Healthcare management (HCM) is the field related to leadership, management, and administration of public health systems, healthcare systems, hospitals, and hospital networks. Healthcare managers are considered healthcare professionals and it is an exciting time for those who aspire toward careers in healthcare management in hospitals and healthcare systems. There are many options for careers related to healthcare management and different settings as well. Read on to find out more about healthcare management in the hospital setting.
What are Some of the Jobs in a Hospital Setting for a Healthcare Manager?
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 100,000 people, more than thirty nine percent of all medical and health service managers were employed in state, local and private hospitals. This is the largest area of employment for HCM and these professionals are employed at numerous organizational levels, from department head to chief executive officer. There are many areas of employment opportunities in hospitals including Human Resources, Nursing Administrator, Patient care services, and Information Systems. Hospital administrators serve as the central points of control within hospitals or health systems. These individuals may be previous or current health professional (such as a physician, psychologist, nurse) or individuals with other backgrounds. There are two types of administrators:
- Employee responsible for managing or helping to manage an entire facility
- Employees responsible for the efficient operations of specific departments such as policy analysis, finance, accounting, budgeting, human resources, or marketing.
What are Some of the Responsibilities for Those Healthcare Managers Working in Hospitals?
Healthcare Managers, also known as Health Services Managers, direct the operations of hospitals with responsibilities for facilities, services, programs, staff, budgets, relationships with other organizations and other management functions. Unlike a clinician, Healthcare Administrators or Managers do not deal directly with patients, instead their responsibilities include shaping policy, making needed changes and lead our nation’s health-related organizations in a way that serves individual patients by helping to improve the healthcare system. Most health administrators work long hours.
Specific Job Titles for People With a Healthcare or Hospital Management Degree
Those who are new to the job market may not know what exactly to do with their hospital management degree. In other words, they may overlook jobs they are qualified for simply because they are not familiar with the many different jobs in the field. As such, it is helpful for healthcare management graduates to see a list of the different jobs they can do with their degrees.
People who hold an associate degree can begin a career in healthcare and hospital management. They work in positions, like administrative coordinator, medical or healthcare secretary, operations assistant and medical support specialist. Many of these jobs are considered entry-level jobs. However, they not only play a critical role in hospital administration, they also give these workers valuable experience in the medical field. Many of these jobs are stepping stones to long and rewarding careers in healthcare and hospital management.
Healthcare workers who hold a bachelor’s degree in hospital or healthcare management go on to hold jobs with titles, like healthcare administrator, patient finance manager, managed care rep, health insurance manager or quality and improvement manager. Other job titles can include director of assisted living, healthcare clinic director or information technology specialist. Many of these careers are mid-level careers.
Those who hold MBAs or doctorates in healthcare management become healthcare consultants, hospital program directors, CEOs of healthcare facilities, COOs of hospitals, directors of development and more. Other job titles can include healthcare researcher or professor, director of emergency facilities, healthcare informatist, healthcare association manager, hospice director and VP or President of a hospital.
Many jobs in hospital or healthcare management require advanced degrees, like an MBA or doctorate. However, that is not to say that a person needs an advanced degree to start a career in hospital management. Like most careers, there are “stepping stone” jobs along the way.
These jobs do not require advanced degrees, and many established medical managers have worked their way up the career ladder by working these types of jobs. More specifically, these types of administration or middle management jobs provide these medical professionals with valuable experience in the field. They learn how hospitals or medical facilities are run. The jobs also allow these professionals to become comfortable with the terminology and the technology.
The jobs additionally give job holders an idea of what kind of career path they want to take in the medical field. For example, someone who initially wishes to work as a hospital administrator may find out later that he or she would rather work with hospice patients and their families. Lower-level jobs in these career tracks give these medical workers valuable insights into the jobs they would like to hold in the future, so no experience is wasted.
What are the Requirements for Education to Become a Healthcare Manager in a Hospital?
Fortunately for many would-be hospital managers, degree options are plentiful. More specifically, many of these degrees are now online. These types of degrees appeal to people who are either already working in lower-level positions in healthcare or who work in a different field and wish to change careers.
Students can live anywhere when they opt for an online degree. They do not have to be in the same state or even the same country. Aside from this, the instruction for most online degrees is delivered via asynchronous instruction. This means that students can study course materials at a time that is convenient for their schedules.
Unlike live, lecture-based instruction, asynchronous instruction might include lectures, but they have been pre-recorded. Additional instructional materials might be delivered via textbook readings, audio recordings, simulations, online articles and more.
Because this type of content is already in fixed form, the student is not required to show up at a specific time to access it. For those who have job and family schedules already in place such instruction provides a great deal of flexibility.
