Managing a healthcare facility, whether public or private, is a job that requires dedication and expertise. Today’s healthcare managers have to cope with managing a hospital or clinic, employing doctors and medical staff, as well as taking care of the entire facility to provide the best possible service to patients.
However, what is important – managers in the health care sector are still in short supply! They are eagerly sought after on the job market, but not everyone knows how to properly prepare for this profession. What is the job of a healthcare manager? How to get the right qualifications?
Manager of health services – what is this profession?
A healthcare manager is a person who takes care of the whole facility, whether it is a hospital, private practice or clinic. This is an extremely responsible profession, which requires versatile skills, composure and perfectly assimilated knowledge. However, not only theoretical skills are enough here – the work of a health care manager is not just staying in a closed office in a remote part of the clinic. A healthcare manager has to cope with stressful and crisis situations. His task is to effectively manage the resources entrusted to him, both human, financial and physical.
Tasks and responsibilities of a manager in the area of health care
What exactly is the job of a healthcare manager? The tasks and responsibilities of a manager in a health care unit are numerous. Although it is almost impossible to list all the duties of a manager of a health care unit, among the most important are the following:
- Organizing and delegating tasks, assigning work, motivating employees;
- Controlling the progress of work and activities of the medical unit, conducting negotiations with the National Health Fund, studying the needs and expectations of patients;
- Ensuring the effectiveness of doctors and other medical staff, recruiting, implementing employee evaluations.
- Effective management of the facility for which he/she is responsible, including taking care of the needs of the medical facility: understanding the design of the building, purchasing, installing and maintaining equipment, taking care of repairs, retrofitting the building, etc.
Managers of health care facilities must oversee the financial, technical, and administrative operations within the health care organization. Their responsibilities include planning, organizing, implementing, evaluating, and monitoring all programs and departments of the treatment facility. Part of this includes identifying problems and process deficiencies in order to develop appropriate corrective actions.
Therefore, managers working in healthcare must ensure the reliability and functionality of all facility assets, services, and personnel. This may include, for example, recommendations for staffing, services and equipment based on space, demand and capacity indicators. The healthcare manager’s responsibilities also include complex staff scheduling.
Other duties include reviewing monthly financial statements and operating reports to provide the facility’s shareholders with concise updates on the company’s financials and also on the condition of supplies. Healthcare managers also perform human resource duties such as recruiting, interviewing, hiring, disciplining and coaching employees to ensure quality patient care.
Who can become a healthcare manager?
The job of a healthcare manager is not an easy one – it requires adequate subject matter knowledge, mental preparation, and natural aptitude. Of all these, the first is the easiest to obtain. However, it is worth knowing that not every university degree will open the way to a career as a manager in the health sector.
A manager in the health care sector can take up employment, among others, in: hospitals (private and public), hospital outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, sanatoria, treatment facilities, specialized clinics, social care homes, health insurance institutions, care and treatment facilities, private clinics, health and beauty centers in and abroad.
Required qualifications and training path for the profession
What qualifications do you need to have in order to employ excellent doctors, manage a hospital or a sanatorium, and provide medical services in Poland at the highest possible level?
The work environment for a healthcare manager is not the easiest. It is an independent position which requires from the interested party fluent computer skills, communication skills, effective management of entrusted resources as well as efficient organization of others’ work. Manager of health services often has to deal with stressful situations, both during interpersonal problems in the team and when dealing with patients. Often his work requires conflict resolution skills, patience and a lot of calm. For this reason, a future manager in the health care sector is expected to, among other things:
- motivating employees at all levels,
- Dealing with difficult situations,
- establish and maintain relationships,
- empathy and understanding,
- communication skills,
- ability to build a positive image of themselves and of the entire medical unit,
- quick adaptation to changes, openness to new situations and challenges.
It is often emphasized that managers in health care must be able to cope with time pressure, control emotions and anticipate the consequences of decisions and choices (both their own and others).
What kind of degree should you complete to become a healthcare manager?
Maintaining a healthcare facility with happy staff and satisfied, well-mannered patients requires both careful attention and a talent for holistic visualization. In Poland, there are no specific requirements to be certified. In America, for example, healthcare facility managers are required to maintain their certifications through the American Hospital Association. To be certified, facility managers must have at least a bachelor’s degree and three years of related engineering or administrative experience in a healthcare facility; certification must then be renewed every three years.
In Poland, such a requirement does not exist, so healthcare managers most often become graduates of many different majors, including law, economics, or after medicine. However, a person who wants to be a manager of health care at the highest level, should be interested in gaining additional knowledge.
Polish health service is struggling with many difficulties. Only appropriate management staff allows medical units to conduct effective operations. Therefore, it is worth deciding on additional education, such as postgraduate studies. Studying healthcare management is a course that allows you to gain useful knowledge for further work and also meets the requirements for sitting on supervisory boards of state-owned companies, because it is part of the MBA.