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What is Healthcare Management (HCM)?

The healthcare industry is one of the biggest industries in the world today. Most of us have an idea that the healthcare industry is all about doctors, nurses, medications, operating theatres, and patient care. But honestly, there is much more to this industry than the roles mentioned above. There are many professionals in the healthcare industry who need not contact any patient directly.

This is where hospital and healthcare management come into the picture. Without a properly working healthcare management system, a healthcare facility cannot function properly. Right from patient care to staff management – everything is hampered without an effective management system.

What is healthcare management?

It is a well-accepted fact that medical technology is advancing rapidly. With the development of this technology, healthcare data systems, and new rules and regulations related to healthcare – it is vital that hospitals, nursing clinics, medical centres, etc., have professionals who can efficiently handle the technologies and the systems. This is where healthcare management professionals are needed.

Many people ask, “what is HCM”? It is challenging to give a simple definition of this management. However, it can be said that this is the overall management of any healthcare facility, like a hospital or a clinic.

The healthcare manager is a professional in charge of this whole management. They must ensure that the healthcare facility runs smoothly so that patients get the necessary treatment and care while the facility makes adequate profits. Healthcare management staff must oversee the day-to-day operations of the healthcare facility.

Healthcare management is an umbrella term with different job titles under it. Healthcare supervisors, clinical directors, nursing home facilitators, and health coordinators generally have degrees in healthcare management.

One of the fascinating things to notice is that professionals with healthcare management degrees and certifications will not find jobs only in hospitals and nursing clinics, or medical centres. They may work in public health centres, insurance companies, urgent care clinics, universities and colleges, and pharmaceutical companies.

Effective healthcare management encompasses efforts in planning, executing, and coordinating nonclinical activities within organisations, healthcare systems, and various networks. This branch of management is slightly different from others as it needs knowledge of healthcare technology and operations. Professionals must have the necessary soft skills like collaborating with innumerable stakeholders, motivating team members, and implementing the required changes proactively.

The duties of hospital and healthcare management professionals

Healthcare managers and healthcare administrators are closely related to healthcare management. The responsibilities and duties of these professionals depend on the kind of healthcare setting and the organisation’s size and infrastructure.

However, there are some duties and responsibilities that all healthcare managers and administrators have in common. Some of them are as follows:

1. Developing organisational objectives and goals
2. Creating work schedules for the healthcare facility workers and staff
3. Managing all kinds of health informatics, including electronic health records (EHRs)
4. Communicating effectively with department heads, medical staff, governing boards, and investors
5. Supervising, recruiting, and training medical staff
6. Managing and monitoring budgets and facility finances
7. Ensuring compliance with various laws and rules, including patient privacy laws, and other types of pertinent local, state, and federal regulations
8. Performing risk assessment and quality-assurance work
9. Identifying ways and methods of improving healthcare services of the facility and increasing operational efficiency

What are the different types of healthcare management?

Now you have a rough idea about what is healthcare management. Mentioned below are some different types of healthcare management:

1. Medical entrepreneurship

The health industry is advancing at lightning speed. Every day some innovations and developments are taking place. If you intend to commence a new business, you can think of a health-related business as it is a lucrative option. Biologics, along with many emerging technologies in the medical world, are bringing forward new devices and treatments for improving medical research capabilities. Researchers are constantly innovating radical cures for various critical medical conditions.

2. Clinical management

Pharmaceutical project managers and clinical managers excel in different aspects of the medical field like diagnostic products, stem cell research, and the development of various kinds of medical equipment and devices. Different pharmaceutical companies employ these professionals. Their primary responsibility is to supervise the various clinical trials and ensure their accuracy and efficacy.

3. Health insurance underwriting management

Insurance underwriting managers are responsible for recruiting and training staff members, managing growth and profits, developing insurance agency budgets and objectives, and making decisions regarding insurance eligibility.

4. Health care consulting

Health care consultants have the liberty of being self-employed or working for an agency. They have flexibility with their work as they can work on specific training programs for employees of various organisations and agencies.

