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What is Healthcare Management?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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As a profession, healthcare management is the process of properly overseeing and managing one or more elements of the healthcare system. Because of the wide diversity in the types of healthcare and healthcare facilities functioning today, the chances for becoming a manager within this field are extremely good. Here are some examples of how interested parties can find a place within healthcare management and make use of many different skills and talents.

One of the most common ways to build a career within the field of healthcare management is as an administrator of some type of healthcare facility. The manager may assume the responsibility of overseeing the day to day operation of a health clinic, a hospital, or a nursing home. As part of the duties of the administrator, he or she will seek to ensure that all doctors and nurses associated with the facility are highly trained and competent, equipment is up to date and well maintained, and that the facility provides an acceptable level of quality care to patients. The administrator is usually accountable to owners and a board of directors and must be able to justify any expenses involved with the operation of the health care facility.

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Another healthcare management career track is to move out of a business setting and into research. Within this option, the individual may be involved in overseeing research projects implemented by a university or some type of government sponsored healthcare research facility. The overseer or administrator often has to deal with the same type of employee issues as any business, which means a background in human resources is often helpful.

People interested in working within the field of healthcare management can also consider employment in private healthcare consulting. These roles often call for a solid working knowledge of current breakthroughs in medical care, health insurance packages, and courses of treatment that are offered in various situations. The consultants can assist companies in choose health care packages by evaluating the nature of the industry that the company is associated with and the specific culture of the company itself. Healthcare management consultants can also assist in training people to manage healthcare packages in house as part of the permanent human resource management process.

Healthcare management can also involve working with government agencies and accreditation boards that are responsible for evaluating and credentialing healthcare professionals such as physicians and nurses. From this perspective, the healthcare professional seeks to make sure all healthcare providers within the jurisdiction are in compliance with all standards and regulations deemed necessary to provide quality healthcare to patients. This healthcare management role makes it possible to prevent unqualified individuals from offering healthcare services and possibly creating additional suffering for people already dealing with a malady of some type.

The opportunities to build a career in healthcare management are many and varied. Some involve close interaction with patients or healthcare providers, while others are focused more on creating and maintaining standards that govern the status of healthcare within a given jurisdiction. In all situations, the ultimate goal of healthcare management is to make sure the system works efficiently and people are cared for in a competent and effective manner.

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