The Masters in Healthcare Administration is a professional degree given to students who successfully complete a course of studies on the principles and competencies of management. This degree is designed to prepare students for a career in the healthcare industry and enables them to take the lead role in healthcare operations.
The program was originally started in 1996 by The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), which requires that students complete an accredited program and pass an exam in order to graduate. The program allows students to choose a specialization in order to tailor their degree towards a specific career. Students may choose the specialization in either clinical administration management theory, policy and planning, or public health. Although not required, the students may want to specialize in any of these areas as they have already completed their education.
The clinical administration specialization is designed for students who are already licensed professionals and would like to broaden their knowledge of the healthcare industry. Clinical administration entails the responsibility of evaluating healthcare systems and policies and implementing these into clinical practices in hospitals and other medical centers. In clinical administration, students gain practical experience by providing healthcare services to patients and supervising staff so as to ensure optimal results. After completing the master's program, students will be prepared to apply for jobs in healthcare settings.
The management theory specialization is aimed at providing students with an overall knowledge of healthcare. This knowledge includes managerial aspects of healthcare and its systems. In management theory, students study the concepts, theories and practice involved with health care, patient care and organizations. It also covers the management aspects of information technology, business strategy, and organizational behavior. There are numerous options for students in this specialization, which include: health care research and development; healthcare management, financial management and other health care consulting positions.
The public health and policy and planning specialization is designed for students interested in healthcare policies and programs. The students learn how to conduct research and evaluate policies, practices, and programs to ensure that they are effective and efficient. In policy and planning, students will also study how the healthcare industry operates. They will be able to design policies that can improve health care processes and increase quality of services.
Many online masters programs in healthcare administration are now available online to students. They are designed in a way that they allow students to meet their personal and career goals at their own pace. They can complete the program at their own pace and schedule. Masters in healthcare administration has also made it easy for students to continue their education after they have completed their studies.