Decision Support Analyst Professional Certificate

Program Overview

The Decision Support Analyst Professional Certificate at York University has been developed in collaboration with industry partners to prepare you to advance your career in the healthcare sector.

*Please note there are other terms used by employers, workplaces, or the industry that may overlap with the Decision Support Analysts including; Quality Decision Support Specialist, Health Information Analysts. Clinical Decision Support Analyst, Decision Support Business Analyst, and others. 

Why Does This Matter?

Decision support roles are embedded across the health and social services industry in Ontario (this might be the case in other provinces/states across the globe), to facilitate evidence-based decision-making around quality/process improvement and patient safety. Individuals in these roles are expected to use data to support decision-making and/or inform the creation of digital solutions. However, individuals with IT, data science, and business skills often lack a robust understanding of healthcare needs and clinical realities, as well as the facilitation skills needed for the healthcare field. This program will build the capacity of new and transitional workers by merging health informatics and statistical analysis skills, with broad critical thinking, performance measurement and decision-making skills.

This project-based course is designed for professionals who will use data to support decision-making in their current role, or professionals who want to upskill themselves to prepare for new job functions. The program will feature mentorship and action-learning projects to prepare learners for the workplace. Learners are encouraged to bring datasets and objectives from their organization(s) to complete an action learning project that can be applied directly to their workplace. Alternatively, learners may be assigned with real-world projects from our industry partners that they will complete in small groups.

About the Professional Certificate

This Professional Certificate will focus on the use of health information to support decision-making in health care. By the end of this certificate, Decision Support Professionals will understand how to navigate, transform and present datasets to build better programs or procedures to improve patient and provider experience.

You will earn a Decision Support Analyst Professional Certificate digital credential (1) upon successful completion of the programs along the learning pathway when you (2) earn all skills digital credentials and (3) meet expectations for the Action Learning Project.

How You Will Benefit:

  • Gain real-world experience and a robust understanding of healthcare industry needs through a mentored action learning project provided with industry partners
  • Address workplace needs by learning how to analyze and present data to support agile decision-making at the point of care and at the population health level
  • Gain the confidence to assess performance measurement indicators, and clinical documentation systems, and develop critical thinking and analysis skills needed to implement strategies that improve patient care
  •  Engage in systems-thinking discussions with peers and share best practices to lead system-wide process improvements
  • Action Learning Project  -  The opportunity to apply program material to your workplace needs using a mentoring approach with our instructor.
  • A  Professional Certificate highlights a skill group related to an area of professional expertise. Professional certificates awarded by the Health Leadership and Learning Network do not include any academic credits and cannot be applied towards a degree program.
  • You have the opportunity to earn at the end of the program, on successful completion of all mandatory requirements:

What You Will Learn:

The program will fill the skills gap identified by industry partners for decision support roles. By the end of the program, learners will have the competencies to:

  • Develop an understanding of the Canadian health care and data systems, types of data sources or platforms, data quality and quadruple aim
  • Construct and implement data analysis for decision support purposes while accounting for data quality and privacy in a healthcare setting
  • Identify tools that can aid data collection and decision making
  • Engage stakeholders and communicate data effectively to support decision-making
  • Produce and present analytic reports, graphs and visual representations of data using user-centered design principles

Who Should Take This Program:

  • Professionals seeking career transition in performance measurement and decision support within the healthcare sector
  • New or recent graduates interested in working in performance measurement and decision support within the healthcare sector
  • Internationally educated health professionals seeking career transition in performance measurement and decision support within the healthcare sector

Entry Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field from Canada or abroad (e.g. Health Informatics, Health Management/Administration, Computer Science/Information Technology, Health Policy, Health Sciences, Public Health, Nursing, Kinesiology, Psychology, Business Administration, Social Work, Engineering); AND
  • A statistics course or a similar accredited course that has covered analytical knowledge and use of/experience with statistical packages – such as SAS, or R, or SPSS (within an UG program or on its own); AND
    • Programs at the Health Leadership & Learning Network (HLLN) are offered in English. To register for our programs, it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the language requirements. You may be asked to demonstrate language proficiency. Click on the link to learn more: English Language Requirements. Please note all programs have been designed according to Canadian standards.

