Becoming a Healthcare Manager

If you thought that the field of healthcare involves only direct patient care and requires extensive schooling to break into, think again! The healthcare profession depends upon the people who work behind the scenes to make sure that the business of healthcare runs efficiently. These professionals, called healthcare managers or healthcare administrators, occupy key management positions in a variety of medical facilities.

Healthcare managers perform duties ranging from budgeting and personnel management to maintaining patient records and developing organization-wide policies. These health services managers work long and hard to ensure the smooth delivery of healthcare to their patients.

Interested in becoming a healthcare manager? Read on.

Start Early

If you decide that healthcare services is your calling in life, then it can help to start preparing while you’re still in high school. Taking more intellectually rigorous courses such as science, math, English, psychology, and business will lay the educational foundation for becoming a healthcare manager.

The next step is to get a college degree, and there are a number of healthcare degree options if you want to enter the healthcare services field. You simply need to choose the academic program that meets your educational and career objectives.

While graduates can often enter the profession once they’ve completed their bachelor’s degree, and then work their way up the corporate ladder. Some entry-level positions, especially in smaller healthcare facilities, are often open to those who have an undergraduate healthcare administration degree

Since the job of a healthcare manager involves making a lot of independent and strategic decisions, the minimum required credential for a senior position is a master’s in healthcare administration or a related degree. Obviously, this degree can be acquired only after completing an undergraduate degree in a related field. Some graduate programs may also demand a year or more of work experience in clinical or administrative positions before graduation.

Get Experience

Because of increasing competition in the field, just getting a relevant college degree may not suffice when you’re hunting for a job. Hands-on industry experience while in college may give you an edge when competing for opportunities. Some academic programs may include a mandatory externship, but if the program you choose doesn’t require one, get out there and look for paid or unpaid internships at healthcare facilities near you.

Find out if your college offers cooperative education employment-such programs allow students to work in their fields of study while they pursue their degrees. Even consider volunteering at a healthcare center. Working in close proximity with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals is extremely valuable not only professionally but personally, as you work your way towards entering the healthcare field.

Skill Development

Like any other manager, a health services manager is expected to demonstrate above-average communication, interpersonal, leadership, and problem-solving skills. The nature of this job also demands that healthcare administrators display an ability to work under pressure. While some skills required for becoming a healthcare manager can be acquired, others are inherent.

Do you have the personality traits necessary to succeed? Are you willing to work toward the right combination of education, experience, and skills? Then you have what it takes to become a health services manager.

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Healthcare IT: An Emerging Sector

The importance of healthcare IT companies have grown manifold after the new healthcare Act emphasized on the importance of technology in healthcare and made mandatory the use of certain software and technology in the health sector.

However healthcare IT is a relatively new industry and most companies are start-ups. The Affordable Care Act may have given the industry but the success of a healthcare IT company will depend on a lot of other factors.

– Healthcare is an amalgamated market of various small sectors particular diseases, cures, healthcare providers, information technology, healthcare software, insurance, etc. Each of these is a separate industry in itself and what works for one may not work for the others. Companies will have to develop separate ideas and business plans to deal with each of these sub sectors.

– Healthcare IT is neither healthcare nor IT. Healthcare IT companies need to understand their domain completely. The regulations are stricter and the guidelines different. Companies will have to be careful about the regulatory bodies, rules and laws that can vary from state to state.

– Since the federal government has already given guidelines about the software and technology that needs to be implemented, the product will remain more or less the same across companies. However it is the additional features and innovations that will transform your product from ‘nice to have’ to being a must have. And it is this change that will make all the difference

– Though the use of certain healthcare technology is mandated, the customer should be convinced that his business will benefit more financially by using the product from your stables than without it. It is important to make the customer understand that investment in healthcare technology could be costly but the returns would be even more profitable.

– In the healthcare industry it is foolish to assume that consumer will wake up one day and start taking better care of him. The growth of your healthcare IT company depends on the brilliance of the product and the creativity in marketing in it.

– Word to mouth publicity is a critical aspect in marketing healthcare IT.

– Involve those who will ultimately use your product- healthcare providers and doctors. Talk them about the problems they face with the current technology and then develop a product that is easy and simple to use and does not alienate them.

– Working in the healthcare industry is not only financially fruitful but socially rewarding as well. Enjoy the experience of working for something that benefits not only you but the entire community as well.

Healthcare IT is an emerging but an important sector. It is just the beginning. Healthcare technology and regulations are evolving and changing by the day. Healthcare IT companies need to be on their toes to respond to the newer demands of the health domain

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