Qualitative Research into Healthcare Managers

2454 words (10 pages) Essay in Human Resources

23/09/19 Human Resources Reference this

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Healthcare Management Interview

Abstract

Objective: To gain a better insight into what a healthcare manager does on a day to day basis. Also, to explore what it is like to handle all the daily functions of a medium sized healthcare facility. The three main points that were studied are: (1) what education and experience are beneficial for someone going into this field, (2) what are some of the main challenges that healthcare managers encounter, (3) what are some opportunities with a career in healthcare management.

 Methods: I conducted a qualitative concise structured interview with a single interviewee. This single interviewee overseas a medium size doctors office in Alabama and is responsible for overseeing the health services for the Department of Corrections located in the county.

Results: The skills, preparation, and knowledge needed to succeed in the healthcare management field are different depending on the particular managerial position. In order to have an executive role in healthcare management it will require a deeper understanding of the field and more schooling.

 Conclusion: People who are interested in healthcare management are required to complete certain levels of education and have certain certifications. There are several challenges that healthcare managers must face and overcome. There are also endless opportunities for healthcare managers.

Introduction

Healthcare managers are responsible for managing a healthcare facility’s business functions, including areas such as facility operations and finances. One of the top priorities of a healthcare manager is to make sure that the patients get the best quality of care by providing the nurses and doctors with the required equipment needed to provide quality healthcare to the patients. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, managers in healthcare supervisor the employees, oversee day to day facility operations, manage the finances, and oversee the information technology aspect of the healthcare facility. Healthcare managers try to enhance the quality and efficiency of care patient’s reverie and attempt to reduce healthcare costs. According to the American College of Healthcare Executives, healthcare managers’ responsibilities include: teaching the community about health and healthcare issues, making sure that the healthcare facility is operationally and financially stable, partnering with nurses and doctors to provide top quality of care to patients, and overseeing personnel issue (“What Does a Health Care Manager Do?,” 2018)

Healthcare managers try to ensure that the healthcare facility operates efficiently and effectively, and they must adhere to all federal regulations and laws. Also, healthcare managers must promote and uphold high ethical practices and mandate all employees in the facility to adhere to the same practices.

Methods

A qualitative manner was used to choose a sample, to collect the data and to analyze the collected data.

Sampling

When I choose my sample, my main priority was to find someone who had been in healthcare management for several years, so that I could get a better understanding of what is required to be successful in the field. I wanted to find someone that was in the medium-sized facility and had a variety of different experiences within the field. I chose to interview someone that has 15+ years of experience in healthcare management and successfully manages a medium sized doctors office and the healthcare services for the county jail. Also, my interviewee decided to become a partner for this particular facility. This means that she now owns a portion of the facility.  It would have been better to have interviewed numerous different people, but I could not have completed that in the time frame given to complete the assignment. In the results section of this report, I will provide a table that has demographics of other healthcare managers that were interviewed by my classmates.

Study Design and Analysis of the data

The study was conducted in September of 2018. This was a face-to-face, structured interview that consisted of a variety of different questions pertaining to healthcare management. The topics included questions about the qualifications, skills, threats, and opportunities that are relevant to healthcare managers. The interviewee was asked a variety of questions which are provided in the Appendix. This interview was conducted in 47 minutes, was audio recorded and was transcribed. This study has been approved my professor and college.

Results

The results from this sample are split into themes and later analyzed into subthemes. There has been a table provide that consist of demographics of other healthcare managers, who were interviewed by my fellow classmates. Here is a list of the themes and subthemes:

  • Opportunities

    • Education and Experience
  • Challenges

    • Cost of Healthcare
  • Skills

Opportunities

Education and Experience

It is beneficial to have a college education when entering the field of healthcare management. It is preferred to have a background in business in order to be productive and successful in the career field. Also, it does help to have a clinic background, however, it is not required. Having knowledge in the business field and in the clinical field help healthcare manages to see and understand both sides. By being able to see both sides this helps the manager to make a more intelligent decision that will benefit both the business aspect and the clinical aspect of the facility. The person that I chose to interview started out as a Registered Nurse at a local hospital then she decided that was not for her, so she went back to school and obtained a master’s degree healthcare management. She has been in the healthcare management field for 15+ years.

Most job opportunities for managers in healthcare will desire applicants to have a master’s degree in a field related to business. For people new to the healthcare management field they will likely start their career in one of the following areas; patient services, human resources, marketing, nursing administrators, and information systems. Eventually, if they pursue a career in this field they might have the opportunity to oversee an entire healthcare facility (“What Does a Health Care Manager Do?” 2018). “Having a clinical background has proved to be very beneficial to my success in this field. I am not saying that you cannot be successful if you do not have a clinical background, but it definitely helps to have the extra knowledge.” (Interviewee)

As the United States population continues to increase and diversify, the need for more healthcare facilities will rise and the need for healthcare managers to oversee these facilities will increase as well. According to the American College of Healthcare Executives, such managers can work for organizations like hospitals, insurance companies, consulting firms, public health departments, and rehabilitation centers (“What Does a Health Care Manager Do?” 2018).

Challenges

 One of the biggest issues facing the United States is the cost of healthcare. The cost of healthcare has a huge impact on healthcare managers because they must determine how they will operate the facility with less money and how to keep their current patients. The cost of health care has been increasing rapidly in the United States and in other parts of the world. The cost of health care is too expensive, so employers are decreasing or even eliminating healthcare benefits, making millions of people uninsured. Federal and state governments attempt to meet the demands for the cost of public programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Health care is costly and increasing more and is driving up the number of Americans that are uninsured. The United States spends two times as much on health care per person than any other country.