Please note:

  • You must submit proof that you meet the requirements listed above (e.g. Certificates and/or transcripts).
  • International students who meet program entry requirements will be asked to must submit a copy of their degree certificate or transcript of their academic record (this will need to be in English and translated by a certified lawyer/institution). Please note all programs have been designed according to Canadian standards.
  • SQL is recommended but not required

Program Content

Program Outline:

Theory and Principles of Data Use in Health Care
  • Overview of the Canadian healthcare system, its sectors, and current issues in different sectors
  • Introduction and discussion of different types of healthcare data exploring the steps of the Data Life Cycle
  • Synthesizing principles of the Project Management Lifecycle to data use in healthcare
Metrics and Quality Improvement
  • Discussion on different types of performance metrics
  • Exploring the importance of technology use for workflows in care provision
  • Discuss using performance metrics towards improvement ideas
Data Story Telling and Reporting
  • Provide an overview of user-centered design, and its incorporation into the design and development of user support dashboards
  • Explore the process of a modified Delphi Process and reviewing process in selecting sets of quality indicators for reporting purposes
  • Discussion on different types of reporting, evaluating how data should be analyzed and displayed according to goals and deliverables
Action Learning Project(Format: Online  mentoring , followed by presentations and assessment)

  • Completion of workplace-based project with supported  mentoring over
  • Presentation of action learning project

Curriculum and program outline is subject to change without notice at the discretion of York University. Registered students will receive a final program outline


Sandeep Gill

Sandeep Gill is currently a Decision Support Project Manager at the Hospital for Sick Children. In this role, she supports the Chief Data Officer with the implementation of core components of the Enterprise Data Strategy. Through her work, she manages a team and projects to help shape an integrated approach to data governance, strategy and analytics. Alongside her professional career, she is currently enrolled as a Health Policy, Management and Evaluation PhD student with a particular focus in Health Services Outcomes and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Previous to her current role, Sandeep was the Quality and Knowledge Translation Manager at the Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario. In this role, she managed the Quality Improvement in Primary Care Council with Quality Improvement and Decision Support Analysts province-wide within Primary Care. She designed, developed and led a knowledge translation program for interprofessional healthcare providers. Along with this, she led a Team-Based Primary Care Virtual Care Survey Working Group with stakeholders to develop a Primary Care Virtual Care Experience Virtual Care Survey for patients and providers, which is currently adopted by many teams and for research purposes. Previous to this role, Sandeep obtained hands-on experience as a Decision Support Analyst as she supported 3 Family Health Teams in performance measurement and quality improvement initiatives; planning, decision-making, implementation and evaluation.

Sandeep’s current publications can be found HERE 

Jonathan Lam

Jonathan Lam is currently the Manager of Decision Support and Business Intelligence at North York General Hospital. In this role, he leads a team that provides operational and strategic data and analytics support for clinical program areas across the hospital. This includes the use of near real-time Dashboards/Scorecards, such as a COVID-19 Command Centre Dashboard, to inform day-to-day operations and mark share analysis to support Clinical Services Planning. Prior to North York General Hospital, Jonathan was Manager, Evaluation in the Health System Performance and Support portfolio, at Ontario Health. There, he led a team responsible for the development and production of clinician-level reports ("MyPractice" reports), using administrative data, such as NACRS and OHIP, as well as a Patient Experience Measurement team. Jonathan joined Health Quality Ontario (now part of Ontario Health) as a Sr. Methodologist on the long-term care file in 2012, and previously, held Senior Analyst positions at Cancer Care Ontario within Access to Care and the Cancer Informatics programs. He holds a MSc in Health Services Research from the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto.

Reza Talebi

Reza Talebi is a Medical Doctor and completed his Master’s Degree in eHealth at McMaster University. He is an expert in the adoption and optimization of Information Technology in healthcare. Previously he was an Information Technology Manager at the Iran University of Medical Sciences leading the adoption of Hospital Information Systems and a Practice Enhancement Consultant for Ontario MD supporting primary care physicians to adopt Electronic Medical Records.

He currently serves as Practice Engagement Manager in OntarioMD, responsible for EMR Practice Enhancement Program. He has led the development and adoption of the award-winning Quality Dashboard (Insights 4 Care Dashboard) to support decision support and quality improvement across primary care practices in Ontario. He leads Covid vaccination records management in primary care EMRs at OntarioMD during the pandemic. He manages digital health education in OntarioMD and is a lecturer and planning committee member of quality improvement workshops in partnership with the Ottawa University Department of Family Medicine.

Certificate of Completion & Digital Credentials

Certificates of completion and digital credentials are issued approximately three to four weeks after the end of the program, as long as you have :

  • Attended all sessions
  • Completed and passed all assignments and assessments, as they may be assigned during the program

Please note, you must complete and submit your assignments and assessments before the program end date.

For more information, please review our Program Policies & Disclaimer.

Certificate/Digital Credential

Certificate of Completion & Digital Credentials

Certificates of completion and digital credentials are issued approximately three to four weeks after the end of the program, as long as you have :

  • Attended all sessions
  • Completed and passed all assignments and assessments, as they might be assigned during the program...

Please note, you must complete and submit your assignments and assessments before the program end date.

For more information, please review our Program Policies & Disclaimer.