Good Healthcare Management Programs Equal Good Healthcare Managers
- They are Accredited
- Communication Skills Stressed
- Breadth and Depth
- Financial Competence
There are many healthcare management degrees out there, so what sets the good ones apart from the so-so or the just plain terrible? Obviously, these programs should develop in their students the qualities that make for good healthcare administrators. That is pretty simplistic, but it makes perfect sense. What do employers look for in a job applicant in the field? Here are five hallmarks of a good healthcare management degree.
They are Accredited
Employers want employees that are competent, and graduation from an accredited program makes that more probable. While there may be several accrediting organizations for this discipline, the most well-known and accepted is the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). Accrediting organizations consist of professionals in the discipline who understand what students must know and what skills they must possess. They develop standards of education required to teach that information and then use that as a yardstick by which to measure programs. Accreditation is voluntary, but it is a good sign that a school has confidence in its programs.
Communication Skills Stressed
Administrators must be able to write. There are reports, letters, and other written documents required from them on a daily basis. Additionally, they must be able to get their message across orally. Conferences demand that skill, and employees must understand what is required of them. Good healthcare management programs contain a fair amount of writing and speech courses.
Breadth and Depth
Good healthcare managers are able to make decisions based on their knowledge of the healthcare field and of business. According to an article in Forbes Magazine, technology on the medical front is exploding. Good managers must be able to think critically, interpret data and understand trends and issues in healthcare. Homing in on a single issue to work out minutia is important, but it requires a knowledge of the context of the problem. Good degree programs contain a variety of courses that allow managers to be flexible and recognize alternative solutions. They also have field experiences and internships that provide real-world experiences.
Healthcare administrators lead teams. Good ones lead them well. That is why a good healthcare management degree program contains a lot of opportunity for teamwork. These professionals do not operate independently but work with medical personnel, the financial office, human resources, insurance companies, and others. The ability to see other viewpoints, to lead rather than “push,” and to solve problems jointly is part of the job. Good degree programs help students develop people skills.
Healthcare administrators don’t do patient billing, but they are responsible for making certain that a healthcare facility operates within budget or makes a profit. While most major decisions are made within a committee or managing group, the administrator must understand the concepts shaping those decisions.
Good healthcare management programs contain courses in finance, accounting, economics, statistics and other disciplines that equip managers to make financial decisions for the organization.
Healthcare management is expected to grow by 20 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is a good career choice for people who have the knowledge and the skills necessary to lead a healthcare organization. That is why choosing a good degree program is vital.