*The Utah Department of Health specifically reached out to the BYU English Department about this internship opportunity. They are very interested in working with our students to analyze data, create compelling narratives about the information, and effectively communicate this information to a variety of audiences.
Internship Opportunity at the Utah Department of Health (UDOH, Office of Health Care Statistics (OHCS)
The Office of Health Care Statistics, an office within the Utah Department of Health’s Center for Health Data and Informatics, collects, analyzes, and disseminates health care data. These data help people understand cost, quality, access, and value in our healthcare system and allow users to identify opportunities for improvement. We are currently accepting current students who would like to have hands-on opportunities to work alongside the team and gain practical experience as they further advance their education, secure any credits for internships/practicum they may need for their degree program, and gain exposure to key players in the healthcare industry in Utah, via the Utah Health Data Committee, which we facilitate. The office also manages the state’s Patient Safety Surveillance and Improvement Program, so we certainly have a lot to offer in terms of experience to students! The main data series under the purview of the office include:
- Healthcare Facilities Data: Includes all institutional “patient encounters” that are provided in the State of Utah by qualifying licensed facilities.
- Surveys of Customer Satisfaction with Health Plans (CAHPS): Health plans (commercial and Medicaid, medical and dental) conduct annual surveys of their members (Required by statute – implemented by rule).
- Self-reported Quality Metrics for Health Plans (HEDIS): Quality of care measures – Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS), which is developed and maintained by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
- All Payer Claims Database: Includes claims paid on behalf of Utah residents for the majority of health plans, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, and third party administrators including PBMs.
- Patient Safety Surveillance and Improvement Program (PSSIP): A reporting mechanism which captures patient safety events (injuries, death or other adverse events) associated with healthcare delivery and administration of anesthesia, which fosters conversations on how to minimize adverse patient safety events in Utah.
Interns will have the opportunity to develop specific projects that will help advance their professional skill set, gain an understanding about how healthcare data are managed at the state, and learn about an array of functional areas. These functional areas include, but are not limited to: budgeting & finance, analytics, state law, healthcare policy, patient safety, meeting facilitation and public speaking, healthcare research, privacy and compliance, grant writing and healthcare quality and satisfaction. The intern will work under the supervision and mentorship of the office director, and will have regular check-ins to track project progress, ensure interns have the opportunity to network with others across the Department of Health, and that their experience aligns with their curriculum and professional goals. The internship may be done remotely or arrangements can be made to accommodate an intern at the Cannon Health Building. This opportunity is unpaid, and interns are expected to contribute at least 10 hours per week.
OHCS is currently seeking students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs. Students may be from any academic discipline. Students must have an interest in public health, data/statistics, healthcare law, patient safety and/or management, and must have strong writing skills. While no specific level of proficiency in any particular software is required, student experience using Excel, R, RShiny, Cognos and Python are highly desired.
Learning outcomes will be contingent on the student’s project and interests. Upon completion of the internship, students may be able to:
- Understand how healthcare data are collected, protected and maintained
- Learn about the Federal and state laws that govern healthcare data
- Be able to interpret statute, the legislative process and impacts on an office within the executive branch of state government
- Know about administrative rules, how to interpret and how they are maintained
- Learn how to seek and apply for grant opportunities
- Convert complex research findings into easily interpretable reports
- Develop confidence in communicating to executive level audiences
- Design logic models
- Make proposals for programmatic and process improvement purposes
- Design surveys, collect and interpret data
- Brainstorm as part of a team to design the layout for future dashboards and reports
- And much more!
To apply, send your resume and cover letter via email to: Carl Letamendi at firstname.lastname@example.org and Mary Dy at email@example.com, or reach out if you have any questions about this opportunity.