Fall 2021 - HSCI 416 D100

Health Services Research (4)

Class Number: 2140

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    BLU 11401, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Sonya Cressman
    Office: Blusson 110012
    Office Hours: Wednesday, 1:00-2:00 pm
  • Prerequisites:

    STAT 302 or STAT 305, and HSCI 307 or HSCI 330, all with a minimum grade of C-.



An introduction to the fundamental concepts of Health services research. Examination of how people access health care, how much care costs, and what happens to patients as a result of this care. Identification of the most effective ways to organize, manage, finance, and deliver high quality care.


Health services research aims to create new knowledge and translate it into better health services. This course will introduce students to research on health systems, systems change and performance evaluation.  Over the term, we will explore fundamentals of how healthcare systems are organized and financed to critique how research can lead to better health services.  Cases will be discussed with examples drawn from the current literature and technology developments.  Students will evaluate research outputs as health systems undergo contemporary changes such as digital transformation or patient-centered care. Students will have opportunities to differentiate the strengths and weaknesses of health services research methods in individual and small team-based assignments, including practice with peer review, facilitating group discussions and delivering group presentations.


The educational goals of this course are to prepare students to examine health services research and identify research outcomes that improve and/or change health services.   

By fulfilling the course requirements students will be prepared to: 

  1. Examine how healthcare systems are organized and financed.
  2. Differentiate basic measures of budget and resource managementand distinguish between improvement and innovation.
  3. Describe the roles of stakeholders in health services research and exploreinformation flows through healthcare systems.
  4. Communicate how health services research can improve the equity, quality, efficacy and accessibility of healthcare.


  • Individual Assignments 50%
  • Group Presentations 15%
  • Final Assignment 35%


The course is an interactive seminar class; each class begins with an introduction to the syllabus topics which will facilitate the discussions. Students will collaborate with their peers to lead group discussions, undertake research review exercises, and deliver group presentations. Throughout the term students will engage deeply with assigned reading materials and contribute to the learning of others.  Students will be given the opportunity to communicate the knowledge they have gained through individual written and graphic assignments.

No final exam.



Peer-reviewed articles from the current literature will be assigned and distributed two weeks prior to each class.  Students are expected to complete the assigned reading before each class and come prepared to discuss the materials. 


Treating Health Care: How the Canadian System Works and How It Could Work Better

(2017);Raisa B. Deber, available electronically via the SFU library
ISBN: 9781452241333

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.