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Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA)

Set solutions in motion with a doctorate in healthcare administration

With the complexity of healthcare economics, policies, governance and quality, today’s influencers are taking on a more visionary role, helping shift the way our nation’s healthcare system works. On the job, healthcare administrations are bringing forth fresh ideas for policies, practices and patient care. In the classroom, educators are pioneering the preparation of our next-generation leaders with innovative thinking about how to make policies, set strategies and lead new era of care.

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On Site

No-Fear Dissertation

Finish faster with a jumpstart to your dissertation.

3-Year Completion

Finish your DHA faster -- including one year for your dissertation.

Finish Faster

Transfer up to 24 hours of previously earned credit.

Personalized Program

Customize your program with a variety of electives.

100% Online Classes

Earn your degree around your schedule.

Relevant Curriculum

Keep up -- and stay ahead -- of an evolving industry.

Program Overview

Pioneer change: Improve healthcare effectiveness and advance leadership

The healthcare industry is – and will continue to be – in a state of tremendous change. From economics, to policies, to governance, to quality, the issues surrounding healthcare are far-reaching and complicated. That’s not to say, though, that healthcare advancement is behind us. Quite the opposite.

Next-generation influencers are taking on new, expanded and visionary roles to propel this nation’s healthcare system forward.

Healthcare administration leaders, for example, are taking on a dual role; first as innovator and second as educator, bringing forth new ideas for policy, practice and patient improvements.

Meanwhile, those committed to educating and equipping tomorrow’s healthcare leaders are advocating out-of-the-box thinking, strategizing and leading in an arena that’s become, at times, unwieldy and contentious.

Make an impact for yourself – and a nation

Rapid change in healthcare is inevitable, so keeping up is no longer an option. Instead, you have to be two, three, even 20 or more steps ahead. But how? Through research, exploration and problem solving. The nation’s healthcare system needs fresh yet practical solutions to help solve real-world healthcare dilemmas, gaps and problems.

Higher levels of leadership are needed, including those who possess refined verbal and written competencies, expanded technical and technological abilities, and advanced interpersonal aptitude. Yet these skills don’t come easily – or automatically. Instead, they require proficiencies beyond even a master’s-level degree; they require a degree of the highest level, a terminal degree. A terminal degree can prepare you to make logical, relevant connections between classroom learnings and real-world efficiencies and effectiveness.

A practitioner-oriented education, however, differs from a research-based degree. Whereas a Doctor of Philosophy or Ph.D. in healthcare administration degree focuses on substantive advancement of theoretical research within a discipline, an applied doctorate degree, such as Franklin University’s transfer-friendly Doctor of Healthcare Administration or DHA, focuses on expanding your knowledge within your field and combining it with applying it practically in real-world setting.

Become a more dynamic leader

Our DHA program reinforces the core technical aspects of quality research, yet also equips you with such sought-after skills as communication and technology. Franklin’s applied doctorate is a practical degree that enables both subject mastery and field application. That means you’ll be prepared to research and communicate complex, organization-wide issues.

Franklin’s applied Doctor of Healthcare Administration is a program designed to help you:

  • Design organizational strategies to improve healthcare operations and outcomes
  • Develop innovative healthcare leadership practices based on executive leadership practices
  • Assess and refine your own leadership competencies
  • Apply research to advance the field of healthcare administration

Improve healthcare processes, efficiencies and outcomes

Few would argue the large and complex nature of the administrative side of healthcare. Few also would argue the need for improvement in even the leanest, safest, most patient-friendly healthcare organization. The truth is, there’s always room for improvement – and you could be the catalyst for change in your healthcare organization. While earning your doctorate in healthcare administration from Franklin, you’ll focus on ways to drive quality improvements, including patient safety, risk management and service quality. You’ll explore various efficiency- and process-improvement models, as well as research quality improvement drivers within both public and private sectors. More importantly, you’ll be prepared to research, evaluate, develop and recommend appropriate prevention, mitigation and improvement strategies.

Make more informed decisions

When it comes to healthcare decision making, be it process improvement, program effectiveness or sustainability strategies, the crux of any decision is evidence. That’s why our doctoral program for healthcare includes major area coursework related to workflows, databases, informatics and analytics. Your Franklin DHA will help you better understand retrieving, analyzing and reporting intelligence metrics as part of healthcare decision making.

Create and influence healthcare policies and regulations

In spite of being highly regulated and governed, healthcare continues to require new and updated policies to ensure sustainability and parity. Your Franklin DHA will help you explore various aspects of corporate, state and federal policymaking, including regulations, enforcement and organizational impact. You’ll learn how to evaluate the role of agencies in implementation and enforcement, create policies at all government and corporate levels, and influence change for existing policies and regulations.

