Running a healthcare organization in today’s fast-changing and sometimes litigious environment is challenging. Professionals in healthcare administration must have both management abilities and medical experience to lead teams and employees while overseeing patient care.
Graduates of the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Healthcare Administration program gain this in-demand skill set that can lead to a career as a hospital administrator, human resource director or other healthcare business leader position. Through courses like Operations Management and Organizational Behavior and Theory, students learn to establish collaborative teams, foster problem-solving, analyze and synthesize business functions, communicate to diverse audiences and address ethical issues in the healthcare environment.
What Is Operations Management?
Investopedia defines operations management as the “overall coordination of processes required for the creation and distribution of products and services.” In healthcare, operations management marries leadership skills with healthcare expertise to ensure quality and timely care delivery. Administrators must stay on top of the organization’s systems and processes, efficiently utilizing capital and human resources while managing costs.
Why Is Operations Management Important in Healthcare?
Operations management plays a pivotal role in healthcare by streamlining processes, improving patient outcomes and managing resources effectively. Healthcare administrators can better control costs, meet patient needs and readily adapt to industry changes by focusing on critical areas such as strategic planning and quality of care.
Utilizing effective operations management in healthcare does the following:
- Helps professionals efficiently manage resources like staff, equipment and finances
- Minimizes errors and waste
- Streamlines workflows and eliminates bottlenecks
- Bolsters staff morale and retention
- Strengthens an organization’s ability to adapt to market changes, technology or regulatory requirements and laws
- Improves strategic planning through data analysis and informed decision-making
4 Healthcare Operations Management Best Practices
As healthcare evolves, the scope of duties and expectations for healthcare operations professionals will likely change. However, the core responsibilities of these professionals will almost certainly remain centered on quality improvement, cost reduction and patient satisfaction. By following the following four best practices, they can lead their organizations through uncertainties and maintain a solid financial footing:
- Leverage New Technology
Emerging technologies have created opportunities to reform virtually every area of healthcare operations, resulting in higher-quality patient care, cost savings and a better workplace environment for employees. Although technology requires a sizable investment, many administrators may leverage technology to remain competitive.
For example, requirements and laws reports that administrators who use artificial intelligence and automation to streamline operations could eliminate up to $360 billion of U.S. healthcare spending. Administrative functions — including scheduling, documentation and revenue cycle management — are ripe for innovation, and using technology in these areas could free up employees to work on more complex tasks.
“Deploying such technologies may also reduce clinician burnout and improve patient experience, which are both increasingly important in how healthcare is evolving,” notes McKinsey.
- Focus on Resource Stewardship
Like any other business, healthcare organizations have budget constraints and must balance the money coming in with the money going out. Effective financial management requires good stewardship of resources to optimize staffing, equipment availability and patient care across all departments.
- Take a Holistic View
While operations professionals must consider the unique needs of each department, they should also consider the organization as a whole. A holistic view can identify gaps in care and resource limitations. Once corrected, these improvements can streamline services and improve workflows. A holistic perspective can also reduce the estimated $1 trillion in recoverable healthcare waste costs, notes Health Catalyst, and potentially yield more affordable care.
- Become a Bridge Builder
Healthcare organizations serve people and communities, but building relationships with other local facilities and health-oriented businesses can expand their reach and services. Developing these partnerships is often integral to strategic planning, future acquisitions and increasing access to care.
Healthcare administrators maximize operational performance and ensure the organization’s stability as an employer and care provider. TAMU-CC’s online MBA with a Concentration in Healthcare Administration program equips graduates with the skills to pursue the dynamic responsibilities of operations management.