How to Become a Medical and Health Services Manager – Career Sidekick

Medical and Health Services Manager 5 Steps to Career

The Role of Education in Becoming a Medical and Health Services Manager

It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is complex and ever-changing. Within it lies the Medical and Health Services Manager—a position responsible for overseeing the smooth operation of healthcare facilities, managing finances, and implementing policies to improve patient care. While extensive work experience can be a pathway to becoming a Medical and Health Services Manager, it’s worth noting that most employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree at the very least. And why wouldn’t they?

Having a solid foundational degree in healthcare administration, health management, or public health sets up a manager for success. However, as the saying goes, you can never have too much of a good thing. Many successful Medical and Health Services Managers also hold advanced degrees, such as a Master’s in Healthcare Administration or a Master of Business Administration with a focus on healthcare. So, if you’re up for the challenge, it’s never too early (or late) to start investing in your education and career aspirations.

The Importance of Getting a Degree as a Medical and Health Services Manager

  • Firstly, a degree provides a strong foundation in healthcare administration principles, healthcare policies, finance, and management strategies. Advanced knowledge of these essential tenets provides aspiring healthcare leaders with the ability to make strategic decisions confidently.
  • Secondly, many managerial positions and career advancement opportunities in this field require candidates to have a relevant degree to be considered competitive candidates.
  • Thirdly, a formal education equips aspiring managers with the necessary skills and knowledge to handle the complexities of healthcare management and deliver high-quality patient care.
  • Healthcare managers often deal with sensitive patient information and must navigate complex ethical and legal considerations. A degree program covers topics related to healthcare ethics, privacy regulations, and healthcare law to ensure managers can make ethical and compliant decisions.
  • Finally, in many cases, having a degree can lead to higher medical and health services manager salary potential in healthcare management roles. Employers often value the expertise and qualifications that come with formal education.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree?

It’s crucial to plan accordingly while planning to build a career in a rewarding and ever-changing industry. Hence, these are the estimated timelines for any degree as you advance in the medical and health services manager field:

  • Earn a Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration, Health Management, or a related field typically takes four years of full-time study to complete. However, the duration may vary if the program offers accelerated options or if a student takes a reduced course load.
  • Consider a Master’s Degree: A Master’s in Healthcare Administration (MHA) or a related field usually takes around two years to complete after earning a bachelor’s degree. Some universities may offer accelerated programs that allow students to finish their master’s degree in a shorter timeframe.
  • Pursue a Doctoral Degree: For those interested in pursuing a Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA) or a similar doctoral degree, it can take an additional three to five years beyond the completion of a master’s degree.

What it Costs to Study to Become a Medical and Health Services Manager

There’s no doubt that pursuing a career in health care administration and management is a wise choice. With 755 colleges in the United States offering programs in this field, you have quite a few options to choose from. Of course, some of those options will come with a heftier price tag than others.

If you’re lucky enough to live in the state where your chosen school is located, you may be looking at an average undergraduate tuition of US$10,000. However, if you’re an out-of-state student, you may want to brace yourself for a bill of US$25,000. Either way, it’s clear that investing in your education is vital to succeeding in this thriving industry!

Online Education for an Aspiring Medical and Health Services Manager

Do you have a passion for healthcare and management but don’t have the time to commit to a traditional degree program? Well, you can still pursue your dreams of becoming a Medical and Health Services Manager through online education. These degree programs offer the flexibility that working professionals or busy individuals need to balance their commitments while gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the healthcare industry.

Many universities and institutions offer online degree programs in healthcare administration or health management, including both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. So, sit back, fire up your laptop, and get ready to take the first step in becoming an effective healthcare manager with the convenience of the following online resources for a start.

Useful Web Resources for Medical and Health Services Managers
  • American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE): The ACHE website offers educational resources, webinars, and professional development opportunities for healthcare executives and managers.
  • Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA): The HFMA website provides resources and educational materials related to healthcare finance and management.
  • Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS): The HIMSS website offers resources and insights into healthcare information technology and management.
  • Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA): The AUPHA website provides resources for students interested in healthcare administration education and careers.
  • Becker’s Hospital Review: This platform provides valuable insights into financial management and revenue cycle strategies within healthcare organizations.
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement: IHI offers various resources, courses, and improvement tools to enhance patient safety and quality of care.
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: AHRQ provides evidence-based tools and resources to improve healthcare quality and patient safety.
  • This U.S. government website provides insights into health IT adoption, implementation, and interoperability.
  • Healthcare Success: The blog and resources on Healthcare Success cover marketing and patient engagement strategies in the healthcare sector.
  • The Commonwealth Fund: This foundation provides research and publications on healthcare policy and healthcare system performance.
  • Health Affairs: Health Affairs is a peer-reviewed journal that covers health policy and research.

