As a hospital manager, you are responsible for directing, managing and planning medical, hospital and health services. Hospital managers may be in charge of the entire hospital or healthcare facility, a certain clinical part of the facility, or possibly at outpatient facility. Hospital managers must work closely with hospital administrative staff, doctors and surgeons, nurses, lab technologists and other healthcare workers.

A major focus of the hospital manager’s job is to ensure that the hospital is run efficiently and profitably. Also very important is to keep the hospital in compliance with changing healthcare laws, technology and regulations.

Career and educational paths that are closely related to hospital management include healthcare management, healthcare administration, and healthcare informatics. You can earn a degree in one of these fields related to hospital management as well and be highly qualified for upper level hospital management roles.

What Is Hospital Management?

Hospital management encompasses the following duties:

  • Improving the quality and efficiency of delivering healthcare services in the hospital
  • Developing effective goals and objective for the hospital and its departments
  • Ensuring that the hospital is completely up to date and fully compliant with laws and regulations
  • Train, recruit and supervise hospital staff, including lower level managers
  • Manage the hospital’s finances, including billing, materials and patient fees
  • Manage and create work schedules for different departments
  • Prepare and monitor the hospital’s budget and ensure that spending does not exceed certain levels
  • Represent the hospital at meetings of investors and before the board
  • Keep orderly records of the hospital’s services and patients
  • Communicate effectively with the hospital’s department heads and managers to stay on target for hospital objectives

Opportunity

The baby boom generation is retiring, and there is a strong, growing demand for hospital managers, medical managers and health services managers. This is because there is a greater need for doctors and other healthcare workers to care for the many new patients needing healthcare. This is leading to more need for hospital and other healthcare facilities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the demand in this field will rise by 20% by 2026. This is much faster than average when compared to other jobs. It is believed that the greater use of electronic health records or EHRs will require hospital managers to have better understanding of health IT and informatics systems, too.

Most hospital managers work during the daytime on a full time basis. Approximately three in 10 managers work more than 40 hours per week.

Career Paths

BLS states that there were 352,200 medical and health services managers employed in 2016. This includes hospital managers. The website states that the top employers for these healthcare workers are as follows:

  • Hospitals: 36%
  • Doctors’ offices: 11%
  • Nursing and residential care: 10%
  • Government: 8%
  • Outpatient care: 7%

As we noted above, job demand in this field will be very strong in the coming years. There also will be a need to replace workers who are retiring in hospital and medical facility management. Job candidates that have a master’s degree in healthcare administration and healthcare informatics will be strong job candidates.

Salaries

BLS states that the median salary for medical and health services managers in 2016 was $96,500. The top 10% with the highest level of education and experience earned more than $172,000 per year. Per BLS, managers who work in hospitals tend to have the highest salaries, along with government workers:

  • Hospitals: $104,300
  • Government: $104,100
  • Outpatient care: $89,400
  • Doctors’ offices: $87,500
  • Nursing homes: $80,300

Cities with the best salaries for hospital and related managers include:

  • San Rafael CA: $161,300
  • San Jose CA: $159,000
  • San Francisco CA: $151,000
  • Vallejo CA: $148,000
  • Nassau NY: $145,500

Employers

There is a strong and increasing need for all types of healthcare services and new hospitals and facilities to provide them. Therefore most hospital managers will be able to find plenty of work to choose from. But which healthcare companies are the best in terms of pay, job satisfaction and benefits? Here are some good choices:

  • Abbott Laboratories: $93,500
  • Allergan: $110,000
  • Jude Medical: $85,700
  • AbbVie: $107,000
  • Gilead Sciences: $116,000
  • Pfizer: $108,000
  • Amgen: $121,000
  • Eli Lilly: $102,000
  • Biogen: $93,400
  • Bristol Myers Squibb: $111,000

Bachelor’s Degree

To get your career rolling in hospital administration and management, consider a bachelor of science in healthcare administration. Southern New Hampshire University offers this degree with specializations in health information management (also called healthcare informatics), and patient safety and quality. Expect courses in healthcare finance, healthcare economics, healthcare delivery systems, healthcare administration, epidemiology, population health, and organizational behavior.

