From county hospitals to multistate surgical centers to Congress, healthcare remains in a state of flux at every level, making this industry ripe for new administrators to stand up and make a difference. Our nation needs health administrators that have a range of leadership skills and can lead every kind of group, be it a small team of nurses or a large healthcare organization. A Master’s in Health Administration (MHA) program curriculum aims to help students begin the process of developing the leadership skills needed to guide the nation on critical healthcare issues and make decisions that can improve the current healthcare structure.
Skills, Concepts, or Opportunities Gained with an MHA Degree
A standard MHA curriculum contains coursework that provides students with a comprehensive understanding in the following aspects of the healthcare field:
- Management. The MHA curriculum emphasizes both managing teams and leading organizations. Students learn the importance of valuing their staff, exercising integrity, and demonstrating courage when faced with challenging decisions, such as when to reduce programs to meet budgetary requirements and hire personnel for key positions.
- Analytics. MHA courses provide an extensive overview of healthcare analytics, which Forbes magazine claims is the future of healthcare and a Research and Markets report says is an industry poised to grow to a $34.27 billion by December 2022. Why? With skyrocketing healthcare costs, those with an understanding of healthcare data and analytics can look for ways to reduce patient premiums, elevate money-saving telehealth opportunities, and address special population rising expenditures—making them a hot commodity on the job market.
- Marketing. The MHA curriculum blends healthcare marketing, policy, and economics, giving graduates expertise that may help them choose from a number of career paths outside of administration. For example, MHA graduates that have a creative flair or event-planning skills could choose to pursue jobs like healthcare communications or marketing management.
- Collaboration. With online MHA classes, students gain teamwork skills needed in this digital age. They learn how to use specific digital tools–like video software–to collaborate with remote students. They will also work with other online students who come from a variety of professional backgrounds and educational experiences, and network with their peers from across the country.
Common Courses for Master in Health Administration Students
Though actual course titles may vary depending on the university, many master’s in health administration programs offer courses that touch on the following concepts:
Healthcare Human Resources and Organizational Behavior. This course provides a systematic application of the principles of organizational behavior to understanding professional roles in health services organizations.
Healthcare Marketing. Students will examine the theory, concepts, skills, and principles of marketing applied to health-related organizations and networks.
Health Policy & Economics. This course provides a holistic review of the application of economics and policy-making process to the roles of markets and government in healthcare. Students will explore the concepts used by economists to analyze health outcomes, health behaviors, healthcare markets, health insurance markets, and the role of government.
Healthcare Analytics. In this course, students will look at the types of available healthcare data, as well as different types of analytic tools to help make meaningful decisions regarding operations and management, quality, performance improvement, outcomes assessment, and marketing. It builds upon previous knowledge of basic statistics and analytics, concepts, and tools by applying them specifically to the healthcare system.