Healthcare management is increasingly becoming an important role in the healthcare industry. Changes in everything from regulation and policy and issues in financial management, healthcare professionals are required to gain the specific leadership skills needed to effectively make decisions and drive operations of a variety of healthcare environments. This includes everything from hospitals to long-term care facilities to private medical practices. For many positions, a master's degree in healthcare management is the minimum requirement to fill the needs of the position. Graduates in a master's in healthcare management program are well prepared to handle the planning, operation, and decision making needed in the healthcare environment.
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General Business Management
Finding an accredited master's program in healthcare management is important to ensure that students are receiving the courses needed to begin a successful career leading a healthcare organization. Additional information on healthcare management programs can be reviewed at the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education . Accredited programs often include courses in general business management and management topics specific to the healthcare industry.
One of the things healthcare management professionals will spend time doing is making the decisions to drive operations across an organization in every area from human resources to budgeting. In order to gain the knowledge needed to make these decisions, graduate students in healthcare management courses begin their master's coursework with advanced classes in topics in business. Some of the common courses taken in the business management core include organizational behavior, financial management, management accounting, marketing management, human resources, marketing, leadership principles, quantitative risk, negotiation, and conflict resolution.
Once a graduate student has completed advanced courses in topics in general business, healthcare specific courses are next to be completed. Some of the typical courses a graduate student will take in the program include American healthcare systems, healthcare organizations and strategic management, informatics in healthcare, and healthcare law, regulation, and policies. Students gain a more thorough understanding of the unique situations involved in healthcare environments from handling policy changes to implementing new government regulations.
In addition, students will often take more specialized courses in healthcare management. Examples include operations management, economics, analytics, and ethics, all related specifically to the healthcare field. These courses are sometimes the start of customizing a specialization in graduate coursework.
Concentrations in Healthcare Management
Additional courses might also be taken in order to develop a specialization in the field. In healthcare informatics, for example, graduate students will take more advanced courses in healthcare informatics, networks, knowledge management, and business intelligence techniques. Students looking to focus on financial management are likely to add additional advanced courses in internal auditing, forecasting, and budgeting. Other potential specializations include operations management and human resources.
Whether focusing your electives to develop a specialization, or completing an MBA with a focus on healthcare management, graduate students will gain the skills and knowledge needed in order to effectively lead healthcare organizations through decision making, planning, and directing operations in a specific department or throughout an entire organization. For additional information on healthcare management career requirements, review the information at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook report.