Healthcare Management: An Evolving, In-Demand Field
2020 was a year that tested our resilience and opened our eyes to the critical role
that doctors, nurses and paramedics play in our world and survival. But what about
the heroes supporting them behind the scenes?
Health care managers are just as vital a part of the medical industry as any other health care hero. With the continuously evolving changes in health care laws and regulations, hospitals, clinics and medical centers need management experts to ensure things run smoothly and patient care is efficient and exceptional.
With greater demand than ever before for dynamic leaders in the health care sector of the U.S., health care management grads are just the experts to fill the need.
The Role of the Health Care Manager
A health care manager is responsible for tying all the processes of an organization together, ensuring that each component is running smoothly individually to function as a whole. The health care manager must demonstrate innovation and takes on a leadership role to oversee and coordinate operations of a health care facility, including needs of the patients and community, budget and goals.
Serving as an organization's official spokesperson, the health care manager collaborates with staff on:
- strategic planning
- support staff and leadership relations
- scheduling and patient conflict
- implementing plans to improve efficiency and eliminate waste
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought home many vulnerabilities, from managing the spread of infectious disease to supply chain management. Pre-pandemic, the needs of the health care sector been steadily increasing due to the aging of population. Not only are we going to need more clinicians, but also a whole range of management trained personnel who can effectively manage sourcing, supply chains and operations in inpatient and outpatient settings; track evidence-based outcome; attain and retain highest level accreditation; negotiate contracts with insurance companies; and achieve the highest level of patient satisfaction,” said SXU finance professor Faisal Rahman, Ph.D.
Education in Health care Management
To be successful as a health care manager, one must be well-versed in both the business and health care fields.
Health care managers will need to know how to manage a business while also being familiar with medical and health care terminology, health information laws and health facility organization.
Health care managers need:
- strong interpersonal skills
- excellent communication
- keen analytical insight
- a knack for details
- working knowledge of the laws and regulations that apply to various health system organizations
Because of the strong leadership and skills required to be a successful health care manager, many hospitals and health care organizations seek out working professionals who have a health care management degree.
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Health Care Management prepares students with the business acumen and management skills necessary to run the day-to-day operations of a health care facility.
Students who complete the MBA in Health Care Management at Saint Xavier University (SXU) will gain real-world, contemporary knowledge of the health care industry and focus on enhancing skills in data-driven decision-making and ethical and legal responsibilities in a diverse world to become successful health care professionals. Offered fully online, the 39-credit program can be completed at the student's own pace.
High-Impact Practices in the Classroom
A program that aligns with students' goals offers students the ability to explore their passions, interests and needs, and meets the prestigious accreditation standards set by a regional accrediting agency is the ideal pathway for those interested in working in health care management.
At SXU, the Graham School of Management, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), collaborates with the School of Nursing and Health Sciences to deliver a program that transitions graduate students into health care leaders. High-impact practices are essential for building skills that will help students create action plans with patients and colleagues. Skills are built in coaching, counseling, strategic planning, budgeting and resolving patient and staff conflicts.
Health care management students learn about root causes for why the U.S. health care industry is being reshaped to better address health care cost and clinical outcomes and study patient and family needs for special support considering ethnic, cultural, racial and age factors that must be given high priority when supplying personalized care. Students focus on the most effective techniques to evaluate electronic medical records, patient surveys, quality measure reports and financial management. They also learn to use health care analytic tools to support making the best leadership decisions for leading high-performance care teams.
Students are prepared to be strategic, but a successful health administrator must also be compassionate.
Courses incorporate Saint Xavier's Mercy mission, a calling to serve communities with compassion, care, dignity and respect. Students learn how to support patients' changing emotional and physical needs, advocate for those who suffer from mental health conditions and gently support patients and family members at the end of life.
“We at SXU, with our long tradition of being associated with hospitals and health care, are better positioned than others. Our education puts the individual in need at the center, and managers are trained to support the clinicians to provide the highest level of care in the Mercy tradition. Our management programs help prepare healthcare managers so that organizations run in an efficient and cost-effective manner, which enables the clinicians to focus singularly on patients’ needs,” said Rahman.
Health care Management Career Outlook
Students in the health care management program at SXU are well-prepared for successful careers.
Health Care Management students are trained to effectively oversee team delivery for:
- health system and community treatment centers
- biotechnology centers
- public policy
- human resources
- pharmaceutical centers
- mental health care and more.
Among other positions, graduates are prepared to work as:
- health care consultants
- strategic project managers
- hospital administrators
- health services managers
- pharmaceutical brand managers
- quality improvement managers
High-impact practices in courses immerse students into actual employer practice, providing experience in updating strategic plans, performing market analyses, evaluating managed care contracts and refocusing goals to meet diverse patient populations' health needs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health care occupations will see a growth of 18% over the next five years, with 2.4 million new health care jobs by 2026.
That outlook is improved by those with a master's degree in health care management. The Graduate Management Admission Council counts health care among the top three industries to hire candidates with MBAs.
It's thought that patient care is only as efficient as an organization's health care management team, making the role of health care manager imperative, now more than ever as the health care industry's landscape continuously evolves.
“Employment forecasts, for the Chicago region, suggest that health care and social assistance occupations will be in-demand for the next decade. This result is significant because these forecasts suggest that the Chicago region job market is going to contract in size over the next decade. Health care occupations are expanding in size and scope, in an overall employment market that is shrinking. Our practitioner academics have both the real-world and theoretical skills to help SXU graduate students obtain meaningful employment in health care industries,” said Mark Rosenbaum, Ph.D., dean of GSM.
With an MBA in Health Care Management from Saint Xavier University, you'll play a major role in ensuring that the patient care provided is the best possible, effectively transforming organizations and changing lives.
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