The 21st century healthcare system is changing at almost every level. From primary care to specialized needs to public health, the range of provided services, receiving care options, increased flexibility of where care is administered and the skilled professionals to provide it are all changing.
That’s why healthcare management is critical, now more than ever.
Healthcare managers oversee, plan, direct and coordinate health and medical services. Whether they work directly with a hospital, a small private practice or a group of specialized providers, healthcare managers act as the lynchpin for ensuring the public gets the right treatment in a timely manner and at the highest quality available.
Healthcare managers aren’t medical doctors, so they typically don’t need the same amount of post-secondary education. However, the position does require a proficiency in a variety of areas, from financial management, to overseeing a staff, to training and preparing for a pandemic.
Degrees & Career Opportunities
A Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management can be sufficient to secure a job, but some healthcare organizations prefer applicants with a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management. Earning a healthcare management degree helps prepare professionals for many of the responsibilities associated with caregiving, including planning and directing, coordinating and managing staff.
Some of the careers for professionals with a healthcare management degree can include:
- Healthcare financial manager
- Patient care executive
- Facility manager
- Director of nursing
- Medical records manager
Additional positions such as healthcare administrator typically rely more strongly on an individual’s ability to manage a staff at a healthcare facility, as opposed to managing the business functions and overall scope of medical services provided. Healthcare administrators are tasked with both managing patient care and managing healthcare informatics such as electronic patient records.
The balance of day-to-day management, coupled with a focus on the overall healthcare system is integral. In addition, some positions may ask employees to combine aspects of both healthcare management and administration.
According to the latest available data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 315,000 people are currently working as medical and health services managers, with a median annual salary of $88,580. The BLS also predicted a 23% job increase through 2022, a rate faster than the national average for all other occupations.
The 23% increase is based, in part, on the aging Baby Boomer population who will soon need medical services. The projected job growth is expected to create more than 73,000 new positions by 2022.
The American College of Healthcare Executives offers recommendations for individuals considering a career in healthcare management. In general, most people start with an entry-level position or mid-level management position in patient care services, medical staff relations, marketing, human resources or materials management, to name a few.
More job opportunities are becoming available as the number of places providing healthcare continues to expand. In addition to hospitals, health clinics, physician practices and health insurance providers, there are opportunities at nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, universities and public health departments.
Healthcare management is one of the fastest growing career fields and it can provide the opportunity to contribute to and improve how healthcare is provided to the public.