Master’s Degree

Experienced healthcare managers and hospital managers who want to move to the top of their profession or workplace often will want to earn a master’s degree. Typical choices are a master of healthcare administration (MHA) or a master of healthcare management. Both of these popular degrees are applicable to hospital management.

For a more tech and IT-focused degree, you also may consider a master of health informatics. Expect coursework in healthcare administration, the healthcare delivery system in America, healthcare informatics, law/ethics/policy in healthcare administration, healthcare quality management and healthcare operations management

Online Degrees

Today there are plenty of quality online degrees that you can earn in hospital and healthcare management. For example, a good choice is the Bachelor of Science in Business/Healthcare Management from Western Governor’s University. This program will give you the skills that you need to be a leader in many healthcare facilities, including doctors’ offices, hospitals, nursing homes, and government offices in the healthcare space.

This online degree program is flexible and allows you to continue to work part or full time. Some students are able to finish this degree is six to 16 months, depending upon your background and prerequisites.

Curriculum

Each university and program will have its own specific set of courses, but you can expect that a master’s program in healthcare management would have courses such as:

  • Healthcare Leadership and Management
  • Healthcare Info Systems Management
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Legal and Ethical implications in Healthcare
  • Healthcare Market Research and Analysis
  • Healthcare Strategies
  • Healthcare Financial Management and Decision Making
  • Capstone-Strategic Management for Healthcare

There also are related master’s programs, such as the Master of Science in Healthcare and Leadership and Management from the University of Texas Dallas. Courses in that program include:

  • Accounting for Managers
  • Financial Management
  • The American Healthcare System
  • Strategic Leadership of Healthcare Organizations
  • Healthcare Informatics
  • Healthcare Law, Policy and Regulation
  • Marketing Management
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Statistics and Data Analysis

Specializations

The healthcare and hospital management field is broad, and there are many different types of places that you can work with a master’s degree in this field, other than hospitals. This is advantageous because you will always be able to find a job:

  • Nursing home administration: Work as the head of a nursing home or residential care facility.
  • Clinical management: Oversee a specific department in a hospital or other medical center, such as nursing, physical therapy or surgery.
  • Health information management: Be responsible for the security and maintenance of all patient data and records.

Financial Assistance

Professionals who want to enjoy a productive career in hospital or healthcare management can get substantial assistance to earn their degree with the following scholarships and grants:

  • JumpStart Summer Program: Various amounts.
  • PreMed Prescription Rating and Experience Program: $1000
  • Century Club Health Careers Scholarship: Various amounts
  • Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship: $5000
  • ASHRM Educational Scholarship Program: Various amounts
  • Bachrach Family Scholarship for Excellence in Healthcare Administration: Various amounts.
  • Cathy L. Brock Memorial Scholarship: $1000
  • Connecticut Women in Healthcare Management Scholarship: $1500
  • Bill and Mary Russell Healthcare Scholarship: Various amounts.
  • David A. Winston Health Policy Scholarship: $10,000
  • Ellis Bonner Scholarship Award: $2500
  • Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarship: Various amounts.

Certifications

Consider some of these certifications to go with your degree in hospital management, healthcare management or healthcare administration:

  • Certified Healthcare Administrative Professional (cHAP)
  • Certified Revenue Cycle Executive
  • Certified Revenue Cycle Professional
  • Certified Compliance Technician
  • Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS)
  • Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE)
  • Certified Healthcare CIO (CHCIO)
  • Health Information Technology Professional (HIT Pro)

Associations

Join some of these healthcare and hospital administration associations to further your career and networking potential:

  • American College of Healthcare Executives
  • Medical Group Management Association
  • Professional Association of Healthcare Management
  • American College of Healthcare Administrators
  • Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals
  • Healthcare Administrators Association

With a degree in healthcare management, hospital management or hospital administration, you will have the credentials to enjoy a very dynamic and financially rewarding career. The demand for jobs in this field will only rise as the years go by, and more Americans enter retirement and live longer.

References

Henry Steele
Henry Steele
Henry is Editor-in-Chief of Business Student.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

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