If you have ever gone to a hospital for care, you have witnessed much going on behind the scenes. Whether it’s the intake process, equipment and supplies used, food service, pharmaceuticals, labs, coordination between departments, janitorial service, or billing, there are many moving parts. Who is responsible for making sure all functions of the hospital are running efficiently and effectively? It is likely a health care manager.
The field of health care management is an exciting, challenging, and critical career, especially for those wishing to contribute in the health care sector without being a medical professional. So, what is health care management, exactly?
What is Health Care Management?
In a nutshell, health care management involves directing and overseeing all of the day-to-day functions of a health care facility, department, clinic, physician’s office, or other health care organization. The operations that fall under the health care manager’s purview include the planning, directing and coordination of medical and health services by ensuring that:
- All required resources are available and used correctly and efficiently
- Proper working conditions are maintained
- All laws and regulations are followed, both in the provision of care and operation of the facility
- Qualified staff is recruited, hired, and trained, and all HR functions are carried out appropriately
- Coordination and delivery of services between varied departments, staff, and medical teams is well-administered
- Goals and objectives are set and followed
- Equipment is procured and maintained
- Annual budgets are created and managed
- Billing systems are working effectively
- Work schedules are developed to meet staffing needs
- Organized and thorough records are maintained
- Required reports are prepared and presented
Preparing to Become a Health Care Manager
In carrying out each of these responsibilities, the health care manager must utilize strong communication skills, a solid foundation in good business practices, and excellent decision-making skills. These are the knowledge and skills that serve as the foundation of Ottawa University’s BA in Health Care Management, which is the minimum requirement for supervisory roles in health care facilities.
OU’s online undergraduate health care management program has a clinical track and a non-clinical track. The clinical track is for those who currently hold a registry, license, or associate degree in a clinical field. It allows students to transfer a minimum of 30 hours of clinical/laboratory coursework towards their degree.
Both the clinical and non-clinical tracks help students discover ways to meet the growing demand for affordable, efficient, responsible, and effective health care. OU’s highly esteemed faculty share their expertise and managerial insights for understanding the complex, evolving, and integrated health care and reimbursement systems; analyzing perspectives, methods, and values associated with the delivery of those systems; and evaluating client needs, fiscal constraints, management practices, ethical principles, public policies, and promotional strategies of health care institutions. Some of the specific courses include:
- Planning and Budgeting in Health Care
- Human Resources in Health Care Organizations
- Health Care Law and Ethics
- Health Care Policy and Regulations
- Quality in Health Care
- Management of Health Care Organizations
- Seminar in Applied Health Care Management Capstone
The degree also offers four concentrations – Economics, Finance, Human Resources, and Leadership and Management – for those wanting more focused management training to augment their skills and marketability.
Now that we’ve answered, “What is health care management?” and identified the educational requirements to prepare for the field, the next logical question is, “What can you do with a health care management degree?”
What Can You Do with a Health Care Management Degree?
While there continues to be great demand for doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners, there is also a rising need for the office professionals and administrators that maintain health care operations. A host of roles fall under the umbrella of health care management, depending on the level of experience and/or the level of education one holds. These roles usually fall into two categories: specialists who oversee a specific clinical department or team in a health care organization; and generalists (administrators) who manage an entire facility or system.
A health care management degree can lead to specialist and generalist positions such as:
- Nursing Home or Assisted Living Administrator
- Clinical Director/Manager
- Hospital Administrator
- Health Care Risk Manager
- Hospice Administrator
- Mental Health Facility Administrator
- Nurse Manager
- Rehabilitation Manager
- Health Information Manager
- Community Health Manager
- Health Policy Analyst
- Medical Services Administrator
- Quality and Improvement Manager
- Health Care Human Resources Manager
- Physician Practice Manager
Other areas of oversight might be in health care finance, which involves managing the organization’s expenditures, income, budgeting and financial records; or quality and improvement, which relates to analyzing data and health care trends to initiate improvements in the health care systems of an institution.
The next important question prospective degree holders ask is, “How much do health care managers make?”
How Much Do Health Care Managers Make?
Good news on this front! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for medical and health services managers in 2021 was $101,340, which is more than double the average salary for all jobs. Not only is the salary excellent, but job growth is projected to be 28 percent through 2031, which is much faster than the average for all jobs. In all, approximately 56,600 openings for medical and health services managers are expected to be added each year over the decade. If you are looking to move into management, those statistics alone are a strong incentive to find your niche in health care.
How’s the Health of Your Career?
Have you taken your vitals recently in regards to your career? Are your opportunities for career advancement and increased income weak? It’s time to strengthen your career outlook by earning your BA in Health Care Management from Ottawa University and securing a bright, robust future as a health care manager. Call us today! We’ll give you the shot in the arm you need to get started.
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