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Advancing Your Degree as a Health Care Professional

As the healthcare industry undergoes a vast amount of changes, one thing for certain is that the industry itself is growing and ultimately seeing a higher demand for educated professionals. Hence individualsf are looking to advance their education, move into healthcare management roles. However, there are a variety of aspects to contemplate when pursuing a degree in healthcare administration.

Health Care Administration and Management

Health care administration encompasses many different aspects of healthcare management. The study of health care administration typically takes a more in-depth look into healthcare policies that surround and shape the industry itself. Paired with the study of general business management techniques, students pursuing health care administration degree programs specialize in the best practices as they relate to the healthcare industry.

Most top-level management roles in organizations require a master's degree in health care administration as they are better equipped to handle issues such as health care policy, financing, management and delivery of care to patients. Programs that focus on health care administration provide the knowledge necessary to manage these issues and successfully accomplish quality assurance with effective risk management analysis. Hospitals need educated professionals to ensure patients are receiving the highest quality care that complies with healthcare regulations and proper ethics.

The Benefits of Pursuing an Advanced Degree

For individuals looking to enhance their knowledge of the healthcare management sector, advanced degree programs in health care administration offer the opportunity while also assisting students to advance their careers and meet personal goals. Any master's degree program, including one in health care administration, provides individuals with a competitive advantage in the job market and opens doors for higher wages and job satisfaction.

Students are taught effective organizational, leadership and analytical skills that are required to help organizations thrive. Health care administration programs teach a wide variety of aspects such as healthcare law, public policy, risk management and strategic decision-making techniques, used in many different career options in the healthcare field depending on an individual's career goals and aspirations.

Career Options as a Health Care Professional

Health care administrators are leaders in the healthcare industry. Individuals interested in working within healthcare organizations to manage facilities that shape policies and make decisions that encourage better patient care, are ideal candidates for roles in health care management. A few of the most common career options for graduates of a health care administration degree program are:

Hospital Director or Administrator

These administrators help manage a hospital's organizational structure, organize finances and comply with laws and regulations. Top-level managers are tasked with ensuring that the facilities are current with today's technology and employ the most effective ways to provide treatment to patients. As a hospital director, individuals are required to have an understanding of all aspects of management and how those techniques are utilized in the healthcare industry. Responsible for managing all hospital operations from the technology, patient care, employee interactions, medical records, safety and compliance to the overall success of facilities, healthcare directors have a variety of tasks to oversee. Through effective management techniques, hospital administrators report and analyze the success of various departments within the organization and collaborate with those departments to provide the best care for patients.

Health Information Managers

Health information managers are responsible for organizing, securing and managing health records and medical data for patients. Ensuring that all information regarding patient's health is complete and readily accessible for healthcare providers when needed is the primary role of those in the health information field. Health records are essential to effective treatment of patients by making it possible for physicians and doctors to know how an individual has been treated in the past. Reports include records of X-rays, lab results, examination history, allergies or prior illnesses and treatment plans. Today, these records are continuously moving into electronic databases and facilities need educated and technologically savvy healthcare professionals to manage and secure these files. The professionals in health information management are vital to the day-to-day operations of any healthcare facility and are employed in a variety of roles.

Policy Organizations

Some healthcare professionals choose to enter the realm of healthcare policymaking. Healthcare professionals may not necessarily be the decision makers, but contribute to the research that goes into shaping the quality of healthcare in the United States. For example, the Center for Disease Control and organizations such as the World Health Organization research and examine whether or not healthcare regulations are effectively serving the intended. Through research and analyzing evidence that supports or questions, turning a policy proposal into reality helps these professionals work to improve healthcare practices and the quality of treatment that is provided through hospitals and other providers. Policy organizations also include non-government associations working to shape policies through advocacy groups and industry representatives that promote change in the healthcare industry through research and policy development.

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve and adjust to modern technological advances, there will be a greater need for educated individuals to manage and effectively transition healthcare facilities to meet the demands. For those looking to pursue a Master of Science in Health Care Administration degree, Utica College offers cutting edge tools and resources to excel and advance a career in the healthcare industry.