All of the lectures consisted of powerpoint slides to a voice recording. I think there was a lot of potential for this course to be engaging and interesting, but it ended up very dry and boring. Lots of jargon and loaded words are used at various points, which makes it difficult trying to understand what the instructor really means. The instructors also draw certain conclusions in the course without explaining how they got there.
For example: "How do we address these health care waste areas and unnecessary care? Through value-based care and successful strategies like care management. For example, using primary care services more effectively, consistently, and broadly. Utilizing a primary care team with care managers at the helm to allocate resources more effectively contributes to reducing waste and unnecessary care. Care managers can encourage and guide care teams toward more evidence-based care that looks critically at outcomes and value. Patients also receive the enhanced care management services they need to become and stay healthy."
--But what is "value-based care" and "care management"? How does having a care manager at the helm help to allocate resources more effectively, and reduce waste and unnecessary care?
Another example: "Looking first at the supply side, we have alternative payment models being used by providers. On the demand side, we have consumer-directed health plans that provide coverage based on outcomes. These both can be utilized to eliminate waste in the system and yet avoid a hard trade-off between cost, quality, and care. Care management can support both sides, supply and demand. And at the same time, support the care team and the patient."
--Wait.. what is an alternative payment model? What do you mean when you say that care management can support both sides? How is it able to do that?
Not all bits of the lectures were bad. Some were quite informative. But at many times the lectures just left me baffled.
The quiz questions were absymal. Some were not quite based on the lectures, some plainly asked questions on material not covered in the lectures, some had broken English, some just did not make sense, and the answers to some made assumptions that were not written out in the question.
For example, this example speaks for itself: "Which of the items below is NOT an element of trust?
- Patients are vulnerable and dependent on the provider for quality care
- There is an indirect influence on health outcomes through a direct therapeutic effect of empathy and caring
- Those seeking healthcare are frequently experiencing uncertainty
- Providers who relate to their patients using a paternal style experience higher levels of trust"
Another student could not make sense of the following question and asked about it in the forums, but it has been five days and none of the staff have responded so far: "Which of the AHRQ recommended strategies for effectively utilize resources, realizing cost savings, and enhancing patient experiences, needs to focus on predictive modeling?
- Identify populations with modifiable risks.
- Align services to the needs of the population.
- Train appropriate personnel for needed services.
- None of the above."
The persons listed as lecturers and mentors in the course do not seem to be around. The only person that has been making posts in the discussion forum is Raven David, who is listed as Project Manager at Columbia University. A student posted that the transcripts for one of the lectures in Week 1 was different from what was being said in the lecture. It has been a week and the problem has not been rectified. Strange, given that this is not the first run of the course.
It is unfortunate that the course appears to have been poorly put together, and it is not my first bad experience with a Columbia University MOOC.