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Health Management

What is health management?

Health management is a profession that involves the oversight, planning, direction, and administration of healthcare systems, facilities, clinics, and hospital networks. Health care managers are responsible for the organization and operation of a healthcare facility, ensuring medical professionals perform daily tasks under effective oversight and with the right resources.

They are responsible for facilitating information flow between and across departments to communicate operational goals and account for the success of medical services. Health management requires business skills, communication with multiple stakeholders, and knowledge of technology to operate a healthcare organization's complexities. Healthcare managers direct and produce services within healthcare systems under performance indicators, creating guidance measures that enhance overall operations. 

Daily tasks and skills in health management include:

  • Workforce recruitment and training.
  • Facility management.
  • Regulatory compliance with privacy laws.
  • Managing internal communication between staff and department heads.
  • Improving medical services.

They manage the daily operations of all medical staff and direct administrative functions of individual departments. They also perform risk assessments, and periodic patient satisfaction queries to maintain the standards of medical practices, facilities, and treatment services. 

The duties of a health care manager range depending on specialist knowledge and the type of organization they oversee, e.g., nursing home, hospital, or clinical practice. Examples of health management roles include – health care finance manager, health care department manager, research manager, clinical director, and health care administration. These managers shape decisions that create procedures and protocols to enhance operations within the healthcare system.

Health management also guides outside stakeholders – such as Medicare/Medicaid, commercial insurers, and population needs – to make effective decisions on resources and activities impacting administrative operations, accreditation standards, regulatory compliance, and appropriate licensure. 

Why do health systems need health management? 

Health systems have complex procedures, requirements, and services that need professional management to help them execute goods and services that impact the quality of healthcare treatments. Individual health departments do not operate independently and need direction to improve health practices, facility services, and staffing protocols. Healthcare organizations need managers with exceptional leadership skills to keep hospitals and clinics operating smoothly, safely, and up to date with the latest medical innovations. Health management administrators or teams oversee entire facility operations and have expert knowledge of the regulatory guidelines of patient care.

Examples of different types of health care management include:

  • Health care consulting: Managers work with health organizations to create training programs that keep employees updated with the latest methods and practices.
  • Health insurance underwriting: Managers train health care staff to formulate insurance policies and programs that align with organizational goals and budgets.
  • Clinical management: Managers oversee clinical trials for specialized research in product design and the effectiveness of medical devices before their use in a medical setting.

Managers direct goals and objectives for healthcare organizations to champion the successful administration of clinical and non-clinical operations that measure patient satisfaction, revenue growth, team member performance, and medical errors. To facilitate the best patient care, health care managers examine current health debates and government health policies that may impact the organization’s healthcare services and delivery. Health management teams create governance policies to ensure a high level of operations in each unit and department. This ensures that healthcare services have strict protocols and that facility records, finances, and compliance reports are adequately maintained. 

Healthcare management uses operational reports and information from department heads or important stakeholders to guide health systems to increase staff and to direct priorities to issues of top concern. Good healthcare outcomes require optimized budgets and well-developed department and institutional practices that support the medical services of physicians and clinical practitioners. Healthcare facilities require structured business plans that set direction and support for staff activities and organizational goals. 

In addition, the healthcare industry needs workforce management to enforce a structured health delivery system to keep up with rising population demands and increase patient segments who are ill or at risk of COVID-19. 

Benefits of health management include: 

  • Structured care systemHealthcare organizations maintain services under the guidance and observation of professional managers that enable the continuum of care, helping doctors administer effective treatments. 
  • Cost control: Health managers can keep costs down for patients by providing health services based on a fixed pricing structure, helping patients stay aware of the cost of needed medical treatments.
  • Better clinical care: Physicians can make more accurate and quicker health assessments with the assistance of health managers that maintain medical report systems and facilitate the information flow of essential patient data. 
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