What You Will Focus on as a Medical and Health Services Manager

Medical and Health Services Management degrees are developing today’s healthcare management professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is growing by 28%, faster than average. As hospitals, clinics, and medical sites across the country are growing, and more employees means more managers to ensure proper care is being delivered to every patient. However, there are some key areas that Medical and Health Services Managers focus on in their day-to-day work.

What is MHSM?

ANU’s Medical and Health Services Management program provides education, skills, and competencies students need to become managers in healthcare settings. Those in this field work closely with several different departments within a hospital, clinic, medical facilities, long-term care, or other healthcare settings. Not only that, but they are providing leadership through project management, financial competency, and demonstrating quality healthcare for patients.

Many of the job titles that Medical and Health Services Management bachelor’s degree holders are:

  • Assisted Living Director
  • Clinic Practice Manager
  • Patient Safety Director
  • Medical Office Coordinator
  • Home Health Clinic Manager
  • Health Information Manager

Some of the skills that these roles are listed below.

Healthcare Quality Improvement

Improving the quality of healthcare is a key focus for managers in a healthcare setting. Quality improvement is the standard that all medical professionals should follow in patient care. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). describes that it “seeks to standardize processes and structure to reduce variation, achieve predictable results, and improve outcomes for patients, healthcare systems, and organizations.”

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality shares six domains of healthcare quality:

  1. Safe – avoiding harm to the patient.
  2. Effective – providing care based on the latest scientific information.
  3. Patient-centered – patients receive respectful care that is responsive to their needs and values, and that they’re involved in all communications of their health.
  4. Timely – reducing wait times to avoid harmful delays.
  5. Efficient – avoiding waste, which includes time, energy, supplies, and ideas.
  6. Equitable – that the care each patient receives does not vary in quality because of characteristics like gender, ethnicity, location, and socioeconomic status.

Those with a degree in healthcare management will actively work to explore strategies that improve healthcare quality, patient safety, and outcomes. As an example, healthcare managers everywhere are utilizing evidence-based practice as it involves using the best available research, clinical guidelines, and medical literature for decision-making and to improve patient outcomes.


Health Information Systems

A big basis to a degree in healthcare management is health information systems. Sanjuluca et al describe Health Information Systems (HIS) in their article: “A HIS can be defined as a computerised or manual system (on paper) that is designed to meet all the information needs within a hospital.” This ranges from patient records, billing, pharmaceutical information, staffing, accounting, and more. These systems help keep hospitals and medical sites running efficiently. They also help care providers make better decisions with access to records as well as provide efficient health care in a timely manner.

As more and more hospital and clinic sites move into digital realm, so will reports like health and patient records. Medical and health services managers will utilize Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to access comprehensive data about a patient, such as medications, health history, treatments, diagnosis, and more. Those in this field need to know the skills and education they need to not only access this information, coordinate with other healthcare professionals, and enhance care continuity.

Health Care Policy

Those in healthcare management are crucial to maintaining health care policies – as well as policies within their specific medical setting. They are involved in various aspects of healthcare policy development, implementation, and evaluation to ensure efficient and effective healthcare systems. Some of the key responsibilities they hold in policy are:

  • Research and Analysis – healthcare managers are always researching and analyzing policies to understand their impact and implications in patient care.
  • Policy Development – Along with researching and analyzing policies, medical and health services managers are creating policies based on the evidence they research.
  • Compliance and Regulation – Managers stay on top of compliance and regulation of their policies to ensure they adhere to local, state, and federal laws.

Healthcare Ethics

Like managers of any other industry, healthcare managers must ensure that all medical professionals are following healthcare ethics. They work to create an environment where ethical values and principles, such as patient autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice, are prioritized and guide decision-making at all levels. As mentioned previously, they ensure that organizational policies and guidelines align with ethical standards. They review existing policies and propose updates to address ethical considerations, patient rights, privacy, and informed consent.

As patient advocates, those who are in these management roles ensure that informed consent is a part of treatment. They support informed consent processes, ensuring that patients have the necessary information to make autonomous and informed decisions about their care. They also ensure that patients’ autonomy and preferences are respected, and their voices are heard in the decision-making process. This is especially important when it comes to end-of-life care and advanced directives. Managers will assist patients and their families in ensuring that treatment aligns with their wishes.

Stackable Degrees at ANU

At American National University, Medical and Health Services Management can be one of the steppingstones you take to level your way up in healthcare. Many students begin in our Medical Billing and Coding diploma program to gain the foundation they need to break into allied health roles. This gets their foot in the door to several coding careers. Many of our Medical Billing and Coding students don’t just stop at that diploma. They begin our Health Information Management associate degree program to boost their resume and career development. With this, many move into our Medical and Health Services Management bachelor’s degree program to become managers within their field. Armed with experience and education, these professionals move into our Master of Business Administration program – many specializing in Healthcare Management. With so many educational possibilities at ANU, you, too, can work your way up into healthcare management and work on many of the skills and responsibilities mentioned previously.

American National University – Be live, in class, from anywhere.

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