Medical Services Manager Certifications

  • Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives® (FACHE): Offered by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), the FACHE certification is designed for healthcare executives and managers who have demonstrated leadership skills and knowledge of the healthcare environment. It signifies a high level of competence and commitment to the healthcare management profession.
  • Certified Medical Manager (CMM): The CMM certification, offered by the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM), is specifically for healthcare managers working in medical practices. It covers essential topics related to practice management, finance, compliance, and patient care.
  • Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ): The National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) awards the CPHQ certification to professionals who demonstrate expertise in healthcare quality management. It focuses on aspects such as performance improvement, patient safety, and regulatory compliance.
  • Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS): The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) offers the CPHIMS certification for healthcare professionals involved in health IT management. It covers topics such as health informatics, data management, and technology implementation.
  • Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS): The Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety (CBPPS) grants the CPPS certification to professionals who have demonstrated competency in patient safety principles and practices.
  • Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE): The American College of Medical Practice Executives (ACMPE) offers the CMPE certification for professionals managing medical practices. It assesses skills in practice administration, financial management, human resources, and regulatory compliance.
  • Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC): The Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) awards the CHC certification to professionals with expertise in healthcare compliance and adherence to regulations and ethical standards.

How to Leverage Practical Experience as a Medical Services Manager

As a medical services manager, you are not only the captain of the ship, but also the conductor of the orchestra. You need to figure out how to make everything work together so that your patients receive the best care possible. But, how can you leverage experience to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible?

Well, it’s all about practicality—drawing from your experience in the field, you can implement proven methods, streamline processes, and make informed decisions. So, get practical through the following means:

Medical and Health Services Manager Internship Opportunities

Who said internships were only for fetching coffee? As hospitals and clinics continue to provide essential care, the need for skilled medical services managers is more pressing than ever. So, why not jump into the mix and take charge of an internship opportunity to get the inside scoop on what it means to oversee day-to-day operations? Not only will you be able to gain practical skills, but you’ll also get the chance to work alongside seasoned professionals who can provide guidance along the way.

  • Hospital Administration Internship: Working in hospital administration departments, such as finance, operations, or human resources, to gain insight into the management of healthcare facilities.
  • Healthcare Consulting Internship: Interning at a consulting firm specializing in healthcare, where you can assist in projects related to process improvement, strategic planning, or regulatory compliance.
  • Health Policy Internship: Working with government agencies, non-profit organizations, or healthcare advocacy groups to understand healthcare policy development and implementation.
  • Long-Term Care Facility Internship: Interning at long-term care facilities, nursing homes, or assisted living centers to learn about managing care services for elderly or chronically ill patients.

What Skills Will I Learn as a Medical and Health Services Manager?

When you think of a medical and health services manager, you may envision someone in a lab coat with a clipboard in hand. But let’s be real, managing the healthcare industry takes more than just a white coat and pen. It takes a certain set of skills to keep things running smoothly.

Essentially, medical and health services managers are the MacGyvers of the healthcare world–they have to be resourceful, adaptable, and quick on their feet. So, if you’re someone who loves a good challenge and wants to make a difference in people’s lives, you must develop these skills to have a successful career in medical and health services management:

  • Leadership and Team Management: You will learn how to lead and motivate teams of healthcare professionals, fostering a positive work environment and promoting collaboration among staff members.
  • Healthcare Policy and Regulations: As a manager, you will become well-versed in healthcare policies, regulations, and compliance requirements to ensure that your organization operates within legal and ethical boundaries.
  • Financial Management: You will gain skills in budgeting, financial analysis, and resource allocation to manage healthcare budgets effectively and make informed financial decisions.
  • Strategic Planning: Learning how to develop and implement strategic plans for healthcare organizations will be crucial in achieving both short-term and long-term objectives.
  • Quality Improvement: You will learn techniques to assess and improve the quality of healthcare services provided, ensuring that patients receive the best possible care.
  • Healthcare Technology: As technology plays an increasing role in healthcare, you will develop skills in adopting and utilizing healthcare information systems and other technological advancements to enhance efficiency and patient care.
  • Communication: Effective communication skills will be emphasized to interact with healthcare staff, patients, and stakeholders, as well as to convey important information clearly and concisely.
  • Human Resources Management: You will learn about hiring, training, and developing healthcare personnel, as well as handling performance evaluations and addressing employee issues.
  • Healthcare Data Analysis: Analyzing healthcare data and using it to make informed decisions will be a critical skill to monitor performance, identify trends, and improve processes.
  • Problem-Solving and Decision-Making: Developing the ability to analyze complex situations, make sound decisions, and solve problems effectively is crucial in managing healthcare operations.
  • Risk Management: You will learn how to identify and mitigate potential risks in healthcare settings to ensure patient safety and protect the organization from liability
  • Interpersonal Skills: Building strong relationships with stakeholders, including patients, staff, and external partners, is vital in creating a positive and patient-centered healthcare environment.

What is The Work-Life Balance of a Medical and Health Services Manager?

A Medical and Health Services Manager’s work-life balance is heavily influenced by a multitude of factors. The size and scope of responsibilities of the healthcare facility, as well as the specific work environment, play a significant role in their day-to-day lives. Workload and hours can take a toll on healthcare managers, with larger facilities and organizational changes requiring an even greater commitment.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom–flexibility is a key aspect that can help managers find balance. This flexibility can come in the form of remote work or adaptable schedules, allowing managers to juggle responsibilities while maintaining some semblance of a personal life. Whether it’s through humor or hard facts, there’s no denying that a career in healthcare management is not for the faint of heart.

Key Tips:

  • Set boundaries. You have to learn when to say “Yes” and when to say “No.”
  • A good tip is to schedule your day. Set reminders for important meetings or events.
  • Don’t forget to include some “you” time. It’s essential to take moments to decompress and recharge when working in such a demanding field.
  • Lastly, don’t take yourself too seriously. Inject some humor into your life and work. Laughter is the best medicine, after all.

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