More than 350,000 health administrators work in patient care, according to research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the demand for these highly trained, specialized health care professionals is growing rapidly, with employment for this occupation expected to expand 20 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS.
Why? Health administrators are critical to clinical operations, leveraging medical insight and management expertise to facilitate near-seamless patient care. As a result, most hospitals and health systems are seeking health administrators who can devise systems that meet the needs of modern patients, analysts for PricewaterhouseCoopers found.
These developments make this role ideal for individuals looking to move up in the medical administration field. How might prospective health administrators develop the knowledge and expertise they need to make an impact in this position? Many pursue Master of Public Health programs, which can equip prospective health administrators for work in clinical operations of all sizes.
That said, these programs vary in quality, meaning prospective students must identify educational offerings that can give them the skills and experience they need to move forward in the health administration industry. The online Master of Public Health program at Regis College can help aspiring health administrators achieve such goals due to its comprehensive and versatile curriculum.
Individuals enrolled in the online MPH program at Regis can expect to participate in multiple courses meant to prepare them for work in health administration. Here are some of those courses and how they can prepare students for the role of health administrator:
Health administration in the core curriculum
The online MPH program at Regis centers on eight three-credit courses addressing a number of foundational topics. Several of these classes take on issues that affect health administrators navigating modern clinics, hospitals, and health systems. These include:
- Health Ethics: Health care leaders are responsible for maintaining high personal ethical standards, as well as promoting upright operational practices and strategies. Those who fail in this regard might find themselves or their organizations in violation of ethical norms, which can lead to malpractice and the accompanying legal implications. This course helps rising medical administrators understand how they influence organizational ethics and provides strategies for how these professionals might cultivate and maintain high ethical standards. These methodologies include internal promotion, staff training, and publicly acknowledging ethical decision-making.
- Public Health Administration: This course deals directly with health administration operations, offering students actionable strategies for managing care delivery operations in organizations of all sizes. Here, aspiring health administrators learn how to effectively oversee clinical activities at scale and roll out infrastructure that meets the needs of multiple patient groups with varying health care needs.
- Applied Practice Experience and Integrated Learning Experience: While classroom instruction can certainly equip students with deployable strategies and support the cultivation of true expertise, only on-the-ground experience can prepare future administrators for life following graduation. This is why individuals enrolled in the online MPH program at Regis are required to spend at least 270 hours in the field sharpening the skills they learn in class.
These core courses and others address health administration in depth and help shape future leaders in the field.
Health administration in Regis’s MPH concentrations
Students pursuing online MPH degrees at Regis College can choose from two concentrations: Epidemiology, which covers a variety of the granular issues that accompany the study of communicable disease, and Health Policy and Management, which offers participants the opportunity to develop the management and leadership skills they need to craft and implement overarching health care policy. The former concentration benefits prospective health administrators — especially those looking to work with entities such as the World Health Organization — while the latter course of study is suited health care professions interested in smaller-scale clinical functions. Here, students encounter six three-credit courses, four of which are particularly important to individuals looking to pursue employment in health administration:
- Economics of Health Care: Modern health administrators must constantly deal with the economics of care delivery, as U.S. residents spend more on health care than their peers in all other nations, according to research from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. This course helps students moving into the industry develop an understanding of this state of affairs and how it affects care delivery.
- Contemporary Issues, Special Populations, and Policies: Here students grapple with some of the variables affecting health care delivery here and abroad, including those disproportionately impacting patients in specific communities and populations.
- State Health Policy: Health administrators must work within the confines of national health care infrastructure, making this course essential for students intending to pursue these positions.
- Health Policy and Program Implementation: This course gives aspiring health administrators the tools they need to close the gap between ideation and implementation.
The courses covered in the Health Policy and Management concentration further enrich the health administration insights gained in the core curriculum, leaving students with robust skill sets.
The ideal educational experience
The online MPH program at Regis College offers students the opportunity to cultivate rich skills sets that can help them succeed in the health administration sector. In addition to the aforementioned courses, aspiring health administrators take part in three-credit sessions touching on ancillary topics such as Biostatistics, Epidemiological Methods, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. These courses, along with the 270 hours of practical experience, help students develop multifaceted expertise that translates to the health administration field and beyond.