Jeffrey H. Silber

Jeffrey H. Silber
  • The Nancy Abramson Wolfson Professor of Health Services Research, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Director, Center for Outcomes Research The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Professor of Pediatrics and Anesthesiology & Critical Care The Perelman School of Medicine
  • Professor of Health Care Management The Wharton School The University of Pennsylvania

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    Center for Outcomes Research
    Roberts Building
    2716 South Street, Room 5123
    Philadelphia, PA 19146-2305

Research Interests: clinical economics, development of new health care outcome measures, health care disparities, measuring health care quality, medical decision making, outcomes of care in cancer, statistical methodogy in outcomes research including multivariate matching

Links: CV, Personal Website

Overview

 

Dr. Silber holds the Nancy Abramson Wolfson Endowed Chair in Health Services Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and is a Professor of Pediatrics and Anesthesiology & Critical Care at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Professor of Health Care Management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Silber is an internationally known authority on outcomes measurement and severity adjustment for both adult and pediatric applications. He created the adult quality of care measure Failure-to-Rescue (FTR) in 1990 that has been adopted as three specific quality measures by the National Quality Forum (NQF). He has also developed two length of stay outcome measures: Prolonged Length of Stay and Conditional Length of Stay, now applied to both pediatric and adult populations. With Paul Rosenbaum he developed the Omega measure that evaluates outcome measures by estimating the relative contribution of patient to hospital characteristics associated with a specific outcome, and the method of Template Matching to compare hospital cost and quality.  He has published extensively on all aspects of the theory of outcomes measure and model development and validation, as well as the applications of outcomes measures to pressing public health issues.  Much of his recent work focuses on the use of multivariate matching when comparing outcomes, specifically with respect to problems in both pediatric and adult medicine and surgery, disparities, and cancer. Dr. Silber has twice been awarded the Article of the Year Award in Health Services Research from AcademyHealth, the leading professional organization concerning Health Services Research in the U.S.

Dr. Silber helped to establish and has served as the Director of the Center for Outcomes Research since its inception in 1997.  The center is a multidisciplinary health services research hub for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania investigators and external academic and institutional collaborators which aims to improve health outcomes through the development, testing and application of innovative, practical metrics which serve as tools to transform the quality and efficiency of health care.

Dr. Silber teaches two courses at the University of Pennsylvania:  HCMG212 – Health Care Quality and Outcomes:  Measurement and Management at the Wharton School and EPI580 – Outcomes Research at the Perelman School of Medicine.

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Research

Teaching

Current Courses

  • EPID580 - Outcomes Research

    This course is divided into two main parts. The first part addresses issues related to the measurement of quality in health care. Included is a review of theclassical structure-process-outcome quality paradigm. The paradigm's strengths and limitations are addressed. This part especially focuses on outcome measure of quality and examines the validity of alternative measures. The second part deals with observational, or quasi-experimental, research studies. It addresses the advantages and limitations of alternative designs, and covers the role of clinical risk adjustment in observational studies of medical interventions. It focuses on the problem of selection bias, and reviews recent methods for dealing with this bias, such as instrumental variables. Prerequisite: Introductory course in statistics including regression methods. Permission of instructor if prerequistion is not met.

    EPID580401

  • HPR 580 - Outcomes Research

    This course is divided into two main parts. The first part addresses issues related to the measurement of quality in health care. Included is a review of theclassical structure-process-outcome quality paradigm. The paradigm's strengths and limitations are addressed. This part especially focuses on outcome measure of quality and examines the validity of alternative measures. The second part deals with observational, or quasi-experimental, research studies. It addresses the advantages and limitations of alternative designs, and covers the role of clinical risk adjustment in observational studies of medical interventions. It focuses on the problem of selection bias, and reviews recent methods for dealing with this bias, such as instrumental variables. Prerequisite: Introductory course in statistics including regression methods. Permission of instructor if prerequistion is not met.

    HPR 580401

Past Courses

  • BIBB399 - INDEPENDENT RESEARCH

    Individual research of an experimental nature with a member of the standing faculty leading to a written paper. The grade is based primarily on a serious term paper describing original research carried out by the student. Students must submit a proposal prior to registering. During the semester, students must attend two seminars to discuss planning and independent research project, ethical concerns in research and writing a scientific paper. Attendance at the meetings is mandatory. Students doing more than one credit of independent study will be required to present a poster at the annual BBB Symposium.

  • BIBB499 - ADV INDEPENDENT RESEARCH

    Continuation of BIBB 399 research. Students will be required to give an oral presentation of their research at the annual BBB symposium Honors Seminar and attend weekly seminars.

  • EPID580 - OUTCOMES RESEARCH

    This course is divided into two main parts. The first part addresses issues related to the measurement of quality in health care. Included is a review of theclassical structure-process-outcome quality paradigm. The paradigm's strengths and limitations are addressed. This part especially focuses on outcome measure of quality and examines the validity of alternative measures. The second part deals with observational, or quasi-experimental, research studies. It addresses the advantages and limitations of alternative designs, and covers the role of clinical risk adjustment in observational studies of medical interventions. It focuses on the problem of selection bias, and reviews recent methods for dealing with this bias, such as instrumental variables. Prerequisite: Introductory course in statistics including regression methods. Permission of instructor if prerequistion is not met.

