The field of healthcare management relates to the running of hospitals and other medical facilities. In order to fulfill the position's demands, a healthcare manager must have to have a good understanding of the healthcare system and know how to ensure the proper running of their facility. Individuals who have graduated from a healthcare management degree program are qualified to hold a number of jobs, both in the public and private sector. Their jobs may include human resources elements as well as accounting and record-keeping elements. A healthcare management graduate program will prepare them for whatever path they want their career to take.

Educational Requirements

While some entry-level positions in the healthcare industry require only a certificate or diploma, most healthcare management positions call for a degree. There are healthcare management graduate programs available at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels. Most of these graduate programs allow students to choose the path they want their career to follow. They may opt for a more general healthcare management track or to focus on one particular type of healthcare management.

The Purpose of a Healthcare Management Degree

The aim of a graduate healthcare management program is to provide the student with the skills they need to manage a healthcare facility effectively. The skills acquired will be useful in both entry-level and leadership positions. For medical professionals, earning a healthcare management degree can prepare them for a leadership role within their field.

Learning Outcomes for a Healthcare Management Graduate Program

Graduates of a healthcare management program will be provided with an understanding of the roles of those who work in their facility and be able to differentiate between them. They will also be expected to display a full understanding of the leadership requirements within a healthcare organization; this includes the knowledge of which factors affect its policies and operation. Graduates should be able to explain the legal and ethical principles by which healthcare organizations operate, along with their responsibilities to their communities and to individual patients. Upon graduation, they should be able to improve the performance of a healthcare organization via knowledge of various fields including accounting, strategic planning and marketing.

Courses in a Healthcare Management Graduate Program

The curriculum in a healthcare management graduate program varies depending on the institution and the type of degree; however, in most cases the following topics will be taught:

• Healthcare terminology for individuals with limited healthcare experience.

• An introduction to the concepts involved in leading a healthcare organization. It includes topics like organizational design and workplace diversity.

• Courses in the financial management of a healthcare organization.

• The main principles involved in managing the services provided by healthcare organizations.

• The legal and ethical trends within the field of healthcare management.

• A healthcare management capstone that enables the skills and from the previous coursework to be integrated and assimilated.

Along with these courses, there will also be elective courses that a student can choose depending on their chosen sub-specialty within the healthcare management field. Some graduate programs allow students to focus their education on learning to manage a particular type of healthcare facility such as a nursing home or a hospital. A good healthcare management graduate program will prepare students for a wide range of career options within the healthcare industry.