Capstone Project

It takes many managers, health care practitioners, and other executives to care for a patient and to manage a health care organization. Having the skills to manage a team, evaluate critical problems and execute solutions is required to be an effective business leader. These management capabilities are what you will gain through immediate application of your new business knowledge in the Capstone Project.

Commonly noted by Master of Management in Health Care students as the most valuable aspect of the program, the Capstone Project is the culminating highlight of the Vanderbilt Master of Management in Health Care program. The Capstone Project engages students on a project of significant importance that is a current problem or initiative for a health care organization (often your sponsoring organization). Working as part of a small team (similar to the executive teams that manage health care organizations), you are responsible for all aspects of the project, including

With faculty oversight, you demonstrate rigorous application of business concepts and disciplines. Leading a project of utmost importance for your organization provides immediate impact that benefits the student and the sponsoring organization.

Immersion in Action

The Capstone Project complements the classroom instruction and is defined as learning by construction—a total immersion experience in which students are challenged to use all of the tools and concepts learned to date to tackle a current business problem for an organization.
Your team will kick off the Capstone Project in Mod 3 by meeting with the client sponsor to outline and discuss the initiative at hand. Your team will spend the next six months determining the necessary analysis, establishing the action plan, gathering data and developing a suitable recommendation. Each team member will have an opportunity to lead different phases of the project, enabling each student to further develop his or her team leadership techniques and client relationship management skills.

At the completion of the project, your team will present your recommendation to both the client and your colleagues. The Capstone Project completes the Master of Management in Health Care program and prepares students to embark on the next phase of their career as managers in their organizations.

Benefits to you and your organization.

Huntsville Team

For the students, the Capstone Projects are opportunities to exhibit the business knowledge you’ve acquired. You will demonstrate, to yourself and your organization, your ability to problem-solve creatively, make strategic decisions and manage as a high-level executive team.

For the organizations, the Capstone Projects are opportunities to have a team of experienced mid-level health care professionals conduct an intense, seven-month engagement to address a current business need.

Examples of Past Capstone Projects

New Clinic Location Evaluation
Problem: Current emergency care clinic is overutilized, resulting in adverse staffing impacts, costs and patient care.
Project Work: Analyze the market needs (supply and demand), economic impacts to the organization and the health care community and human capital requirements of opening a new clinic in another county.

Comprehensive Medical Center Communication Strategy
Problem: Need for a comprehensive care plan and practitioner-to-provider and practitioner-to-patient communication strategy in a test area to determine implementation across the entire medical center.
Project Work: Identify best practices across world-class health care delivery organizations, assess realistic impact to organization and develop a high-level project plan for recommended program management strategy.

Organizational Planning and Review Standardization Program
Problem: Annual budget, project planning, employee goal-setting and review process are inconsistent across different divisions of the organization.
Project Work: Review current budgetary, goal-setting and operational planning across the divisions, interview key stakeholders and personnel to determine organizational needs, study best-of-class planning tools and make a recommendation for a standardized planning approach that adheres to the organization’s mission and aspirations.

Cash Value Analysis Model

: Annual revenue and cash flow are down because of cuts to reimbursement, yet clinical growth has increased the scale of operations, requiring more accurate cash flow projections in order to guide operations going forward.
Project Work: Survey other approaches and institutions for alternative frameworks, compare methods for measuring net cash flow and develop an applicable cash value analysis model to recommend the appropriate measurement methodology going forward.