Action Learning

Healthcare Lab

Our H-Lab student teams work on complex problems with organizations in healthcare-related areas, including operations management, analytics, IT and delivery innovation.

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Healthcare Lab


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15.777 Healthcare Lab: Introduction to Healthcare Delivery in the United States

Our Healthcare Lab students work with host companies to find actionable solutions to real challenges in the healthcare field, and to make improvements in analytics, operations management, IT, marketing, and many other areas, with one ultimate goal: to improve the quality of healthcare and patient outcomes. 

H-Lab provides a unique learning opportunity for students by using classroom discussions with faculty and guest speakers to provide insights that support their Action Learning project work.

Guest speakers come from many areas of the U.S. health delivery system:

  • Health systems such as Mass General Brigham and Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Digital healthcare delivery innovators such as Amwell and Buoy Health
  • Government health leaders focused on health information technology, Medicaid, and public health

Action Learning projects provide students hands on experience that will prepare them for the very real challenges that face healthcare organizations. And through these students' experiences, healthcare businesses, employees, and patients ultimately benefit. 



H-Lab spotlight

Healthcare Lab


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Improving healthcare services 

H-Lab students work with healthcare organizations in many locations throughout the East Coast. By expanding medical technologies into new markets, improving patient and provider communications, and helping organizations follow best practices with medications, our students are making a difference in the healthcare industry. 

H-Lab Impact Stories

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Recent H-Lab projects

Healthcare Lab

Info for students

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The class

Students in the healthcare field not only learn about the challenges they face in the industry; they can also make a direct impact through their learning. H – Lab allows students to make a meaningful difference in the healthcare world through innovative research and educational activities. This interdisciplinary, project-based course is designed to:

  • Provide insight to the issues facing healthcare organizations
  • Immerse students in an intensive experience working collaboratively with senior leadership in healthcare organizations
  • Create a forum where students and healthcare leaders can work together to take action

In the field

A large part of this course involves students working with host companies. Once the H-Lab teaching team assigns students to a host, these groups of four will work with their host organizations on a four-month project designed to tackle a real-world business problem. The teams work with their hosts online and via video and conference calls to determine the project scope, schedule, and deliverables. Throughout the semester, teams conduct extensive research, interviews, and analyses that will help them find potential solutions to their hosts' business challenges. The student teams spend significant time interacting with their host company to collaborate and implement their findings. At the end of January, students present their projects to hosts and each other in an Action Learning Poster Session. 

Reflections and deliverables 

Though one of the main focuses of H-Lab is creating deliverables for host organizations, reflection is a crucial aspect of Action Learning. Through mentor coaching sessions, updates, and the creation of posters for public presentation, students link theory and practice in order to deepen their learning experiences.   

MIT Healthcare Certificate

While H-Lab is open to all students who have completed 15.060 and 15.761, or receive faculty permission, it is required for the MIT Healthcare Certificate.

Class timeline

  • September - December

    Course meets for lectures and guest speakers. 

  • September

     Student teams are formed.

     Teams are matched to host organizations and projects.

  • September - October

    Teams contact host organizations and develop project work plans.

    Teams work on projects and with host organizations. 

  • October-December

    Student teams have frequent check-ins with host organizations. 

  • December

    Fall classes end, and holiday break begins.

  • January

    Teams work with their hosts, including a final presentation and a poster session. 

Healthcare Lab

Info for hosts

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The benefits of becoming a host organization

America's healthcare system is notoriously complex. Our students work with many different types of organizations, including clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare centers, and have a wide of array of experiences that have prepared them to solve some of healthcare's biggest challenges while also applying their H-Lab and other classroom learning.Students and organizations work together to tackle problems in a variety of healthcare areas, including:

  • Analytics
  • Delivery innovation
  • IT
  • Operations management
  • Organizational dynamics
  • Strategic marketing 


Interested in becoming a host? 

Please contact the Healthcare Lab faculty in order to learn more about becoming a host. Our teams of students can help improve the health of both patients and organizations. 

Please note that although there is no fee for becoming a host, when travel is permitted, organizations are responsible for travel expenses if teams are required to leave the MIT area for their onsite experience. This would include:

  • Team members’ round-trip coach airfare
  • Reasonable lodging for students while onsite

Host timeline

  • June

    Host application period begins. Invitations are sent out. 

  • July

    Project application deadline. Please contact H-Lab faculty for more details. 

  • September

    During the first and second weeks of the semester, students are matched with accepted projects. 

    Toward the end of September, teams begin conversations with hosts about project design and proposal or workplan. 

  • October - December

    Student teams actively engage host, usually via phone or video conference, to follow work plan. 

  • January

    Teams work with their host, advancing the project and making presentations to senior leaders. 

Healthcare Lab


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H-Lab Faculty

Anne Quaadgras

Anne Quaadgras

Management Science

Senior Lecturer, Operations Management

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H-Lab Mentors

Luis Spencer Barros

Luis Spencer Barros

Behavioral and Policy Sciences

Lecturer, Global Economics and Management (GEM).

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Mike Benedetto


Will Sun

Will Sun

Behavioral and Policy Sciences

Lecturer, Global Economics and Management

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Melissa Webster

Melissa Webster

Behavioral and Policy Sciences

Lecturer, Managerial Communication

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Students and host wearing surgical outfits looking at surgical tools.

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About Action Learning

Bringing theory to life.

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Bringing student teams together.

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