Healthsquare: A Hospital Management Simulation
The objective of the HealthSquare Simulation is provide participants with an opportunity to experience the challenges of executive leadership and strategic decision-making in a realistic exercise that effectively emulates or simulates the full breadth and complexity of a competitive multi-hospital marketplace.

How it Works:

Working in teams of 5-7 members, participants will act as the executive leadership of a community hospital. As hospital executives, they will be required to analyze the position of their institution and to make all decisions central to the successful management of the hospital, including such elements as service line mix, capacity, investment in quality [professional/clinical, systems, etc.], patient/payer mix, marketing, staffing, financial structure, and so on.

A typical “run” of the Simulation would involve four teams of participants, each operating a directly competing hospital in the same market. Teams would submit their decisions for each operating cycle simultaneously and receive prompt feedback from the simulation staff on the performance of their hospital in the context of the other competing hospitals and would then proceed to prepare their decisions for the next operating cycle. A typical complete simulation exercise would normally involve 7-9 full operating cycles and take, with supporting instructional modules and feedback/discussion sessions, roughly 2 full days.

Why a Simulation?

Simulations are a well-tested and effective means of instruction that have been employed in management education at both the graduate and executive education levels in business schools and in industry since the late ‘50s. They range from simple exercises such as in-baskets to comprehensive exercises in functional areas such as marketing, finance, and operations to complex total organizational models such as HealthSquare. Simulations also go from single-person, computer-based training tools to complex, team-based, computer-assisted ‘live-action’ models such as HealthSquare. Feedback supports the argument that simulation participants at all levels find such exercises to be the most powerful and impactful learning events that they have experienced. Follow-up studies and surveys reinforce this, particularly with regard to improved strategic decision-making ‘on-the-job’ and to teamwork and leadership competences.

How is this utilized at Columbia University?

HealthSquare is a valuable instructional component of the Department of Health Policy and Management portfolio. The Simulation will be an integral part of the full-time, executive, and part-time curricula. In addition, it is a component of the Department’s Executive Education initiatives, either as a stand-alone workshop or as a component of a larger program. Specific examples would be as a module in the Leadership Development Program that is conducted for department chairs at P&S, as an offering to management teams at hospitals and other provider institutions, and as a public or open workshop program for individual professionals.

For additional information, please contact: Prof. John S. Winkleman – johnw@winklemanco.com | 212.996.0443
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About HealthSquare
Crains Health Pulse Article 5/2012