  • EPID610 - TUTORIAL IN EPI RESEARCH

    This is a tutorial given by each student's advisor. Advisor and student meet weekly. Topics include: discussion and review of epidemiologic concepts and principles, guided readings in the epidemiology of a specific health area, and the development of the research protocol.

  • EPID900 - MASTER'S THESIS

    These are a series of tutorial sessions conducted by the student's advisor, which are to support the student's efforts in developing a research protocol, designing a designing a research project, and completing the study.

  • HCMG899 - INDEPENDENT STUDY

    Arranged with members of the Faculty of the Health Care Systems Department. For further information contact the Department office, Room 204, Colonial Penn Center, 3641 Locust Walk, 898-6861.

  • HCMG900 - PROSEMINAR IN HE

    This course is intended to provide entering doctoral students with information on the variety of health economics models, methods, topics, and publication outlets valued and used by faculty in the HCMG doctoral program and outside of it. The course has two main parts: the first, to acquaint students with theoretical modeling tools used frequently by health economists. This part of the course involves a number of lectures coupled with students' presentations from the health economics, management and operations research community at Penn on a research method or strategy they have found helpful and they think is important for all doctoral students to know.

  • HPR 580 - OUTCOMES RESEARCH

    This course is divided into two main parts. The first part addresses issues related to the measurement of quality in health care. Included is a review of theclassical structure-process-outcome quality paradigm. The paradigm's strengths and limitations are addressed. This part especially focuses on outcome measure of quality and examines the validity of alternative measures. The second part deals with observational, or quasi-experimental, research studies. It addresses the advantages and limitations of alternative designs, and covers the role of clinical risk adjustment in observational studies of medical interventions. It focuses on the problem of selection bias, and reviews recent methods for dealing with this bias, such as instrumental variables. Prerequisite: Introductory course in statistics including regression methods. Permission of instructor if prerequistion is not met.

  • HPR 799 - INDEPENDENT STUDY

    This course is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to gain or enhance knowledge and to explore an area of interest related to health policy research under the guidance of a faculty member. Prerequisite: Permission of Program Director and Faculty Member.

  • HPR 951 - HPR THESIS I

    Each student completes a mentored research project that includes a thesis proposal and a thesis committee and results in a publishable scholarly product. Prerequisite: Course only open to Masters of Science in Health Policy Research students.

  • HPR 952 - HPR THESIS II

    Each student completes a mentored research project that includes a thesis proposal and a thesis committee and results in a publishable scholarly product. Prerequisite: Course only open to Masters of Science in Health Policy Research students.

  • NURS900 - DIRECTED STUDY

    Must be arranged with the written permission of the sponsoring faculty member prior to registration.

Awards and Honors

  • Nancy Abramson Wolfson Endowed Chair of Health Services Research, 2013
  • AcademyHealth Article-of-the-Year, 2011
  • AcademyHealth Abstract-of-the-Year, 2007
  • The Hummeler Research Prize (Article-of-the-Year), Joseph Stokes, Jr. Research Institute, 2003
  • AcademyHealth (formerly Association for Health Services Research) Article-of-the-Year, 2003
  • Samuel P. Martin Health Services Research Award, 2000
  • Ethel Brown Foerderer Fund for Excellence Award, 1997

In the News

  • Check Up: Breast cancer: Why blacks fare worse, Philadelphia Inquirer - 08/25/2013
  • Study finds why black women less likely to survive breast cancer, CBS News - 07/24/2013
  • Health at diagnosis may drive breast cancer survival gap, Reuters - 07/23/2013
  • Black-White Divide Persists in Breast Cancer, New York Times - 07/23/2013
  • Failure and Rescue, The New Yorker - 10/07/2012
  • How aggressive is your hospital?, New York Times - 02/03/2011
  • What and where is the “waste” in health care?, The Incidental Economist - 01/12/2011
  • Children’s hospitals may face financial hardship, Pittsburgh Business Times - 03/08/1999

Knowledge @ Wharton

Activity

Latest Research

Rachel R. Kelz, Morgan M. Sellers, Bijan A. Niknam, James E. Sharpe, Paul R. Rosenbaum, Alexander S. Hill, Hong Zhou, Lauren L. Hochman, Karl Y. Bilimoria, Kamal Itani, Patrick S. Romano, Jeffrey H. Silber (2020), A national comparison of operative outcomes of new and experienced surgeons, Annals of Surgery, (to appear).
All Research

In the News

Grading Hospital Quality with a Level Playing Field

By “matching” patients across a group of hospitals, a new paper co-authored by two Wharton professors suggests a fairer and more accurate way of assessing the quality of health care providers.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2014/05/20
All News

Awards and Honors

Nancy Abramson Wolfson Endowed Chair of Health Services Research 2013
All Awards