While aiming at taking healthcare administration and management, I had the following goals, which are still helping me sharpen my professionalism. To become a competent health care manager with capacity to work in any healthcare setting, and secondly to develop an understanding of the changing healthcare environment as affected by sector-wide environmental shifts. My core objectives have been as follows: 1. To obtain an academic qualification in healthcare administration and management.
To develop the attitudes necessary for effective performance in the healthcare industry 3. To develop requisite leadership and administrative skills with a bias in healthcare administration and management 4. To develop strategic thinking capacity and skills for effective application of strategic planning in the healthcare industry The five courses completed in the Health Care Administration and Management course were; Healthcare law, Leadership and Management, Statistics for Healthcare, Marketing Healthcare, and Strategic Planning in Healthcare.
The goal of the course on Healthcare law was to develop an understanding of the legal structures and requirements surrounding the provision of healthcare in the practice of Healthcare Administration and Management. Its key objective was the exploration of healthcare legislation and related legislation. In this course, the project completed had the title, ‘Against Going Green in Healthcare’. The course provided a sound legal background for working in the healthcare industry.
Under the Leadership and Management course, the main goal was to inculcate relevant values, and to develop leadership and management skills required in the healthcare field. The objective of the course was to undertake a group project and through it, to have a hands on experience in navigating the issues of teamwork under various leadership scenarios. Through this course, I learned several aspects of team leadership and participation which provide the backdrop against which to approach the leadership demands of the healthcare industry.
I appreciate that there are different leadership models for different organizations within the healthcare industry determined chiefly by size of the organization and its section in the healthcare industry. The need for teamwork and team leadership within them is great since as a healthcare administrator and manager one works with a number of specialists and as such one must be able to effectively provide leadership for the teams of specialists and a number of support staff.
The course on Statistics for Healthcare’s goal was to create an appreciation of the role of statistics in healthcare, as a communication and decision making tool. The objective was to expose the learners to practical development and application of statistical tools for decision making and the development of skills required for understanding developing and applying statistical tools and methods in decision making.
It has been appreciated that statistics form a very important part of information evaluation and communication, and as such, an understanding of the process involved in the development and communication of statistical information and the limitations thereof combined with the technical skills of interpreting statistics is an indispensable tool for a Healthcare Administration and Management Professional. The course on Marketing Healthcare had its main goal as to raise an appreciation of the role of marketing in the healthcare industry.
The main objective was the development of an appreciation of the need, methods, strategies and techniques for evaluation of marketing methods used in the healthcare industry. Under this course, a project on the development of a marketing plan was undertaken to enhance the skills developed. Matters pertaining to development of marketing strategy, market segmentation, market analysis and market research were studied.
The final course was on Strategic Planning in Healthcare. Its goal was the learning of the application of strategic planning in the healthcare industry. The key objective was to explore strategic thinking and planning models and the application thereof to the healthcare industry. The project undertaken was writing of a Personal Strategic Plan and Leadership Skills Assessment. Through the course and the project, strategic planning skills were developed and practiced.
It was appreciated that just as in many other fields, strategic planning has an important role in healthcare service provision. It is necessary if high standards and relevance to the clients needs is to be maintained. Its role also in determination of long term needs such as training, planning and development of physical facilities was clearly understood. Under the same course, I undertook an assessment of my personal leadership skills which gave me very useful pointers on what areas of my leadership skills need further honing.
The training gaps I am experiencing are those being caused by the constantly shifting environment such as in legal issues, healthcare marketing options available and the constant stream of research results being released occasioning shifts in perspectives on leadership, management, service provision and business modeling affecting the healthcare industry. As Wolper (2004), attests, “Since the beginning of the 1990’s, market driven changes have been transforming the financing and the organization of healthcare both in the United States and around the world”. (p. 4).
The other major gap area is the effect of the volatile economic environment on the healthcare industry. There is a continued need for learning to keep up with the new knowledge to remain competent and effective as a healthcare professional. The program has made me more competent in healthcare management in the following ways. I am now aware of the legal issues surrounding the practice of healthcare administration and management, and I therefore do not expect to become legally liable as a result of lack of awareness of legalities surrounding the practice of healthcare administration and management.
It is now clear to me what issues to avoid and how to ensure I am in good legal standing as a practitioner at all times. I have a better sense of the role of leadership in the healthcare industry just as I do about the role of management. My appreciation of the role of statistics as a communication and decision-making tool and capacity to use it has been enhanced greatly. I now have a better understanding of the need to market healthcare services. I also know the methods to use and how to evaluate the process. I have become better at strategic thinking as a necessary component for the development of strategic plans.
The strategic planning exercise gave me a clear understanding of its importance as I saw how the plan has the capacity to move us into a desired and deliberate future. I am now better equipped and confident, because of the training, to waddle through the complex issues that define Healthcare Administration and Management in a constantly shifting environment. After my training, I have taken keener interest in the healthcare environment regularly updating myself by reading journals, industry magazines, and keeping up with developments in the legal environment surrounding the healthcare industry.
I have an enhanced appreciation of statistical results released from many medical institutions on the myriad health issues healthcare providers must tackle. I have also been more observant of the various marketing models in use by healthcare provides, in a search for the more effective ones, to improve on my knowledge as I add to what I have received so far in my training. Reference Wolper, L. F. (2004) Health care Administration-Planning, Implementing, and Managing Organized Delivery Systems (4th ed. ). Mississauga, Canada: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.