Get 360-degree support

We’ve taken a comprehensive and systematic approach to our online doctoral program, which includes team-based curriculum development, doctorally qualified faculty, and student-centered activities designed for the working adult. You’ll receive robust academic support from a variety of resources, including a graduate advisor, faculty advisor, personal librarian and peers, as well as the Student Learning Center staff and your Dissertation Committee members. You’ll also enjoy a cohesive and robust graduate culture and cohort. Together, our practice-minded faculty and your fellow students will support, mentor, encourage and keep you accountable to the program – and to yourself. At Franklin, you’re never alone on your doctoral journey.

Transfer Up to 24 Credit Hours

Want to complete your terminal degree in less than three years? Franklin grants up to 24 hours of prior-learning credit for previous doctoral work, and approved certifications and licensures. We honor your prior learning and make it easier to get credit for what you already know. Transfer credit can help you earn your applied doctorate degree faster, as well as reduce your overall tuition expenses.

A Unique Dissertation Structure

If there’s such a thing as a no-fear dissertation process, Franklin has it. We’ve intentionally designed a dissertation structure to help you complete your dissertation step-by-step, beginning with your enrollment in the program. We’ve also built-in faculty mentoring and guidance, and peer-to-peer support so you’re never left to “figure it out” on your own.

Throughout the DHA program, you’ll develop important research skills and the necessary writing prowess to publish a dissertation as a capstone project to your studies. Your dissertation will showcase your ability to identify a topic of interest within the workplace, develop a proposed solution to a problem, and test your hypotheses in the real world.

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Curriculum & Course Descriptions

58 Semester Hours
Research Core (16 hours)

All students are required to take the first five courses listed and one of the final two listed, depending on the research method and design they choose for their dissertation.

