Healthcare management is emerging as a growing field with several career opportunities. Given the possible growth of India’s health sector, professionals with specialised management degrees will be sought after. It is estimated that healthcare industry will grow at a CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) of 16.6%.
Many students today, are highly confused with what to do after graduation. Some land a job after graduation, but the majority have to get a post-graduate degree to have a decent job. Healthcare management is one such field that has brilliant prospects in the job environment. Currently, the demand outweighs the supply and this is likely to continue in the coming decade. Here are some top career opportunities available.
Patient safety and quality management coordinators
This position guides staff within the hospital and seeks to improve the quality of patient care through assurance and innovation in partnership with local teams. This helps in the reduction of medical errors and other factors that contribute to accidental patient outcomes. The Patient Safety and Quality Coordinator, together with senior clinical and operational managers, is responsible for the implementation of patient safety and quality improvement initiatives.
Hospital operations/hospital administrators
Health administrators are responsible for safeguarding the smooth operation of a hospital, hospital system or healthcare organisations. As the backbone of healthcare systems, healthcare administrators take up the responsibilities of supervising the vast expanses involving medical personnel. They work behind the scenes to make all types of health care facilities work as efficiently as possible and also hire doctors, develop budgets, come up with new policies and patient services.
Assistant medical superintendents/ Deputy medical superintendents
They ensure high standards of patient care and work to deliver on service quality standards along with defining and implementing performance parameters for doctors. They are experts in implementation and adhering to Standard Operative Procedures (SOP) in all clinical specialties, conducting regular medical audits on an ongoing basis and so on. They work to ensure that proper SOPs are in place for the efficient admission, care and discharge of patients.
EOs of hospitals
It is of great importance for a hospital to be run in as highly a cost-effective manner as possible and this is handled by a Chief Executive Officer. A Hospital CEO is responsible for the management and operation of an entire healthcare organisation. The main objective of the CEO is to plan, direct and coordinate operational activities with the help of secondary-level executives and staff managers.
Many hospital management experts do not wish to join any industry or an organisation, but start a venture of their own. In this current scenerio of start-ups and entrepreneurs, this is emerging as an interesting career option . Startups can be hospitals, consulting firms, management agencies or healthcare IT firms.
They are responsible for training, mapping out training plans, designing and developing training programmes.
Managers/assistant managers at third party administrators (TPAs)
TPAs function as an intermediary between the insurance provider and the insured. One can join as managers and assistant managers on pursuing healthcare management and these specialists work with medical records, coding and billing professionals, and insurance companies to ensure the plan benefits are properly applied.
Bio-medical waste management expert
The Ministry of Essential and Climate Change, Government of India, has raised the BMW Rules on March 28, 2016, through a gazette notification which states that every health care facility is mandated to segregate and dispose of bio-medical waste as per these rules. There is an imminent need to increase the awareness and training/ capacity building of the different category of health functionary in safe disposal of bio-medical waste from hospital and health centre.
District programme managers
These professionals are designated to the monitoring and planning of district health strategies, as in the National Rural Health Mission.
Consultants in International and National NGOs
NGOs working in health sector is another favoured destination. However, there is a catch in all these avenues. Healthcare and hospital management is a specialised field and needs professionals from the healthcare sector to impart the appropriate knowledge and skills to a fresh graduate. Not all institutes have the required capabilities to provide curriculum and training to create job-ready candidates. Thus, it is important to choose the right institution so that the right career opportunities can unfold.
–The writer is Dean, Academics, International Institute Of Health Management Research, Delhi