Online Master’s in Healthcare Management
Healthcare management is a growing field where qualified professionals can find personal and financial rewards—and a lot of flexibility. For example, you could choose from running a healthcare clinic in a small-town, or work your way up to becoming the CEO of a major research hospital. All of your options open up when you move from the undergraduate to the graduate level of education. When your resume includes academic credentials that demonstrate a mastery of your field, you’ll be able to work in the higher levels of the healthcare industry.
Online Master’s in Healthcare Management Programs
Online learning is a fast-growing phenomenon in the academic world. The education industry is adapting and there are now many fantastic online colleges and universities—both those who are almost entirely online, and state and private colleges who offer online programs as part of their curriculum. Their academic rigor remains just as strong online as in a physical classroom, the only difference is the convenience and flexibility to you.
The best way to ensure that you are applying to the best master’s degree program in healthcare management possible is to check the accreditation status of the school and department program. You should make sure that your program’s accrediting body is approved by the U.S. Department of Education. The school’s website will offer accreditation status, or a postgraduate program admissions counselor should be able to answer your question.
When you choose an online university for your master’s degree in healthcare management, you will have the flexibility to keep working, stay with your family and have the world’s greatest educators at your fingertips.
Why a Master’s in Healthcare Management?
A master’s degree is becoming more and more vital to career success. Some even say that a master’s degree has the same importance a bachelor’s degree held 20 years ago. This is particularly true if you want to rise in the ranks of a healthcare organization. There, you will need to be equipped with the skills to do financial analysis as well as have in-depth knowledge of healthcare regulations and law. You may also need to have knowledge of computer systems and accounting principles.
With an online master’s degree, you’re able to navigate more complex organizational problems and find solutions that make sense, both financially and for the good of your staff and patient population. With higher education comes the expertise to make the best decisions.
Management Tracks and Specialties
During your undergraduate degree, you likely received a general liberal arts education and then studied a particular area of focus in your final year or two of the program. When you move on to your online master’s degree, you will want to specialize immediately in the area in which you’ve chosen as your ultimate career. You could consider that graduate school is all about becoming an absolute master of one thing.
In a graduate school program that offers healthcare management master’s degrees, you might choose one of these specialty areas:
- Healthcare Administration
- Healthcare Informatics
- Health Information Technology
- Health Information Management
What You’ll Do in These Specializations
Healthcare administrators oversee how an overall healthcare system operates. They are often found in hospitals, but can also be found in any facility that deals with the medical industry or healthcare insurance. Hospital administrators often rise to the level of corporate officer.
Healthcare informatics specialists and managers are inter-disciplinarians who find IT solutions for the design and delivery of healthcare services. These solutions also apply to healthcare management.
Health information technology professionals have specialized training in creating IT solutions for the healthcare industry. They may work on the database system for a hospital for instance, ensuring its safety and efficiency. Your career might include managing a team of IT professionals as they perform audits, maintenance protocols and security upgrades. Eventually, you could rise to the status of CIO.
Healthcare information management is another intersection of technology and healthcare delivery. HIM specialists acquire, analyze and protect patient information. These professionals are vital to the healthcare industry in that they work with the data that drives patient care, but which can lead to innovations in the future.
What You’ll Study in a Master’s Degree Program
No matter which specialty you choose, you’ll first need to take many of the same basic courses. After all, every healthcare professional has the same ultimate goal: provide the very best healthcare for patients. Some of the healthcare management courses you might take include, but are not limited to the following:
- Healthcare Statistics
- Healthcare Human Resources
- Public Health Policy and Administration
- Legal Aspects of Healthcare
- Healthcare Data Analysis
- Infectious Diseases Epidemiology
- Medical Ethics
Master’s in Healthcare Management Capstone Project
Like many master’s programs, you will need to complete a final project in order to graduate. In the field of Healthcare Management, this project is called a capstone project. Often, the capstone is done in the real world. In some programs, an existing healthcare institution will have a problem that students need to diagnose and solve. Not only will your work be evaluated by faculty, but you should expect to present your solutions to the community health organization. In effect, your capstone project will be like that of a healthcare administrator or consultant.
If you’re ready to take your healthcare management career to the next level, all you have to do is research programs and request free information from the schools you select. Get your questions ready, and find out which online or traditional master’s degree program is best for you.
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