Cost of Healthcare

The most important reason why healthcare cost is so high is that people are living longer than they have in previous years and this causes an increased risk of developing chronic diseases or injuries that can be life-threatening, this is one of the reasons why the healthcare system is currently in a financial dilemma. Currently, in the United States people are spending 15% of their income on healthcare. This spending is likely to increase to 29% of total income by 2040 (“‘The Rising Cost of Healthcare,” 2016).

Some of the other reasons why healthcare cost in the United States is much higher is because we tend to spend more money on doctors and hospitals, we tend to rely heavily on advanced medical technology, some doctors like to do unnecessary  surgeries which cost insurance companies a lot of money and the Affordable Care Act has impacted the cost of healthcare due to cost sharing. Also, another reason for high healthcare cost is the actions of President Trump in decreasing the incentives for insurances companies that are participating in the marketplace. The cost of healthcare has increased quicker than the Consumer Price Index for the past 40 years. This increase in expenditures has directly placed a hardship on patients because they are underinsured or uninsured. Insurance plans put the majority of the costs back to patients through coinsurance, high deductibles, and high copayments (2014).

Families who have insurance through an employer can expect to pay out-of-pocket a maximum of $7,000 in 2018 and the employee will pay about $2,752 on average in premiums (“Impact of Rising Healthcare Costs | Revenue Cycle | The SSI Group,” 2018).  “I remember when I first started the position I’m in now, which was, gosh, in 2003, insurance for our staff, for the individuals was not even $200 apiece. It’s like right at $200. Well now you know it’s well over $400, which is a lot. And I also know that a lot of our patients that came in would come in to see us. Their copays might be $10, $15, never more than $20. Now sometimes just to see us as primary care, they may be paying 40 plus dollars and their deductibles may be outrageous, they may be thousands. Well, years ago people didn’t even know what deductibles were because you know, most people didn’t have them. Deductibles may be on like, major medical hospitalization. But maybe not on coming to the doctor.” (Interviewee)

Skills

 According to the University of Saint Mary, healthcare managers need to have skills such as strategic planning, leadership, interpersonal communication, budgeting, and knowledge of information technology aspects (“What Does a Health Care Manager Do?” 2018). “One of the most important skills needed in healthcare managers is the knowledge of information technology because everything operates through a computer and they fail daily, so in order to keep the daily operations of the facility running smoothly, it is crucial to have some knowledge in information technology. Most people do not understand how important it is to have that skill in this field.” (Interviewee) A few other skills that are needed to be successful in the field are: flexibility, time management, communication skills and be a good team player (“Top 10 Soft Skills Needed in Health Care,” 2014). In addition to soft skill, there are hard skills that are needed to be successful in this field and they are: Leadership, insurance coding, developing budgets, managing budgets, and marketing (Doyle, 2014).

Discussion

The findings discovered in this study put an emphasis on the three main points that were analyzed in this report which are: (1) what education and experience is beneficial for someone going into this field, (2) what are some of the main challenges that healthcare managers encounter, (3) what are some opportunities with a career in healthcare management. Form the information that I collected in this study I think the most valuable thing I learned was if you work hard and stay focused you can achieve whatever you want.  Also, I learned that it is important to treat everyone with respect and to have empathy for the employees and the patients. One piece of advice my interviewee gave me was “Do not ever ask someone to do something you would not do.” 

Limitations

In this study, I encountered a few limitations. The first limitation is my sample size only consisted of one sample which will make my results skewed. The second limitation is I do not have IRB approval, so I can not officially publish this study. The third limitation is that I only had a small time frame to complete the study.

References

  • (2014, October 31). Retrieved from https://www.termpaperwarehouse.com/document/311697
  • ‘The Rising Cost of Healthcare. (2016, September 11). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/%ef%bb%bfthe-rising-cost-of-healthcare-essay
  • The Impact of Rising Healthcare Costs | Revenue Cycle | The SSI Group. (2018, August 27). Retrieved from http://thessigroup.com/rising-healthcare-costs-impact-patients-and-providers/
  • Top 10 Soft Skills Needed In Health Care. (2014, March 15). Retrieved from https://carrington.edu/blog/student-tips/careers/top-10-soft-skills-needed-health-care/
  • What Does a Health Care Manager Do? (2018). Retrieved from https://learn.org/articles/What_Does_a_Health_Care_Manager_Do.html
  • Doyle, A. (2014, May 10). Here Is a List of Skills You Need to Be a Health Care Administrator. Retrieved from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/health-care-hospital-administrator-skills-2062403

Appendix

  • What type of education and training prepared you for this career field?
  • What type of education and training would you recommend for someone just starting out in this career? For someone who wanted your job?
  • What types of skills are necessary for succeeding in this career?
  • How has this career field changed since the time you started in it?
  • What advice do you have for someone considering this career?
  • How has the economy affected this career?
  • How long have you worked for this employer?
  • How did you choose this employer to work for?
  • How did you get your current job?
  • What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your job?
  • What’s the most important advice you have for someone just starting out in this career?
  • Do you expect the workplace to change much in the next five years?
  • What is the employment outlook for this career field? How much demand is there for entry-level jobseekers?
  • Is there anything else that I have not seen today or that we have not talked about that you think is important for me to know as I continue my quest for the ideal career for me?

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