81863 - Health Services Research

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course focusses on how Health Services Research can be used to support the health care policymakers in shaping how health care is delivered and paid for, and to improve clinical practice through innovation. At the end of the course, the student becomes familiar with a set of tools used to conduct Health Services Research and, with the use of case studies, understands the need for an interdisciplinary approach to identify the pros and cons of existing and new financial and organizational mechanisms. The specific topics considered vary over time, but include the organization of primary and managed care under the paradigm of patient centred healthcare systems, the issue of appropriateness in clinical practice, the role of hospitals and medical research in evolving healthcare systems. The student acquires competencies in: 1) analysing current and new models in healthcare financing and delivery and their implications for access, cost, and quality of care; 2) understanding and modelling the links between organizational settings and economic and health outcomes; 3) applying different evaluation methods to systematically evaluate innovations in health programs and policies.

Course contents

Long term sustainability of health care systems

Population health management

The organization of primary and intermediate care

The role of clinical governance tools

The development of hospitals networks


The reading list and the slides are available on the Moodle Platform.

Teaching methods

Classes and discussions.

Assessment methods

Students regularly attending the lectures can take the exam discussing a presentation on one of the themes dealt with during the course. Those who do not choose to give the presentation have to take a written test to assess their ability to critically evaluate some of the themes discussed during the course. In the written test, students are given outlines to develop two short essays in two hours. Students can choose the approach that is more coherent with their own background. However, they are expected to address the proposed themes with a good level of rigour and appropriateness and to take into consideration the interdisciplinary nature of the issues at stake.

Teaching tools

Video projector.

Office hours

See the website of Gianluca Fiorentini