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PGDM Healthcare Management vs. Healthcare Administration: A Detailed Study

30 October 2023

When we contemplate the concept of "healthcare," we typically connect it with physicians, nurses, and hospitals. However, the healthcare sector is significantly broader and more varied than just the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Healthcare offers a multitude of components and career avenues, ranging from marketing and health insurance to pharmaceutical research.

Two of the rapidly expanding subdivisions within the healthcare sector are healthcare administration and healthcare management. But what precisely do these roles involve, and how do they differentiate from one another? Healthcare management primarily concentrates on enhancing the overall business efficiency, while healthcare administration is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations. To understand these two disciplines in detail, we have come up with this blog.

Key Differences and Responsibilities

Healthcare organisations must operate efficiently, be productive, and generate profits to succeed as a business, irrespective of whether they are a university hospital or a rural family clinic. These healthcare firms can remain financially stable and continue delivering high-quality patient care with the help of sound financial guidance and effective leadership. This is precisely where healthcare management comes into play. Roles in healthcare management focus on the business aspects of running a hospital, clinic, or any other medical organisation. This involves crafting long-term strategies related to telemedicine and collaborating with external partners and service providers, among other functions. The key responsibilities of a healthcare manager encompass the following:

  • Defining the organisation's mission, vision, and core values
  • Formulating emergency protocols and procedures
  • Developing business plans and financial strategies
  • Coordinating the outsourced services
  • Ensuring the organisation's compliance with regulations
  • Identifying strategies to enhance performance and reduce costs

On the other hand, healthcare administration refers to the management of tasks associated with the operation of a company. Healthcare administration includes tasks such as establishing departmental objectives and training new personnel. In the healthcare context, it entails supervising team members and ensuring the smooth and efficient execution of daily operations. A healthcare administrator oversees activities such as adherence to policy changes and procuring new medical equipment. The key responsibilities of healthcare administration are as follows:

  • Collaborate with the human resources and accounting departments to enhance operational efficiency
  • Create work schedules for employees and address staffing-related issues
  • Provide leadership and supervision to various departments and team members
  • Maintain and manage inventory, such as by ordering additional medical equipment to prevent shortages or depletion
  • Take measures to ensure compliance with state and national regulations, such as the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) and the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL)

Course Duration and Curriculum

The duration of both of these PGDM degrees is two years, divided into four semesters. Healthcare managers and administrators often hold key positions at the executive or C-suite level within healthcare organisations. To excel in these roles, these professionals should develop essential leadership and soft skills. These skills encompass analytical capabilities, effective communication, and strong interpersonal skills, as well as proficient problem-solving abilities. Moreover, a deep understanding of medical terminology, processes, and the distinctive operational intricacies of hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare agencies or providers is crucial for these professionals. Let us see the core subjects covered by each programme:

Core Subjects in PGDM Healthcare Management

  • Healthcare Management Principles
  • Healthcare Policy and Regulations
  • Healthcare Finance and Accounting
  • Healthcare Marketing and Strategy
  • Healthcare Operations Management
  • Healthcare Information Systems
  • Healthcare quality and patient safety
  • Healthcare Human Resources Management
  • Healthcare Ethics and Legal Issues
  • Healthcare Leadership and Organisational Behaviour

Core Subjects in PGDM Healthcare Administration

  • Principles of Management
  • Health Policy and Health Care Delivery System
  • Biostatistics: Essential Epidemiology
  • Demography and Population Sciences
  • Marketing Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Essentials of Health Economics
  • Health Communication
  • Essentials of Hospital Services
  • Introduction to Health Information Management

Career Opportunities

The healthcare sector's continuous expansion is driven by factors such as population growth, aging demographics, and advancements in medical treatments and technologies. As the industry flourishes, there's an increasing demand for professionals who can efficiently manage these processes. Here's an overview of the career opportunities that become accessible upon completing a PGDM in healthcare management.

  • Healthcare Managers: Healthcare managers are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of healthcare facilities, which can include hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and outpatient centers.
  • Health Services Managers: Health services managers are employed in various healthcare settings and focus on tasks such as policy analysis, health information management, or healthcare consulting.
  • Hospital CEO or CFO:Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) serve as top-tier executives within healthcare organisations, working towards the overall strategic direction and financial management.
  • Healthcare Consultant: Healthcare consultants offer expertise in healthcare, such as healthcare IT implementation and healthcare strategy.
  • Healthcare Entrepreneur: Some healthcare management professionals start their own businesses, such as healthcare startups or healthcare consulting firms.

The adoption of healthcare information systems, electronic health records, telemedicine, and other technologies requires professionals who can oversee these implementations. Here is an overview of the career roles one can explore after the completion of a PGDM in Healthcare Administration.

  • Healthcare Administrator: Healthcare administrators oversee the administrative and operational aspects of clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare firms. Their responsibilities include efficient management of personnel, financial resources, logistical aspects, and various other departments.
  • Health Information Manager (HIM): These professionals preserve and safeguard electronic health records (EHRs) and other healthcare data systems to guarantee accuracy, privacy, and adherence to regulatory standards.
  • Health Policy Analyst: Health policy analysts assess and formulate healthcare policies and regulations, frequently within government agencies, research institutions, or advocacy groups.
  • Insurance Coordinator: Insurance coordinators work for insurance companies to manage the coordination of care for insured individuals, ensuring they receive appropriate medical services efficiently.
  • Quality Improvement Manager: Quality improvement managers focus on enhancing patient care and safety by implementing and monitoring quality improvement initiatives within healthcare organisations.

Final Thoughts

To summarise, the knowledge and skills acquired through these programmes help professionals deliver high-quality care and stay compliant with evolving regulations. A PGDM in healthcare management focuses on enhancing overall business efficiency and financial strategy. On the other hand, a PGDM in healthcare administration focuses on day-to-day operations, and one can pursue roles as administrators, policy analysts, and quality improvement managers. Therefore, in this dynamic healthcare industry, these degrees allow professionals to explore top leadership positions and drive the industry's continued growth and success.

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