Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

Major Professor

Russell Zaretki

Committee Members

Charles Noon, Randy Bradley, Bogdan Bichescu


The main focus of this study is to create a standardized approach to evaluating the impact of the patient care pathways across all major disease categories and key outcome measures in a hospital setting when randomized clinical trials are not feasible. Toward this goal I identify statistical methods, control factors, and adjustments that can correct for potential confounding in observational studies. I investigate the efficiency of existing bias correction methods under varying conditions of imbalanced samples through a Monte Carlo simulation. The simulation results are then utilized in a case study for one of the largest primary diagnosis areas, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

The analysis of the COPD pathway effects on the readmission rates showed a significant positive impact, with reduction in the probability of readmissions between 12% and 16%. The reduction in the length of stay was reported across all the models with historical controls, but the effect was not statistically significant.

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