Five business skills you need in the healthcare industry

Contrary to popular belief, medical sciences aren’t the only pathway to enjoy a rewarding and lucrative healthcare career. There’s a growing demand for healthcare administrators, financial experts, experienced CEOs, communication experts, supply chain managers, and trained business professionals.

After all, hospitals and healthcare facilities are businesses that must break even, regardless of their respected status within a community. Healthcare organizations save lives by fighting life-and-death emergencies, but they operate as businesses behind the scenes. These businesses rely on savvy business professionals to manage their resources efficiently and maintain patient safety and quality standards.

Suppose your strengths lie in IT and you’re fascinated by emerging healthcare technologies and medical innovations. In that case, you can pursue a career in healthcare informatics and help organizations innovate their patient care experiences. Professionals interested in supply chain management or financial planning can serve the healthcare industry as CEOs, CFOs, and supply chain managers.

Keep reading to explore business skills that allow non-medical professionals to thrive in the healthcare industry.

1. Financial Planning & Budgeting

Healthcare facilities must manage their expenses to maximize profits and acquire resources to deliver quality care to their patients. Hospitals pay staggering sums to acquire and retain the top medical talent, such as nurse practitioners, physicians, surgeons, and specialists. They need to acquire a multitude of resources and maintain a reliable and consistent supply chain with efficient regulation.

These organizations rely on chief financial officers (CFOs), data analysts, and financial and managerial accountants to minimize expenses and maximize profits. Executive financial leaders work closely with key decision-makers and accountants to regulate expenses and generate new income streams.

Suppose you’re serving as an entry-level professional in a healthcare administration department. In that case, consider exploring MBA programs with healthcare concentration to secure lucrative promotions within your organization. Combining an online MBA program with a full-time career is realistically achievable without disrupting your work-life balance. You can learn and grow at your own pace, impressing healthcare leaders with your newly-acquired knowledge.

Pursing an MBA in healthcare management or healthcare-specific financial management can open lucrative career advancement and professional development avenues. An MBA combines textbook knowledge with real-world exposure, instilling skills that will help you serve your organization as a problem-solver. You will learn resource management, budgeting, running financial forecasts, and guiding executive leaders with data-driven future predictions.

2. Resource Acquisition & Management

Hospitals, clinics, and medical care facilities acquire numerous resources, including medical talent, equipment, digital tools, medications, and other supplies. They maintain favorable relations with their vendors and suppliers to enjoy steady supply and avoid shortages.

The shortages of resources in hospitals can cause significant challenges, such as the unavailability of crucial surgical supplies or bedding shortages for new patients.

Healthcare organizations hire savvy supply chain managers and procurement experts to streamline inventory and fulfill supply needs efficiently. These experts are responsible for acquiring the best quality resources at the most competitive prices in the market. They manage supply chain relations, ensure timely payments, manage stockpiles, and find new vendors to ensure supply chain efficiency.

Healthcare recruitment and selection aren’t much different from recruitment drives in the corporate sector. The human resource (HR) leaders and managers are responsible for acquiring medical talent and experienced, reputable healthcare practitioners. Medical facilities hire entry-level professionals and seasoned experts to build a reputable image with top industry talent.

Presently, healthcare facilities worldwide are combatting acute staffing shortages, mainly of skilled and experienced physicians. Staffing shortages create numerous challenges for healthcare HR managers, who must delegate the existing employees to overcome shortages and address patient demands.

3. Problem-Solving & Critical Reasoning Skills

Healthcare organizations need critical thinkers and problem-solvers to address their challenges and ensure profit-driven models.

Modern-day healthcare facilities are plagued with numerous challenges, many of which have intensified during the ongoing pandemic. These challenges include rising patient-centric models, staffing shortages, and public healthcare benefits Medicaid and Medicare.

Let’s look at the reimbursement challenges triggered by the rising popularity of Medicare and other public healthcare benefits programs. These programs are designed to make healthcare facilities more affordable and accessible and reduce the financial burdens of medical care. While public healthcare facilities are injected with governmental capital, private hospitals and their profit-driven models suffer exponentially.

Governments pledge support in the form of reimbursements and subsidies to encourage the private sector to collaborate in benefits programs.

Facilities rely on critical thinkers and problem-solvers to regulate and reduce expenses and comply with public healthcare benefits programs.

Professionals with crafty problem-solving and analytical reasoning skills find avenues to ensure patient affordability without compromising quality and safety standards.

4. Effective Communication Skills

Healthcare facilities maintain operational preparedness like all business enterprises by streamlining internal and external communications. Healthcare leaders hire communication specialists to maintain favorable relations with employees, patients, shareholders, policymakers, the media, and other stakeholders.

Suppose a disgruntled patient decides to threaten legal action after an unfortunate incident or due to misinformation. In that case, a communication specialist will step in to diffuse the situation and resolve the conflict amicably. Communication specialists also design communication processes to promote effective internal communication and eliminate disruptions.

Internal communication in healthcare environments involves scheduling shifts, staff coordination, and communication between healthcare practitioners. For instance, nurse practitioners should have streamlined access to alert doctors about patient emergencies and sudden changes. Similarly, healthcare practitioners need clarity around their weekly shift schedules, responsibilities, and emergency protocols.

5. Leadership Acumen

Healthcare organizations need leaders who can lead highly determined and motivated teams towards the highest standards of medical care quality. Whether you’re serving in healthcare informatics or administration, leadership skills will help you secure career advancement opportunities. Being seen as a leader who doesn’t hesitate to take charge during stressful and chaotic situations is crucial for excelling professionally.

Hospitals and clinics deal with chaos and life-and-death emergencies every day. They rely on crafty problem-solvers and creative thinkers with out-of-the-box solutions to avert crises and maintain efficiency. Healthcare administrators are the unsung heroes who ensure hospitals and clinics run smoothly while medical practitioners take all the credit.

Leaders inspire others to excel with their work ethic, commitment, discipline, dedication, and willingness to learn.

Final Thoughts

Numerous other skills allow non-medical professionals to build rewarding healthcare careers. For instance, there’s a growing demand for digitally savvy administrators and IT experts to implement healthcare technologies. An MBA in healthcare or hospital management will help secure high-paying opportunities that combine job security and financial stability. It’s wise to explore multiple healthcare concentrations before finalizing your academic pathway.

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