5. Emergency management

Emergency management staff come as rescuers during health care emergencies and natural disasters. They help businesses, communities, and individuals to prevent or mitigate healthcare emergencies. They have good coordination with government organisations, rescue groups, and law enforcement officials. During any natural disaster or a medical emergency, they administer medical care, distribute bare essentials like water and food, provide emergency shelter, etc.

6. Nursing home management

For running a nursing home smoothly, the facility must have excellent management. Nursing home directors and managers are responsible for supervising treatment, medical care, nutritional standards, social activities, and the financial operations of the facility. They also have to ensure that the facility is safe and that the staff offers care and amiable behaviour to patients, particularly the elderly.

7. Academia

Many professionals in healthcare management have a knack for teaching, and they can use this interest professionally. How? Professionals who have a degree or certification in healthcare management and substantial on-job experience can make a career as a healthcare administration professor or assistant professor in healthcare administration. As a professor, you can impart knowledge on a particular aspect of healthcare management like human resources, healthcare law, information technology, etc.

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What are the skills required to excel in healthcare management?

Now we will discuss the various skills needed for excelling in healthcare management.

Flexibility

Unpredictability and healthcare settings go hand in hand with one another. No one can predict when healthcare management will be needed. A pandemic, a natural disaster, or some other emergency case might need healthcare management professionals to switch gears within a moment’s notice. Healthcare management professionals should be flexible enough to adapt to dynamic circumstances.

Good communication skills

Healthcare management means direct dealings and interactions with people. Now the interactions can be in the form of direct meetings, telephonic conversations, or written communications. A healthcare management professional should have transparent and clear communication skills.

Time management skills

As a healthcare manager, you will always be hard-pressed for time as there are innumerable duties and responsibilities you must handle. Therefore, you must have time management skills to manage and prioritise work efficiently.

Teamwork

Healthcare management is a vast umbrella encompassing multiple responsibilities and domains. Any healthcare institution or hospital becomes successful when there is complete help and coordination from non-clinical staff and administrators. Best medical care is imparted when there is harmony and teamwork between doctors, nurses, specialists, technicians, administrators, and non-clinical staff.

Decision-making skills

Healthcare managers and administrators do not offer direct clinical care to patients. However, they are the ones who make crucial decisions, which have direct and indirect impacts on patient wellness and health. They must devise proper strategies for different situations or medical emergencies.

Stress management skills

In health care facilities and systems, stress levels are always high as there is immense work pressure. Therefore, a healthcare management professional should have the ability to act quickly in high-pressure situations while maintaining professionalism and composure.

Conclusion

The demand for healthcare management professionals, especially managers and administrators, is exceptionally high. It is expected that employment in this health sector will increase significantly in the coming years. So, if you are graduating recently or thinking of a career option, you can think about hospital and healthcare management.

There are many programs and certifications explaining in detail what is healthcare management. Choose a suitable course to give your career a new dimension.
upGrad offering Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Healthcare Management.
If the healthcare industry fascinates you and you intend to make a career in healthcare management, you must get yourself enrolled for upGrad’s Executive Oost-Graduate Programme in Healthcare Management.

With this prestigious certification from LIBA, you will be able to provide quality healthcare facilities to innumerable patients and healthcare institutions. This course is provided entirely in the online format, spanning over 11 months. Students get approximately 300+ hours of learning with 8-9 hours of class per week.

What is HCM (Healthcare Management)?

Healthcare management involves the complete control of a healthcare facility or healthcare centre. A healthcare manager is responsible for taking care of the whole management so that the facility runs smoothly and patients get the best care and treatment.

Does studying hospital and healthcare management offer good career options?

Yes, the health industry is a booming sector globally. Research and survey reports have shown that studying healthcare management will offer good career options with lucrative salaries and added benefits. Good career growth percentages are expected in this sector in the coming years.

What are the highest job designations in healthcare management?

Top job designations in healthcare management are: Healthcare/Hospital CFO Hospital CEO Healthcare/Hospital Administrator Medical Practice Manager Pharmaceutical Product Manager

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