Comparative Effectiveness Outcomes Research

Clinical and public health research has generated tremendous knowledge on disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. However, there is a pressing need to not only generate but also synthesize evidence to inform us on what works best and how to get the intervention to the people who will benefit most.

Comparative effectiveness and outcomes research (CEOR) addresses these issues by identifying interventions most effective for specific patient groups. CEOR informs the practices of healthcare providers and policymakers to make evidence-based resource allocation decisions. It has been identified as a national priority by the federal government.

Despite the pressing need for highly trained professionals in this area, few programs for CEOR exist. Our new Certificate helps to fill this void by providing students with the essential skills needed to measure and compare the expected effectiveness, risks, and costs from both clinical and public health interventions—crucial skills at a time of rising costs and tighter budgets.

Graduates may go on to positions in academia, government, research organizations/think tanks as well as the bio-pharma sector—all of which seek professionals with this valued skill set.

Admissions Eligibility

Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes Research is open to Columbia MPH students in:

Applicants to this certificate must demonstrate sufficient preparation and aptitude for the required quantitative coursework. Evidence of training or skills in quantitative methods can include previous courses, other academic work requiring quantitative analysis, research and professional experience, and standardized test scores.

The Competencies for this Certificate are as follows:

  1. Describe the fundamental analytical and evaluative methods of CEOR and their strengths and weaknesses for addressing questions in health services and health outcomes research: retrospective and prospective observational data analysis, natural experiments, controlled experiments, decision analysis, and cost-effectiveness analysis.
  2. Identify and appraise appropriate data sources for addressing research questions in health services and health outcomes research.
  3. Compare the health outcomes or costs of different health care interventions using observational data analysis or decision analysis.
  4. Interpret the findings of an empirical comparative effectiveness analysis, a decision analysis, or cost-effectiveness analysis and explain their relevance to clinical or public health decision makers.
  5. Apply concepts in health care quality, its measurement, and its production to questions about the supply of and demand for health care services and impacts on individual and population health outcomes.

Learn More

Visit the Certificates Database to learn more about core and credit requirements.

Sample Courses

Analysis of Large Scale Data Sets 

This is an applied, hands-on course designed to provide an introduction to several major health data sets and to guide students in processing and analyzing these data. It is designed to complement skills learned in other methods courses and prepare students to advance in the work force or perform independent research for a doctoral program. Students must have taken Biostatistics and have familiarity with Stata, but students comfortable with other software languages, such as SAS or SPSS, or students willing to take a NetCourse before the course begins may enroll.

Decision Analysis for Clinical and Public Health Practices 

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the methods and growing range of applications of decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis in health care technology assessment, medical decision making, and health resource allocation.

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