For more than three decades, researchers at Dartmouth have been paying attention to the disconnect between the epidemiology of health care and the epidemiology of patients’ needs. The idea of shared decision making — a crucial tool in connecting capacity with need — emerged here in the 1980s, alongside the pioneering practice of quantifying patient-reported measures. The nation’s first Master’s degree program in Health Care Delivery Science has created a crucible for dynamic, multiple curricula across academic and professional disciplines. A unique collaborative among leading U.S. health care systems is identifying and disseminating best practices so that health care institutions everywhere can improve care and lower costs. Creative partnerships — from the King’s Fund in the UK to China’s Ministry of Health — bring cross-cultural understanding and contexts to bear on shared challenges. The construction of an unprecedented database of experiential outcomes brings the discipline of science to the human, qualitative understanding of health care.

Through these and other resources, The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science promises not to provide solutions, but to create knowledge that helps to:

  • Match the delivery of services to people’s needs;
  • Develop common models, methods, and metrics for use across contexts;
  • Improve the ‘know-how’ of practitioners;
  • Inform and involve patients in the delivery of their own care;
  • Move health care from delivery silos to integrated delivery systems;
  • Get the right workers with the right skills in the right places;
  • Improve efficiencies and eliminate waste;
  • Measure outcomes and value;
  • Establish frameworks for accountability;
  • Educate for leadership.


The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care

A decades-long study documenting glaring variations in how medical resources are distributed and used in the United States.

The Wennberg International Collaborative

A research network examining organizational and regional variation in health care in countries around the world.

Center for Shared Decision-Making

The nation’s first center dedicated to encouraging doctors and patients to make decisions together.

Master of Health Care Delivery Science

Innovative program drawing on the management expertise of the Tuck School of Business and the health care expertise of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice