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What is healthcare management and why does it matter? 

We take a closer look at what healthcare management is and what makes it an essential part of the healthcare industry. 

Healthcare Management Photo

The healthcare industry is vast and has a massive impact all over the globe. From medical insurance companies to drug manufacturers, there are many areas that require management. But what does healthcare management entail, and why does it matter? 

In this article, we’ll take a look at what healthcare management is, what it involves and its importance within the crucial healthcare industry.

What is healthcare management?

This term refers to the overall management and leadership of both public and private healthcare organisations. Essentially, healthcare management is in place to ensure that operations in the entire healthcare sector are maintained seamlessly. 

To understand healthcare management, we must first understand the healthcare industry. So, what is the healthcare industry? We can define it as the collection of businesses and companies that provide healthcare services and products to treat patients. 

These treatments can come in the form of preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care. Regardless, if a company is within the realms of healthcare, they will be focussing on sick and injured people. A well-known company in the healthcare industry that you may have heard of is Johnson & Johnson.  

Types of healthcare management jobs

There are a variety of jobs that fall under the umbrella of healthcare management, and naturally, all areas of healthcare require these leadership and management roles. Here are some types of healthcare management roles: 

Health coordinators  

This role is most typically found within hospitals and nursing homes, and they are responsible for evaluating and monitoring the quality of care provided within their service area. A health coordinator can expect to develop care plans for patients, document the care provided and order any necessary medical supplies.

Clinical directors

The role of a clinical director applies across all areas of healthcare, including hospitals, nursing homes, research centres and clinics. Clinical directors are responsible for leading and guiding their teams of staff to reach the organisation’s overall goals. 

Their duties include developing goals, setting departmental budgets, creating staff procedures and hiring new members of staff when needed.

Hospital managers

Hospital manager roles are found within hospital facilities, but they can also be found within specific clinical areas and private practices. Hospital managers take main responsibility of the entire facility, so they have quite a varied range of responsibilities. 

As a hospital manager, you can expect to spend your days overseeing finances, communicating with stakeholders and investors, and ensuring compliance with laws and regulations.  

Health supervisors 

Roles for health supervisors are offered within care facilities and health service providers, and the role is similar to that of a healthcare administrator, which we’ll explore a little later.

They typically work within emergency care centres and hospitals, and they’re responsible for a lot of business administration tasks. For example, a health supervisor can expect to record information, attend meetings and report back, create staff schedules and keep track of data within databases. 

It’s important to note that the responsibilities and duties of all of these roles can vary greatly depending on the size and type of organisation you’re employed in. They are, however, all extremely important and rewarding career paths. 

What does healthcare management involve? 

Now that we understand the term, let’s  look at what is involved in healthcare management. The healthcare industry is constantly progressing and advancing, so it’s crucial to stay on top of things and make sure every area of a hospital or relevant facility is maintained. 

  • Planning, directing and coordinating non-clinical activities within the respective healthcare establishment.
  • The managing of budgets and finances of the overall healthcare establishment.
  • The creation of work schedules for all staff, as well as the planning for when new staff should be hired.
  • The overseeing of individual departments to ensure that they are run smoothly and effectively.
  • Carrying out quality assurance and risk assessment work, maintaining patient satisfaction and wellbeing. 
  • The supervision of all staff, including caregivers, doctors and providers. 

If you’re interested in learning more about healthcare management, be sure to check out our fantastic healthcare management and leadership principles course. For these essential functions to be carried out, a healthcare manager must be employed at every workplace within the industry. 

What does a healthcare manager do? 

Careers in healthcare can be extremely rewarding, and there are many different options to take a look at. Becoming a healthcare manager is ideal for those who want to make a difference and work in the industry but in a less clinical setting. Let’s take a look at some general responsibilities of a healthcare manager: 

  • Optimise budgets and deal with general finance
  • Define outcomes and develop plans and strategies
  • Attend various meetings and report back to staff
  • Oversee day-to-day operations of hospital or department 
  • Maintain relationships with stakeholders 
  • Handle any issues that arise
  • Manage change within the healthcare facility and deal with it appropriately.

Getting into healthcare management

If you’re interested in a healthcare manager role, we’ve put together a helpful ‘how to become a healthcare manager’ guide with a lot of useful information. We’ll go through some of the key points from the guide in a moment.

The industry of healthcare is a particularly appealing one, but as we’ve discussed, management is a completely different experience to working directly with patients as a nurse or surgeon. It’s a fascinating mix of working in a business setting and a medical setting.