GRAD 800 - WRITING FOUNDATIONS (3)
This course will orient students to Franklin University, its learning environments and support systems. Students will develop essential skills needed to be successful in a doctoral program. Foundations of theory and practice in doctoral studies will be taught. Students will gain scholarly and professional writing skills in the context of their discipline. Dissertation structure and process will be introduced. Students will also complete their first colloquia as part of the course requirements.
GRAD 805 - RESEARCH METHODOLOGY & DESIGN (3)
Students will learn about research methodology, related methods, and how to apply them in valid and reliable research designs. Students will be taught how to construct new theories, connect research theory and design to application and practice in the organization. This course will begin to prepare students to identify a research problem, conduct a literature review, and select appropriate research methodology for their dissertation. Issues of research ethics will be discussed.
GRAD 810 - APPLIED STATISTICS (4)
Application of statistical techniques and methods will be explored including, a review of statistics and probability, exploratory data analysis and descriptive statistics, fundamental statistical tests, regression analysis, selection of adequate analytical methods as well as interpretation and reporting of results. The course is designed to provide numerous opportunities to apply various statistical methods into research hypothesis and problems.
GRAD 888 - COLLOQUIUM I (1)
The doctoral colloquium is designed to build a community and ensure that learners have the support, motivation and guidance necessary to succeed in their doctoral programs. This first colloquia will also provide students with an overview of the doctoral program expectations, coursework sequence, doctoral student support services, as well as comprehensive exam and dissertation requirements. The first colloquium is designed to establish a learning community and graduate culture for the doctoral students at Franklin University. The doctoral colloquium will be held at the University's main campus in facilities that provide appropriate online interaction for out-of-state and international students. Please note: A book fee may be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
GRAD 889 - COLLOQUIUM II (1)
The doctoral colloquium is designed to build a community and ensure that learners have the support, motivation and guidance necessary to succeed in their doctoral programs. The second colloquia will aid students in their transition from coursework to doctoral candidacy. Students will be oriented to the process and requirements for the upcoming comprehensive exam. In addition, they will begin to plan how to navigate and fulfill the requirements of the dissertation process. In addition, students will continue to build their learning network and community through this experience. The doctoral colloquium will be held at the University's main campus in facilities that provide appropriate online interaction for out-of-state and international students.
GRAD 820 - ADVANCED QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN & ANALYSIS (4)
This is an advanced course in statistics that covers complex analyses used in education and data-driven decision making. The course is designed to broaden and deepen student understanding of advanced statistics in multivariate techniques. The emphasis of the course is on practical application of concepts learnt. To this end, the course is developed to balance theory and application and provides numerous opportunities for application to practical problems. Students will also complete their second colloquia.
OR GRAD 822 - ADVANCED QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN & ANALYSIS (4)
The advanced qualitative research course builds on the knowledge and skills students acquire in GRAD 805. This course leads students on an in depth treatment of qualitative research methodology, exploring its theoretical underpinnings and associated methods for design, data collection, interpretation, and reporting of results. Ethics are emphasized for each stage of research. This course will guide students to develop the methodology and data analysis for their dissertation proposal and research. Students will also complete their second colloquia if they had not enrolled in GRAD 820.
Major Area (20 hours)
HCM 810 - ORGANIZATIONS, COMMUNITY & GLOBAL HEALTH (4)
This science of epidemiology is essential for projecting the population health needs, and appropriate allocation of public and private resources. This course focuses on the utilization of epidemiologic studies and techniques as a basis for organizational policy and administrative decision-making. Students will examine the connection between organizational leadership and social health. Students will create and recommend organizational strategies that enhance organizational, community, and global health.
HCM 820 - HEALTHCARE POLICY, REGULATIONS & REFORM (4)
This course will explore various aspects of corporate, state and federal policy making. Students will examine the impact of existing health policies on healthcare organizations, providers and patients. Students will develop skills to influence and change existing healthcare policies. Students will also create and propose a new healthcare policy.
HCM 830 - HEALTHCARE ECONOMICS, RESOURCES & FINANCE (4)
This course will examine the importance of resource and financial management in a healthcare organization. Students will determine the financial status of a healthcare organization and create strategic plans to sustain healthcare services. This course will also explore the various concepts driving healthcare economics. This course will also critique the use of organizational supplies, human resources, and technology.
HCM 840 - HEALTHCARE QUALITY, PROCESS & IMPROVEMENT (4)
This course will examine various aspects of patient safety, quality improvement and risk management in healthcare. Students will compare and contrast several process improvement models with the goal of improving organizational efficiency, patient safety, and service quality. Students will also research governmental agencies driving quality improvement in healthcare organizations.
HIM 802 - ADVANCED HEALTH INFORMATION GOVERNANCE (4)
In this course students will evaluate an organizations current health information governance infra-structure and will make recommendations for improvement that will cover the broad spectrum of strategic issues in healthcare including policies, guidelines, standards, processes and controls required to manage and implement enterprise-level information. Students will research how health data and organizational information systems are utilized as a strategic asset to healthcare organizations, process to manage various risks to the quality of information and ensure its appropriate use.
Dissertation Requirements (10 hours)
GRAD 901 - COMPREHENSIVE EXAM (1)
This course is designed for students to prepare and complete their comprehensive exam. Remedial strategies and actions will also be provided for students who do not successfully pass their comprehensive exam on the first attempt.
GRAD 902 - DISSERTATION I (3)
In Dissertation I, doctoral candidates will complete their dissertation prospectus for approval from their dissertation committee and prepare IRB documentation for their dissertation research. The emphasis in this course is to complete drafts of chapters one, two, and three of the dissertation, with chapter three advanced to point of sufficient detail for the IRB submission.
GRAD 903 - DISSERTATION II (3)
In Dissertation II, doctoral candidates will finalize chapters one and two of the dissertation. Candidates will also collect data upon receiving IRB approval.
GRAD 904 - DISSERTATION III (3)
In Dissertation III, doctoral candidates will complete chapters four and five and of the dissertation and make any revision necessary to the first three chapters. Students are required to defend their dissertation orally by the end of this course.
GRAD 999 - STUDY CONTINUATION (3)
This course is for the doctoral student to remain continuously registered once he or she has begun the course study. This may be while the student needs to take a one-term break from studies, time for the remainder of the term to prepare for a re-take of the comprehensive exam or a continuation of dissertation work beyond the program's scheduled three semesters of study.

If necessary

Electives (12 hours)

Select 12 hours from the following:

HIM 810 - ADVANCED CLINICAL WORKFLOW & APPLICATIONS (4)
In this course students will evaluate an organizations existing clinical workflows to include a variety of inpatient, outpatient and emergency healthcare environments. Material in the course covers the documentation, review, mapping and diagramming of clinical workflow information and processes. Students will also assess and make recommendations for improvement of patient care to workflow mapping and change management, as part of evidence based decision making in healthcare.
HIM 861 - ADVANCED HEALTHCARE ANALYTICS (4)
In this course students will evaluate an organizations existing process of retrieving, analyzing and reporting intelligence to make healthcare decisions. Student will assess and make recommendations for improvement on the techniques of extracting, transforming and loading data from a myriad of operational databases into corporate data warehouses, as well means to ensure that decision making is based on clean and reliable information. Students will also develop skills for reporting the healthcare intelligence gathered.

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Program Details

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Professor

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