Selecting a topic to focus on is arguably one of the most important aspects of the dissertation process. Since you’ll be immersed in your topic day after day for at least a few years, it’s essential that you choose a topic you’re passionate about. For those in the healthcare administration field, especially those earning their Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Health Care Administration degree, begin the brainstorming process by considering which aspects of health care administration most interest you as a working professional. How do you see the field evolving in the future? What are the most pressing needs of patients and staff? How can health care continually adapt to change in a modern world? And how can you best contribute to the field?
Topics About the Quality of Patient Care
For any hospital or clinic, the top priority is to deliver quality care that improves patient outcomes and builds healthier communities. There are virtually limitless dissertation topics you could choose in this area. For example, you might decide to explore infection prevention, robot-assisted surgery, preventive health screenings or well-woman care. Of course, these are very broad topics, and you’ll need a much narrower topic for your dissertation. Within these topics, you might explore how hospital policies affect racial disparities in health screenings or you might consider how hospital affiliations shape investments in robot-assisted surgical platforms.
Topics About the Patient Experience
The patient experience includes every interaction patients have with the health care system—from triage to billing. If you’re curious to explore the patient experience, consider topics such as health literacy, provider communications, online patient portals, health care transparency and family-centered care. Within these broad categories, consider narrower topics such as:
- The role of health literacy in oncologic outcomes among African-American men with prostate cancer
- Governance and ethics regarding the use of patient portals by minors’ guardians
- Whether publicly available schedules of hospital fees improve patient satisfaction among lower-income families
Topics About Hospital Staff Management and Development
Health care administrators must not only concern themselves with the patients, but with their staff as well. Consider choosing a staff management or development topic for your doctoral dissertation. You might consider topics such as:
- The effect of tuition reimbursement policies on staff turnover/retention rates
- Best practices in follow-up procedures in the wake of medical errors
- How state law affects medical malpractice insurance
- The return on investment of professional development courses beyond the minimum requirements
- Cultivating positive workplace environments with zero discrimination policies
Topics About Acute Care
It’s often said that the state of a hospital’s emergency department is an indicator of the hospital’s overall health. Acute care is a hot button issue that you may want to explore in your dissertation. Among the many potential topics in this category are:
- The use of technological platforms to improve patient flow
- Challenges in recognizing rare infectious diseases
- The effects of ER wait times on patient volume
- Best practices in pediatric-exclusive ERs
Whatever you choose to write about, keep in mind that dissertation topics in GCU’s doctoral programs must be discussed and approved by an assigned dissertation chair before moving forward.
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About College of Doctoral Studies
Grand Canyon University’s innovative doctoral degree programs prepare learners for leadership roles in their professions, communities and society. A dynamic online learning community, unique dissertation process, wealth of resources and collaborative environment support a successful and meaningful doctoral journey. Readers of The Doctoral Journey blog, presented by the College of Doctoral Studies, will find resourceful posts regarding doctoral programs, research best practices and unique dissertation process, plus other knowledgeable contributions from GCU’s doctoral faculty and experts.