economics and medicine students with an interest in health policy, health care regulation, and hospital quality. Abstract
PROMs – What are the Dos and Don’ts when Designing Clinical Dashboards?
A clinical dashboard is a data-driven clinical decision support tool capable of querying multiple databases and providing a visual representation of key performance indicators in a single report. The utility of a dashboard comes from its ability to provide a concise overview of key information. Using clinical dashboards decreases time spent on data gathering and improves situation awareness and compliance with evidence-based safety guidelines. Recent research on medical outcome quality recommends patient-reported outcomes (PROs) as relevant indicators of medical quality for a variety of procedures. Thus, PROs should be integrated into clinical dashboards supporting clinicians’ understanding of how treatments impact outcomes. In a bachelor or master thesis, an own recommendation for the visualization of a clinical dashboard including PROs is to be developed.
This research topic requires qualitative research skills and might be especially interesting for management, economics and medicine students with an interest in health policy, health care regulation, and hospital quality. Abstract
Is there a positive relationship between procedure volume and hospital quality measured by Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs)?
A positive relationship between procedure volume and clinical outcome quality for complex procedures has been shown in numerous studies in the literature. Generally, this means that hospitals treating a larger number of patients with a specific diagnosis or procedure have lower mortality rates or lower readmission or reintervention rates. As this positive relationship is evident and as the validity of single clinical outcome quality indicators is strongly debated, many quality improvement policies use volume-based referral strategies such as minimum volumes or minimum surgical caseloads.So far, the volume-outcome relationship has been shown for clinical quality indicators such as mortality or readmission rates. As part of the Bachelor or Master thesis, it could be investigated whether a volume-outcome relationship can be shown by using PROMs as outcome quality measurement.
This research topic is highly quantitative and might be especially interesting for economics, business, and medicine students with an interest in econometrics. Abstract
Digitization in the hospital sector – Does the hospital information system influence the degree of digitization of a hospital?  -- already in process --
As part of the «DigitalRadar» project, an evaluation of the level of digital maturity of hospitals is being carried out in Germany in accordance with § 14b KHG. The maturity model developed with the help of the Chair of Management in Healthcare at the HSG enables a standardized and comprehensive evaluation of the degree of digitization of hospitals by conducting and evaluating a survey or self-assessment of the hospitals.Within the framework of the bachelor's or master's thesis, it could be investigated whether the central hospital information system (HIS) used by a hospital influences the degree of digitization of the hospital and the seven areas of digitization. 
This research topic requires quantitative skills and might be especially interesting for economics, business, or medicine students with an interest in econometrics.  Abstract

Project 
Digitization in the hospital sector – Do size, strategy and profitability influence the degree of digitization of a hospital?
As part of the «DigitalRadar» project, an evaluation of the level of digital maturity of hospitals is conducted in Germany in accordance with Section 14b of the German Hospital Act (KHG). The maturity model developed with the help of the Chair of Healthcare Management at the HSG enables a standardized and comprehensive evaluation of the degree of digitization of hospitals by conducting and evaluating a survey or self-assessment of the hospitals. The bachelor's or master's thesis could investigate whether, for example, the following factors influence the degree of digitization of hospitals:
  • the affiliation of a hospital to a hospital group
  • the size of the hospital / hospital group
  • the sponsorship of the hospital / hospital group
  • the IT strategy of the hospital / hospital group
  • the economic performance of the hospital / hospital group 
This research topic requires quantitative skills and might be especially interesting for economics, business, and medicine students with an interest in econometrics.  Abstract

Project  
Digitization in the hospital sector – What role do hospital information systems play?
As part of the «DigitalRadar» project, an evaluation of the level of digital maturity of hospitals is being carried out in Germany in accordance with § 14b KHG. The maturity model developed with the help of the Chair of Management in Healthcare at the HSG enables a standardized and comprehensive evaluation of the degree of digitization of hospitals by conducting and evaluating a survey or self-assessment of the hospitals. In the context of the bachelor or master thesis, the existing HIS landscape could be described according to e.g. regions, size & type of hospitals. In a second step, the HIS could be explora-tively evaluated according to (1) level of interoperability and (2) level of innovation per score-card. 
This research topic requires qualitative research skills and might be especially interesting for management, economics and medicine students with an interest in IT and system evaluation.  Abstract

Project 
The topics are reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. If you have a topic suggestion of your own, we look forward to hearing from you. 

 

Theses supervised by the chair of Health Health Economics, Policy and Management?

 

Title Name Study track Level Abstract
Controlling of Critical Incident Reporting Systems in Swiss Healthcare Organisations – Development and Validation of an Indicator-Based Framework  Alex Tamagni  BA  Bachelor thesis  Abstract
Enhancing clinical dashboards’ value through PROMs: A scoping review of success factors for EQ-5D-5L data integration into dashboards for routine practice  Blanche Bachmann  SIM  Master thesis Abstract
Comparative study of the influence of pharmaceutical multinational corporations on the governance of access to medicine in Sub-Saharan Africa  Rahel Erlemann
 
MIA Master thesis Abstract
Identifying barriers for patients with sickle cell disease to access treatment with Hydroxyurea – A qualitative analysis of the supply chain in Ghana  Simone Graven  MIA Master thesis Abstract
You can find more theses in German on the German language page

 

north