If you’ve ever watched a medical drama on television, amidst the harried (and yet somehow impeccable and attractive) doctors and nurses, you have probably noticed a person who occasionally buzzes around them, always fussing about budgets or protocols or hospital policy. Yes, this is the hospital administrator, often used for comic relief or, in more modest moments, to inject a voice of sensibility in the face of the massive egos TV doctors so often display.
As we all know, our nation’s system of healthcare is a complicated one (whether it should be is a topic for another day or at least another article). For all of the deserved acclaim that frontline medical professionals receive for what they do, all of that would be impossible were it not for the many other professionals who work behind the scenes in such areas as hospital administration, health policy, patient safety, and health sciences. If the pandemic has reminded us of the importance of those who diagnose and treat our illnesses, let us not forget the vital work of those who keep the doors open and the lights on.
If the subject of healthcare is one of interest to you, but you never really saw yourself going through the grueling regimen required to become a licensed physician or registered nurse, a career in healthcare administration may be worth exploring. Add to this the fact that a job in healthcare management could earn you an average salary anywhere between $83,000 to $120,000 (or even more, depending on your experience, skill and overall place within the larger world of health systems; the highest 10 percent in the field earn more than $200,000 annually), according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
However, before you decide to enroll in a program for a master’s in healthcare administration, you may want to read up on some of the most relevant topics. To that end, we offer a list of those periodicals most recommended within the industry (all publications are subject to peer review).
The following periodicals are all well-regarded within the greater industry. Some may be only available for members of the publishing organization, but back issues can likely be found in the libraries of institutions of higher learning. Many are also available for download.
This open-access monthly publication covers the latest trends and innovations in health services management with analysis of the most up-to-date health-related news. Some of its latest articles as of this writing address a new plan for using volunteers in in-patient psychosocial care, relevant socioeconomic factors in hospitalization and mortality, and the role of compassion in healthcare leadership.
This journal, published for the members of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, features articles that support financial managers in decision making around the money side of healthcare, including cost-effectiveness. Recent articles feature ideas for updating approaches to enterprise risk management, the importance of empathetic leadership, and the latest trends in private equity investment.
The Canadian College of Health Leaders issues this journal of health, which covers the most recent advances in healthcare leadership as practiced by those at the forefront of the industry. While primarily published as a resource for Canadian professionals with an interest in that nation’s health systems, including in the government and the military, it’s also read by an international audience. Recent articles have addressed the collection of race-based information from hospitalized COVID-19 patients and the benefits of a team-based care ecosystem approach.
This UK-based publication, published by the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management, centers around issues related to the management of healthcare facilities, with an emphasis on new technological developments. Recent articles discuss controlling infections in hospital bathrooms, the use of artificial intelligence in conserving energy and improving patient experience, and updates on the use of new technologies for monitoring microbes in facilities.
Originally titled The Journal of Management & Marketing in Healthcare, this publication targets those who work at the operational level. Published articles address new ideas surrounding both the management and marketing of healthcare, often from such modern perspectives as increased efficiency, affordability, and equality, with illustrative case studies. The most recent issue includes a look at the use of data analytics in shaping blood donation campaigns and articles addressing topics of interest in the Iranian, Turkish, and Algerian health systems.
This bi-monthly journal is the house publication of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Articles around leadership, strategy, and health policy address executive-level concerns. Along with the standard interview of a management professional featured in every edition, the current issue includes research articles on such topics as experiences in children’s hospitals during the pandemic and participation in value-based payment programs.
This in-house publication of the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety is for security professionals within health systems, covering topics as diverse as crime prevention, the potential effects of climate change on the industry, and the advantages of diversity and inclusivity when forming a security team. The most recent edition featured articles on centralized security operations, the benefits of cybersecurity for physical security, and the problem of drug tampering and product substitution.
This publication from the American Society for Health Care Risk Management offers an ongoing systematic review of all aspects of risk management for healthcare workers at all levels of the system, including such fundamental issues as patient safety, legal liability, and emergency preparedness. Recent articles have taken a look at the use of conditional medical orders in critical care and the issue of competency assessment for long-standing practitioners.
This journal from the Association for Medical Imaging Management is specifically geared toward professionals in medical imaging management, detailing innovations and up-to-date research, and keeping tabs on best practices within this specialization. The most recent issue is centered around patient health, with an editorial about the benefits of planting gardens, articles about patient experience and satisfaction in radiology, and the importance of taking a patient history when performing mammograms.
This open-access journal explores the areas in which policy and advocacy overlap, with articles on topics ranging from sweeping legislation to the health of individual communities, with an eye towards using education and information around such issues as nutrition and vaccination to boost the effectiveness of preventive medicine at the community level. A good read for both political junkies and social justice advocates, it recently featured articles on the factors involved in vaccine acceptance across five countries, an attempt to qualify an international set of standards regarding performance indicators, and infection control in the body modification industry.
All of the above may seem fairly weighty—because they are!—but any one of the journals listed can give you an insider’s view of the world of healthcare management and aid you in your decision as to whether a career in that field—and thus a complementary degree—is for you.
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