If a leadership role within an environment where you’re making a change and helping others in a less hands-on way calls out to you, you may want to take up a career in healthcare management. So, how do you go about that? 

Skills needed

  • Interpersonal skills – this skill is absolutely essential to healthcare management, no matter what subsection you decide to pursue. You’ll be working alongside key medical staff, stakeholders, and attend multiple meetings and conferences. It’s vital to have the ability to voice your thoughts and opinions well, and be able to use your interpersonal skills to thoroughly interact with a range of people daily. 
  • Management – this one goes without saying, but it’s essential to be skilled in management as all of these roles fall under the management umbrella. You’ll be leading people and teams on a daily basis, and your facility will only thrive if you implement the correct management styles and tactics.
  • Communication – similar to interpersonal skills, this is also a must for working alongside others. As well as taking part in meetings, you’ll be responsible for emails and record keeping. Your written communication skills will have to be just as strong as your verbal communication so that any information is distributed correctly.
  • Organisation – as part of your role, you’ll need to keep track of important information and data about patients, medication and regulations. Since this information is so important, being able to organise well and keep this sensitive information in order is essential. 

Qualifications needed

To land a role in healthcare management, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, but some employers will favour those with masters degrees. A Master of business administration (healthcare sector) would be the perfect degree to get you into healthcare management if you’re interested in the more administrative aspects. 

There are a few degree subjects that would go hand-in-hand with healthcare management jobs. Here are some common subjects that healthcare managers often have degrees in: 

  • Business
  • Psychology 
  • Finance
  • Pharmacy 
  • Healthcare administration/management 
  • General management

As well as the relevant qualifications, finding some experience in the field would massively boost your chances of getting into this career. Healthcare workplaces can be extremely complex and face an array of challenges, so having a greater understanding of that before you find a role would be very beneficial.

By volunteering or interning at a hospital, nursing centre or health organisation, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the environment and bring a range of new skills to any future roles. 

Healthcare management vs healthcare administration 

The term healthcare management is often used interchangeably with healthcare administration due to the similarities between the two. Both roles are very closely interlinked and share the majority of their responsibilities. However, it depends on the organisation as to whether these titles mean the same thing or if they are split into separate roles. 

The common difference between the two is that healthcare administrators often handle more staff-management related tasks, whereas healthcare managers take care of the overall organisation. Let’s take a look at what a healthcare administration role entails: 

  • Directly manage staff
  • Improve the efficiency established healthcare practices
  • Develop department-specific objectives 
  • Keep and organise records of services within the facility
  • Ensure regulatory compliance

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in this specific area of healthcare management, we have an excellent healthcare-specific Masters of business administration degree available.

Why is healthcare management important?

Healthcare management is an essential part of a fully functional hospital or healthcare organisation, and without management, the industry couldn’t function effectively. But what is it that makes management so important?

It’s no secret that in most cases, a business or organisation thrives under the correct management, but leadership and management within healthcare is particularly important. Whilst most industries provide goods and services, what makes healthcare different from the rest is that it provides life-saving goods and services.

The services and products that are provided within the healthcare industry are preventing people from experiencing pain, curbing sickness and potentially saving lives. Therefore, the correct leadership tactics are crucial to make sure that everything is done correctly and keep everyone safe. 

Experts in the field of healthcare are needed in order to keep on top of shifts in laws and regulations as well as stay on track with any medical advancements to offer the best care available. The industry is continually advancing and moving forward, so management is needed to guide medical centres and hospitals in the right direction. 

Healthcare industry growth

Central to healthcare management is deciding when to hire new professionals within clinics and hospitals etc. With the global population rising, staff numbers across the industry are constantly rising too. Within the NHS alone, there was a 2.9% increase in the number of staff from 2020 to 2021, equating to 37,488 more staff members. 

Although staff numbers generally increase each year, the healthcare industry has seen an enormous increase in their workload and staff numbers in more recent years due to COVID-19. Hospitals were overloaded with unwell patients, and the need for a vaccine along with its implementation became another cause for increased workload and staff.

There is an abundance of challenges that healthcare workers face day-to-day, and having the correct management in place can ease these struggles. With the industry ever-growing, it only makes sense that careers in healthcare will continue to rise. Employment is projected to grow by 32% between 2019-2029, which is significantly faster than most other career paths. 

Final thoughts

It’s clear that the involvement of healthcare management within the industry is key, and involves many important tasks and challenges. We hope that this article has developed your understanding of this area of healthcare and its importance. 

If you’re interested in starting your career in healthcare management, why not check out our incredible Masters in global healthcare management degree?

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