HEALTH ADMINISTRATION AS A PROFESSION
Health care is changing more rapidly than almost any other field. The field is changing in terms of how and where care is delivered, who is providing those services, and how that care is financed. These changes are being driven primarily by the growth of managed care. A number of other current trends are expected to continue, including:
- Integration of health care delivery organizations to create accessible, appropriate, and comprehensive care pathways for all people.
- Continual advances in medical technology.
- Collaboration among provider organizations, physicians, businesses, insurers, and others to improve community health status.
- Increased emphasis on disease prevention and wellness promotion.
- An elderly population that will grow exponentially with the "Baby Boomer" generation and better-informed patients demanding high-quality care.
- Pressure from business, government, insurers and patients to control costs and demonstrate the value of the services delivered.
- Efforts to implement continuous quality improvement initiatives similar to those found in other fields.
This is an exciting time for health care management. The field requires talented people to help introduce and manage the changes taking place. In their roles, health care executives have an opportunity to make a significant contribution to improving the health of the communities their organizations serve. As a result of the transformation taking place in the health care system, career options for health care executives are becoming more diverse.
With the growing diversity in the health care system, many executives are needed in settings other than the traditional hospital. However, competition is intense at all job levels and according to the American College of Healthcare Executives, many positions that previously required only a bachelor’s degree now require a master’s degree.