The field of healthcare is expected to continue to grow. Students who choose the health services administration program have several concentration options. Each of the options will include the basics of administration, but will then specialize. These courses may be found in other departments as they cross disciplines. Regardless of which concentration you choose, the outlook for employment after degree is excellent and in most cases, the expected salaries are worth the degree.
Management Operations and Leadership
The Management, Operations and Leadership specialization prepares students to lead health care organizations including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and large medical practices. From mid-level manager to hospital administrator, the individual who specializes in management, operations and leadership will be prepared to manage budgets, personnel and processes. The curriculum covers financial management, human resource management, policy, and information systems related to the health field. The employment outlook for health care managers is excellent. Though the career may be stressful, the financial payoff is good.
Health Policy Analysis
Individuals concentrating on healthcare policy may be employed in a variety of places including governments, associations, lobbying groups, nonprofits, hospitals, among others. An analyst looks at or writes policy and projects how it will impact the organization, community or world. The degree will prepare you to meet the requirements including a good understanding of statistics, the ability to dissect regulations and laws and the ability to write technically. As health policy continues to change, the importance of a good analyst cannot be overlooked. The outlook for this concentration is excellent as is the pay.
Health Financial Management
Students who study to be in the field of financial management in the healthcare field generally have an interest in accounting and planning for short and long term financial goals. The financial manager is responsible for all aspects of the financial health of the organization including day to day bookkeeping, investment strategies and accounts receivable/payable. The degree program will include accounting and management courses, both general and specific to the healthcare. The outlook for this type of career is good and with experience can be extremely lucrative.
Health Information Technology
A concentration in the field of health information technology bridges the gap between healthcare management and information technology. Understanding the basics of healthcare administration allows the IT professional to provide better access to information. It also allows the system administrator to understand legislative and regulatory requirements involved when dealing with patient care. This career is vital to the smooth operations of a healthcare organization. The employment outlook is excellent for this concentration as are the potential earnings.
Quality of Care and Compliance
A concentration in quality of care and compliance is for students interested in the continuous improvement of healthcare. Individuals in this field work with law and regulations, while also understanding medical aspects of procedures. This is a highly technical field and requires a high level of integrity. Students in the quality of care and compliance concentration will learn about all aspects of healthcare management, as well as reading and interpreting laws. With the increased accountability in all areas, this field is expected to continue to grow. With experience, the salary is very good.
Making the right career choice is one of the most important decisions you can make. Getting as much information as you can and matching the career with your likes and dislikes is an important step. Reviewing each of these concentrations and learning more about them is a big step in that direction.