University of Technology Sydney

92603 Managing Quality, Risk and Cost in Health Care

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks


This subject is essential grounding for clinicians, managers and planners of health services who seek to improve the quality, risk and cost outcomes of care within the context of expectations of clinical and corporate governance, organisational performance and workplace change.

The subject examines each of the three components of quality, risk and cost by engaging students in the process of designing, organising and managing healthcare delivery systems to create and capture value for the patient and the community.

The subject aims to build core skills in new thinking in healthcare delivery by focusing on the way health care is designed, organised, managed and delivered in relation to quality, risk and cost. Students develop a critical view on the organisation of health care, measurement and delivery of outcomes from the patient and population perspective as well as organisational accountability for cost and quality The subject focuses on current approaches to quality and safety, healthcare management accounting and financial management, commonly recognised issues with healthcare delivery systems as well as different ways of organising and managing health care. Alongside this material, students develop key skills in engaging with conflict, disputes and other situations which require facilitation and negotiation. Students work with experienced negotiation practitioners to develop a framework and skills to engage in the challenge of progressing improvement and reform to healthcare management in the context of conflict and change in the broader healthcare system.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Consider the key imperatives for meeting health service objectives related to safety, quality, cost-effectiveness and jurisdictional legislative requirements within a governance context;
B. Critically appraise contemporary strategies and frameworks designed to manage quality, risk and cost within the healthcare environment;
C. Propose improvements in safety, quality and cost-effectiveness at a local healthcare organisation level by identifying issues, considering ethical implications, offering policy direction and formulation and recommending priorities for action;
D. Create a variety of ways in which complex issues can be effectively communicated for a variety of target audiences.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Are reflective critical thinkers who influence practice, policy and research to achieve clinical excellence and transform healthcare services (1.0)
  • Assess and appraise data and research findings to develop safe, effective and evidence-based solutions to healthcare challenges (1.1)
  • Discriminate between social and ethical accountability to enable efficient use of resources and equity of access to optimal and safe health care (3.1)
  • Communicate effectively and appropriately in challenging, complex and diverse situations (4.0)
  • Distinguish between modes of communication necessary to optimise outcomes across differing audiences, purposes and contexts within healthcare practice (4.2)
  • Demonstrate respect and value for world view differences and in particular Australian Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing (5.1)
  • Critically reflect upon the impact of ongoing colonisation and its pervasive discourse on Indigenous Australians and their health and wellbeing (5.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is taught using a variety of teaching and learning strategies. The strategies used emphasise active and applied approaches to developing key skills and knowledge.

This subject is highly interactive and based on the case analysis approach to adult learning. Our time together in class is valuable, and as adult learners, you are expected to remain in-control of your learning. This means that our time together will involve engaging, active learning, problem solving and valuable skill development which will draw upon, but not repeat, the content you have engaged with prior to class. There will be no time within class to review materials you should have prepared prior to the workshop. You will be provided with valuable, real-time feedback to assist you in managing your learning.

Using the best of online and face-to-face on campus learning the subject uses the following strategies:

Case Scenarios
Cases are used to help students explore health services management scenarios. Cases depict real or realistic health service delivery contexts and the issues which arise. Students read and discuss these scenarios to learn concepts, interpret information, form judgments and develop creative solutions. Critical thinking is developed through analysis, interpretation of and reflection on issues or situations.

Small Group Problem Based Learning
Working in small teams of their own choosing, students engage in real-time, shared inquiry and decision-making activities. Presented with specifically designed problem scenarios, students are challenged to engage in self-directed learning, team discussion and problem solving to develop their disciplinary knowledge.

Students participate in simulation sessions that focus on integration of key concepts and skills. Simulation activities are practical learning experiences designed to give students exposure to a comprehensive range of scenarios that may be encountered in workplace settings. Activities include the use of audio-visual aids, interactive-computer programs, group work and guest briefings. Students learn and practice a variety of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills with case scenarios in a safe, small-group context.