A second option that some schools offer to non-traditional students is a degree that can be earned on campus by taking classes in the evenings and on the weekends. Degree tracks like this work around a traditional 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. work schedule. This gives non-traditional students access to live lectures and in-person interactions with classmates and instructors but at a time that works for them.
Aside from their atypical instructional delivery method, a healthcare or hospital management degrees like this offer students the same degree that their more traditional counterparts earn. They get the same jobs.
Many times, these students even have the same opportunities to participate in internships or classes which include a service-learning component. These opportunities allow hospital management degree students to develop valuable on-the-job skills before they hit the job market.
Most Hospitals require administrators hold at least a Bachelor’s level degree and a Master’s or Doctorate degree will be necessary at larger facilities or for executive positions in administration. Those individuals holding higher level degrees will hold the greatest level of responsibility while also earning the highest salaries.
Hospital Management Degree: Alternative Degrees
Not everyone who works in healthcare management holds a medicine-related degrees. Hospital workers who hold technology degrees are becoming more and more prevalent due to the need to modernize hospital records systems and other related tasks.
This is not to say that these professionals do not also have training in medicine. They do. In fact, they have to know about both sides in order to comply with the rules that govern technology in medical settings. That said, the focus of these professionals on the job will be much more on the technology side rather than the patient care side.
Degree programs have sprung up to help train up these hospital support workers. For example, it is now possible to earn a degree in health information technology, and while some may not consider it a hospital management degree, this type of degree is necessary for the IT professional who wants to work in IT management in a hospital setting.
IT managers in hospitals help hospital staff by not only creating or running the software that keeps track of patient care records, they also inform medical administrators of advancements in technology as they relate to the medical field. They additionally assist hospital administrators in making technology-related business decisions. IT managers in healthcare facilities count as one of the biggest trends in hospital management today.
Additionally, this trend toward technology also addresses the spike in popularity of tele-health. Virtual healthcare systems allow patients to talk to healthcare providers directly without having to be in the same room with them.
Medical professionals with IT backgrounds will continue to play a pivotal role in this trend. This trend is likely to gain even more ground as more insurance companies sponsor plans that include telemedicine.
Finally, as hospitals and other medical facilities continue to try to cut costs, it is likely that telemedicine will gain even more traction, making the hospital-based IT professional a key player in medicine today.
People who are both technologists and managers in medical settings have job titles, like data architect, software developer, IT consultant, systems analyst, chief information security officer and chief technology officer.
What is the Salary Range and Job Growth Predication for Healthcare Managers in a Hospital Setting?
According to The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the national average for Medical and Healthcare Managers in May of 2013 was $101,340. Depending on the specific area of employment, HCM professionals can earn up to $155,000 annually. Growth in employment for Healthcare Managers is expected to exceed twenty three percent from 2012 to 2022. This is much faster than the averages anticipated for other occupations. Partly due to the increase in lifespan, as well as Americans remaining active later in life, the healthcare industry as a whole will see an increase in the demand for medical services resulting in an increase in numbers of physicians, patients, procedures and number of facilities. Qualified Healthcare managers will be needed to organize and manage medical information and staff in this rapidly expanding healthcare industry.
Finally, those who work in information technology in the hospital setting can expect to make anywhere from $65,000 a year up to $140,000 or more per year.
Final Words on Getting a Hospital Management Degree
Requirements for senior-level administrators in hospitals are demanding, however these jobs also offer opportunities to improve the system of care giving. Career opportunities within hospitals and Healthcare systems for those professionals with Healthcare management degrees will be rewarding, fast-paced and expansive.
Additionally, many degree programs in the medical field are designed with the working professional in mind. Many people who go into healthcare management already hold jobs in the field, or they wish to move into healthcare management from other careers.
Online degrees and degree programs that offer classes on evenings and weekends give these would-be hospital managers the opportunity to get degrees. These degrees don’t require them to sacrifice their work or family schedules. These degree programs additionally offer the same diploma that a campus-based hospital management degree does: Only the instructional format is different.
Finally, technology will continue to play a big role in healthcare management. Not only do hospitals and other medical care facilities need tech in order to keep track of patient care records, they also need it to run a number of different hospital systems.
As such, more and more hospitals have opened up jobs in IT. These jobs allow people who are interested in technology to work in the medical field without having to earn a medical degree. While their coursework will deal with medicine, they will not be expected to deal directly with patient care.
However, as telemedicine continues to gain popularity, these critical hospital workers are likely to see plenty of job opportunities open up. The most important thing for these hospital and medical facilities workers to remember is that they must work closely with other medical facilities administrators to ensure that the facility’s IT department is in compliance with the rules that government IT in the medical field.