Description: The course is offered in collaboration between the Doctoral programs at the Faculties of Social Sciences and Medicine and Health.

In this course it is expected to work with two methods for the study of health economics, which are of wide use and particular importance in the field.

Statistical Process Control in Health Care
Statistical Process Control (SPC) is a framework for understanding variation in process performance. SPC was originally developed for controlling production processes in manufacturing but since the late 1980's SPC has found its way into health care.

SPC uses statistical methods to control and monitor a process to ensure that the process is operating at its optimal level or to improve the process.

SPC discriminates between two sources of variation, common cause variation that is inherent to any natural process and special cause variation that is not present in the system at all times. Common cause variation stems from many sources of variation that are integral parts of the process and make the process stable and predictable. Special cause variation affects only parts of the process and makes the process unpredictable.

The following topics will be addressed:
1. Understanding variation in health care processes
2. Using run and control charts to monitor and improve health care
3. Designing robust indicators
4. Introduction to scientific improvement methods and their use in health care.
Bayesian Statistics in Health Economics
This topic gives a brief introduction to the origin of Bayesian statistics, including conceptual differences between frequentist and Bayesian methods. Furthermore, the implications of applying Bayes’ theorem when conducting health economic evaluations are assessed. This topic elucidates how prior knowledge and present data (likelihood) is used to create posterior distributions and how these are applied in health economic decision analysis. Lastly, the use of Bayesian statistics is exemplified by a walk-through of a health economic model, in which these methods are applied.

This topic will provide participants with understanding of Bayesian methods and when these are applicable in working with problems of health economics. The main focus of this topic is on the theoretical aspects of using Bayesian statistics in health economics.

Organizer: Professor Lars Ehlers and assistant professor Anne Vingaard Olesen,; phone: 9940 2751.

Lecturers: Medical doctor and associate professor Jacob Anhøj and Assistant professor Anne Vingaard Olesen. Both from Danish Centre of Healthcare Improvements, Aalborg University

ECTS: 2.5

Time: 3 October (10:00-12:00), 20 October (10:00-14:00)
30-31 October (9:00 – 16:00) and 17 November (10:00-14:00), 2014

Place: Aalborg University, Fibigerstræde 11, room 71

Zip code:


Number of seats: 20

Deadline: 12 September, 2014