University of Technology Sydney

96340 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 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject is essential grounding for clinicians, managers and planners of health and social care 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.

The subject aims to build core skills in new thinking in healthcare delivery by focusing on the way health care is planned, organised, managed and delivered in relation to quality, risk and cost. Utilising the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim framework as a starting point, 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, identifying and maximising value in healthcare, patient/client satisfaction, and commonly recognised issues with healthcare delivery systems, as well as different ways of organising and managing health care.

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.

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is designed to assist students to understand the complexities associated with improving safety and quality in the multidisciplinary health service environment. Even minor positive changes in one section of the system can potentially have a major negative effect in other sections, so approaches to improving safety and quality need to look at the entire health and/or social care systems.

This subject is taught using a variety of teaching and learning strategies. The strategies used emphasise active and applied approaches to developing students’ ability to understand health service management, and apply this knowledge to generate effective, practical solutions to health system challenges. An overarching theme of the approaches to teaching and learning is to support students to actively learn with the support of a facilitator who can assist and coach them. Understanding and critical thinking skills will be encouraged via a range of activities, including but not limited to:

  • Learning via online resources with active engagement opportunities with the subject content
  • Thought-provoking and interactive content that stimulates thinking, promotes understand and supports analysis and evaluation
  • Problem solving, discovery-based and critical thinking activities via a range of guided stepwise and self-directed learning opportunities.
  • Learning that is supported by real world examples, case studies, illustrations and data.
  • Opportunities for students to reflect on, explain and record their input under advice and guidance.

Online learning materials
The Zoom sessions will be experiential and draw on preparatory materials through the use of simulations and case studies. The Zoom sessions will also provide students with the opportunity to ask questions, engage and undertake shared learning. Overviews of specific sessions will be detailed in this subject outline, and all resources will be located on Canvas. Videos and presentations from key industry representatives will provide students with an understanding of the key issues associated with this course.

Content (topics)

  • Introduction to Managing Quality Risk and Cost
  • The challenges faced by health and social care
  • The triple and quadruple aims of healthcare
  • Population health
  • Risk and vulnerability
  • What do we mean by value in healthcare?
  • Considering quality from a patient perspective
  • The final aim: caring for staff


Assessment task 1: The impact of chronic diseases on health and social care


This early, low-stakes assessment item focuses on understanding the impact of the increase of chronic diseases on the health and social care systems.

Type: Essay
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%

750 words total

  • 30% a concise synthesis of the scope of the chronic disease problem from your perspective [Synth]
  • 40% some specific but brief examples that illustrate your assessment of the chronic disease scenario [Eval]
  • 20% Validates perspectives through correct interpretation of relevant and current literature [Eval]
  • 10% Produces correct grammar, spelling, formatting, style and reference list [Synth]

Assessment task 2: Vulnerable groups diabetes profile


In this assessment we ask you to examine the demographic and current health status profiles of the 2770 post code geography and identify which groups you think might be more or less vulnerable to diabetes and its clinical and social consequences. We have defined the characteristics of ‘vulnerability’ in module 3 of this subject. Feel free to use that model of vulnerability but if you modify it, remember to explain how and why you have done so.

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%

1500 words, report style

  • 40% Generates original ideas for the management of chronic diseases from a health services perspective [Create]
  • 30% Identifies and utilises data in a way which is brief, relevant and informs their argument [Synth]
  • 10% Maintains a managerial (rather than clinical) perspective
  • 10% Validates perspectives through correct interpretation of relevant and current literature [Eval]
  • 10% Produces an document utilising correct grammar, spelling, formatting, style and reference list [Synth]

Assessment task 3: Population Health Plan for Diabetes in 2770


The purpose of this assessment is get you to compile the concepts and elements practised so far into a population-level plan. The intended outcome is a comprehensive plan for addressing the issue of diabetes at the population level in the 2770 post code of Western Sydney. This final activity should draw together the content of the session.

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%

Maximum of 2,000 words

  • 40% Generates original ideas for the management of chronic diseases from a health services perspective [Create]
  • 20% Identifies and utilises data in a way which is brief, relevant and informs their population plan [Synth]
  • 20% Plan makes coherent sense i.e. no internal conflicts
  • 10% Maintains a managerial (rather than clinical) perspective
  • 10% Produces an document utilising correct grammar, spelling, formatting, style and reference list [Synth]


Refer to UTSOnline 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 UTSOnline 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.