The Healthcare industry can be defined 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.
Healthcare management is a field that specializes in the management of healthcare centers and clinics. A healthcare manager is not a healthcare professional and does not practice healthcare duties of any sort. A healthcare manager must look after the business operations in a health care centre. All over the world, we see health care expanding beyond hospitals. A lot of businesses and companies have taken hold over the healthcare sector. Hence, we need a professional to look after the affairs of such institutions.
Before the advent of rapidly-advancing medical technology, doctors didn’t have as much of a need for healthcare managers. However, the near-continuous development of medical technology (including changes in healthcare data systems) and regular changes in laws and regulations surrounding healthcare mean that hospitals and other medical centers need experts in these areas to ensure everything runs as it should. Without a good healthcare management system, a healthcare facility would not be able to effectively care for patients, keep a good staff or make a profit.
Health Care Management Functions
Healthcare management is exactly what the name implies. It’s the overall management of a healthcare facility, such as a clinic or hospital. A healthcare manager is in charge of ensuring a healthcare facility is running as it should in terms of budget, the goals of the facility’s practitioners and the needs of the community. A person in charge of healthcare management oversees the day-to-day operations of the facility.
This individual also acts as a spokesperson when providing information to the media. The person in charge of healthcare management also collaborates with medical staff leaders on issues such as medical equipment, department budgets, planning ways to ensure the facility meets their goals and maintaining a good relationship with doctors, nurses, and all department heads. The healthcare manager also makes decisions about performance evaluations, staff expectations, budgeting, social media updates, and billing.
- 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.
Healthcare management roles
“Healthcare management” is an umbrella term that covers a wide variety of job titles. 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. Clinical directors, healthcare supervisors, health coordinators, and nursing home facilitators often have degrees in healthcare management.
The terms healthcare management and healthcare administration are often mistakenly used interchangeably, and many people believe they are the same thing. They are two different things. Healthcare management is in charge of the entire healthcare organization while healthcare administration takes care of the staff and employees. The healthcare administrator may be in charge of hiring staff for a specific department, but it’s the healthcare manager who may determine if another employee should be hired. In short, healthcare managers deal mostly with the business side of healthcare organizations.
A healthcare administrator will determine the best ways to help staff be more efficient at their jobs and will understand the type of treatment the facility will provide to patients. The healthcare manager is the one who decides on the treatment, number of staff and how each department should be run. Healthcare managers focus on the big-picture needs and direction of a hospital or other medical setting, while administrators focus largely on working with the staff. In hospitals, healthcare managers typically oversee hospital-wide matters, and administrators oversee individual departments.
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.
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.
There are also more specialized areas of healthcare management that those with healthcare management degrees may want to look into. A great example is health information management. Nearly every type of healthcare practice — from hospitals to urgent care centers to general practitioner’s offices — maintains a database of patient health information. These databases are maintained by a variety of professionals. IT specialists design the databases themselves, doctors and other employees input health information, and medical billing and coding specialists make sure that procedures are properly coded for insurance purposes.
Health facilities need someone to look at the big picture and make sure that the databases are functioning as a whole. They may oversee each individual aspect of the database. For instance, a health information manager will work with cybersecurity analysts to make sure the database is secure enough to protect patient information from leaks. They also may work with doctors and nurses to optimize documentation of procedures and clinic visits. And in order to make sure databases perform optimally, they regularly assess the data collection and documentation process.
Ultimately, healthcare management professionals work to oversee and coordinate every aspect of healthcare. Whether it’s overseeing hospital operations or coordinating the happenings in a small private practice, these managers ensure that healthcare facilities operate smoothly for everyone involved.
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