MIT Sloan Action Learning

H-Lab Overview

Take the Class

The first step in the H-Lab experience is to take the class, Healthcare Lab.

Over the last decade, healthcare spending in the U.S. has been continuously rising at a rate far exceeding inflation. With over $2.9 trillion last year, healthcare spending currently accounts for more than 17.9% of the national GDP, far exceeding any other developed country. The overspending has not led to superior outcomes, and in fact the U.S. stands behind most other developed countries on providing appropriate access to care as well as many other leading quality indicators.

U.S. healthcare and health management related challenges provide unique opportunities for students to make an important and positive impact on the world, through innovative research and educational activities. These challenges are the focus of H-Lab.

H-Lab is an interdisciplinary project-based learning course with three specific goals:

  1. To provide students with first-hand insights into the issues and challenges facing health and healthcare organizations
  2. To provide students with an intensive experience working collaboratively with senior leadership in healthcare organizations
  3. To provide students with a forum in which to develop their integrated problem-framing skills in order to assist organizations in complex environments to move to action

Do the Lab Project

As a main feature of the H-Lab class, student teams work with their host organizations on four-month project engagements designed to tackle real-world problems. In late September, H-Lab faculty members match the best-qualified teams to their preferred host organizations. From October through December, the teams work on campus with their host organizations, building their client relationships through online collaboration and conference calls. Teams conduct research, interviews, and analysis that will be critical for their future work in the field. In January, teams work on site full-time at their host organizations’ facilities for three weeks.

Return: Reflections and Deliverables

In MIT Sloan’s signature Think-Act-Reflect approach to Action Learning, reflection is an ongoing component in the cycle of an H-Lab project. Through various methods of reflection—such as updates, team processing, mentor coaching, posters, and public presentations—students link theory and practice before, during, and after their project engagement, bringing them to a deeper understanding of the broad impact of what they’ve learned. The teams’ final deliverables include a formal presentation and, more importantly, concrete analysis that the host organizations’ senior management can put to work immediately.

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