This fall Nebraska Business graduate students took their scholastic expertise somewhere a bit unexpected – the operating room. Partnering with Bryan Health, students enrolled in Introduction to Business Strategy (GRBA808) worked with surgeons to help make practical business decisions in the health care industry.
The ideas for the projects stemmed from a brainstorming session during the Bryan Health Physician Leadership Academy, a partnership between the Executive Education program at the College of Business and Bryan Health. Physicians identified projects they thought might have significant strategic and operational value for Bryan Health and its members. Building on the successful relationship between the college and Bryan Health, Dr. Tammy Beck, associate dean of graduate programs and executive education and associate professor of management in the College of Business, knew the projects had potential to benefit both Bryan Health and her graduate students.
“I thought the projects would create a great opportunity for students to gain experience with real-world consulting in my business strategy class. Engaging the students with these projects also kept them moving forward for Bryan Health,” said Beck. “The work provided my students connection to a 'live' case study where they could learn first-hand about organizational issues and the implementation of strategic plans.”
Split into nine teams, the students took on two projects, operating room efficiency/cost reduction and physician wellness. Provided with health care information, three of the teams set out to create strategies for the hospital to reduce costs in operating rooms. The other six teams worked on different ways for Bryan Health to address potential mental health issues surgeons could come across.
Taylor Berry, a student in the master of arts in business with a specialization in intercollegiate athletics administration (MAIAA) program, found herself challenged, yet excited to tackle the experience which involved working on the operating room cost reduction project.
“It was amazing to work on a project for a company to take a practical attempt at solving a real issue they face,” said the Muscatine, Iowa, native. “We used all the resources available, allowing us to gain real-world experience strategizing and forming a business plan. What we learned during this project will be valuable no matter the jobs we all fall into after the program.”
The projects concluded with students presenting their plans to a panel of surgeons and board members of Bryan Health. One of the members of the panel, Dr. John Trapp, vice president for medical affairs for Bryan Medical Center, believes the students brought a unique perspective to the projects.
“It was evident the students put in a tremendous amount of effort into the project. They took their time and did a very detailed analysis. Their immense amount of pride in the work they did shined through each of their presentations. We heard many great ideas we can take home with us and use further in these efforts,” said Trapp, who completed the Bryan Health Physicians Leadership Academy in the spring.
To learn more about business graduate programs, visit: https://business.unl.edu/gradprograms
To learn more about the customized programming, such as the Bryan Health Physicians Leadership Academy, offered by Executive Education, visit: https://business.unl.edu/execeducation