Healthcare Management

The Integral Role of Healthcare Management

Even though the healthcare system is all about improving patients’ lives, the business side of this industry is as important as ever in building sustainable hospitals and practices. As with any successful business, factors to success can be contributed to talented teams and skilled leaders, making healthcare management one of the most important positions in the industry.

Professionals in a management position can be either generalists who manage and oversee an entire medical areas or specialists in charge of a specific department.

The structure and financing of healthcare are changing rapidly, and healthcare managers need to stay current to ensure that they are leading their medical staff in the right direction. Those entering the profession of healthcare management, as well as those that have been working in it for some time, must constantly be prepared to deal with the changes taking place in the medical world. These changes can be from the integration of healthcare systems, new laws and regulations, technological innovations, and helping to train and focus staff on on preventive care. One of the ultimate responsibilities of healthcare management is to improve the quality of the care that is being given as well as the efficiency in facilities.

Healthcare Management Degrees and Training

In order to possess the skills needed and to be successful as a healthcare manager, certain education is necessary. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree can be a gateway for entry-level positions in smaller facilities and departments. Additionally, experience working in physicians’ offices and some clinical facilities can be a suitable replacement for a degree. On a more advanced level, or for those pursuing a position as a head of a department, a master’s degree is the standard credential for most roles as a medical or healthcare manager.

While most Master’s programs do accept students with a variety of undergraduate studies, applicants should have a solid understanding of how healthcare systems work and the environments in which they will be working. If an applicant has a non-medical undergraduate degree, first-hand medical experience is the best way to prepare for the coursework ahead.

Today’s digital world allows for many professionals to continue working while pursuing a degree in healthcare management. From on-campus studies to online degrees, there are a number of options available for earning a degree.

The most common healthcare management degree on a Master’s level is in one of these disciplines:

  • Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management
  • Master of Science in Healthcare Management
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Public Health

Healthcare Management Careers

The demand for healthcare management is set to grow faster than average in the future, as more and more hospitals, clinics, private facilities and practices continue to operate and expand. For those just starting off their careers, the level of their position varies with their level of experience and the size of the organization.

New graduates with bachelor’s degrees in health administration or related fields usually begin as administrative assistants or assistant department heads in larger hospital systems. In smaller hospitals or facilities, they may begin their careers as department heads or administrators.

Those with a master’s degree in any of the areas listed above may have the opportunity to start their career as department managers or as supervisors of mid- to large-sized organizations such as hospital management, or, they may also start in a position for a consulting firm, clinic, nursing home, or mental health facility.

Depending on the type of medical environment that a healthcare manager works in – like hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, or emergency rooms – the conditions can range from shared spaces in fast-paced environments to more comfortable office arrangements. For most high-ranking and large facility positions, managers can expect to work long hours, sometimes around the clock.

Typically, the long hours and high-stress environments that are encountered by some in a management position are compensated well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for healthcare managers is approximately $80,000 to $100,000.

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