Briefings and Roundtables
Where required short briefings and debriefings are given by the lecturer in response to student-identified learning needs, challenging content or to reflect on a particular skill area or exercise. Roundtables are also used, where subject-matter or industry leaders are gathered in an informal roundtable discussion on particular topics.

Content (topics)

  • Why do health systems need to manage quality, risk and cost?
  • What is value, and why do we need to improve it to improve value in health care: the case of iatrogenic harm, effectiveness and the patient experience?
  • The triple and quadruple aim in healthcare
  • Patient-centred care, patient experience and value
  • Models and controversies in value
  • Design and management of health care delivery processes and systems
  • Managing health care delivery processes and systems
  • How to use a time driven costing system to cost health services and how this can improve value
  • Approaches to quality and safety
  • Approaches to assessing value
  • Risk management
  • Disputes and negotiation in health care settings


Assessment task 1: Developing Value in Health Care


This assessment engages students in the analysis of health care management scenarios to identify relevant and workable solutions which promote value whilst accounting for quality, risk and cost in health service delivery.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B and D

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 3.1, 4.0 and 4.2

Type: Essay
Weight: 50%

2500 words (total for both tasks). This is a strict word limit

  • 30% Analyses and reframes alternatives by which are available to the decision-maker by structured options analysis
  • 30% Generates a clear and succinct recommendation based on evaluation of options analysis that demonstrates an understanding of best practice
  • 20% Formulates a clear and logical coherence and structure to information
  • 10% Validates perspectives through correct interpretation and explicit linkage of relevant and current literature to the assessment focus
  • 10% Produces correct grammar, spelling, formatting, style and referencing

Assessment task 2: Developing Value in Health Care


This assessment item focuses on the development and application of negotiation and alternative dispute resolution processes in a health care management setting.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A and C

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.1, 3.1, 5.1 and 5.2

Type: Essay
Weight: 50%

Assessment 2A: First-stage activity related to basic skills and concepts used to plan and conduct two-party negotiations (10%) 1,000 words

Assessment 2B: Analysis and provision of negotiation advice (40%) 2,000 words

  • 20% Generates an accurate and workable negotiating planning position which correctly identifies the interests and positions of each of the parties to the simulation (Phase I - Framing)
  • 30% Demonstrates relevant dispute and negotiation skills, including the ability to provide advice to others in a way that is acceptable to the parties involved (Phase II – Dialogue)
  • 30% Successfully generates options and strategies which achieves the client or participant’s priorities and interests (Phase III – Resolution)
  • 20% Maintains and ethical and effective relationship with other simulation participants (Negotiation Ethics and Relationships).

Minimum requirements

Attendance is required at all three workshops (from 9am to 5pm - 7 hours).

Required texts

The link for students to purchase the Harvard Business Review Coursepack will be provided on Canvas. The cost is less than $75. All additional e-readings will be available via links in Canvas.

Recommended texts

While the mandatory preparatory readings and materials are identified above in the subject outline, there are many additional e-readings provided for this subject that students are also encouraged to engage with.


Refer to Canvas for access to up to date references for this subject.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:

For other resources/ information refer to the Faculty of Health website ( and Canvas at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666.

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733.

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.

The Accessibility and Financial Assistance Service
The Accessibility Service can support students with disabilities, medical or mental health conditions, including temporary injuries (e.g., broken limbs). The Accessibility Service works with Academic Liaison Officers in each Faculty to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ such as exam provisions, assistive technology, requests and strategies for managing your studies alongside your health condition. If you’re unsure whether you need assistance, we recommend getting in touch early and we can provide advice on how our service can assist you. Make an appointment with an Accessibility Consultant (AC) on +61 2 9514 1177 or

The Financial Assistance Service can assist you with financial aspects of life at university, including Centrelink information, tax returns and budgeting, interest-free student loans and grants to assist with course-related costs. Check eligibility and apply online and make an appointment on +61 2 9514 1177 or