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Why the Healthcare Industry Needs Business Leaders

Two doctors in white coats with stethoscopes around their necks carry clipboards and wear surgical masks.

Practicing medicine and treating patients are some of the more recognizable facets of the healthcare industry. However, for doctors and nurses to provide the best care possible, a significant level of administration has to be done daily. This is where business professionals come in. Being able to manage growth in the medical industry, integration of new technology, and other administrative duties are important to hospitals and clinics. Business professionals often work behind the scenes in healthcare, but it’s these individuals that often enable medical personnel to do their job. 

Managing Growth in the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry experiences a lot of growth year over year. Several factors have been pushing this growth, including but not limited to:

  • The global market value of healthcare: The global market value of healthcare is a number that helps business professionals and investors decide whether investing in healthcare is worth it for them. Many hospitals and medical organizations are funded or donated to by private investors, meaning that this number is very important. Currently, the global market value of healthcare is projected to grow to 662 billion by 2026. 
  • The rise in demand for healthcare services and medical equipment: The impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare industry was astronomical. The need for healthcare services by private citizens, as well as the need for equipment like PPE among medical workers skyrocketed. This increase in demand has a huge impact on the balancing of a hospital or clinic budget, which is typically overseen by a business professional. 
  • Innovations in healthcare technology: Things like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), voice recognition, and chatbots are all making their way into healthcare. These integrations can help provide better, and more accurate service to patients, as well as help relieve some of the workload from healthcare professionals. However, these new technologies require training and funds to be integrated into a medical organization. This process is another that would be overseen by a business leader. 

These are just a few of the growth factors currently in healthcare. With rapid growth comes many delicate balancing acts of finances, training, and hiring, and maintenance. Business professionals are the ones in a hospital who have the necessary skills and time to meet and overcome these challenges. 

Purchasing Decisions 

Another crucial part of healthcare that is overseen by business professionals is purchasing hospital equipment. Safety equipment for healthcare professionals, such as safety goggles and x-ray aprons are just a few examples of purchases healthcare administrators make every day.

Purchasing decisions don’t just stop at equipment. Business professionals in the hospital also oversee budgeting for new staff, building expansions or renovations, and training and enrichment opportunities for medical personnel, like conferences. 

Recruitment and Hiring

Human Resources is a branch under business management, and is an important department in healthcare. Among many things, HR is in charge of recruitment and hiring for all non-clinical positions in the hospital. These positions can include:

  • Reception;
  • Cleaning and maintenance;
  • HR;
  • Billing; 
  • Food service;
  • Patient advocacy and legal representation;
  • Health information manager. 

The HR department can play a role in hiring clinical roles, such as nurses and doctors. However, depending on your state as well as the organization you work for, the way that physicians are contracted may vary. 

Promote Belonging

Business leaders also bring teamwork and inclusivity training to the healthcare field. These are skills that aren’t necessarily prioritized in medical training, but are still incredibly valuable to the patient experience. Whether they’re in HR or administration, having people on staff that have conflict resolution skills can make departments feel safer and more inclusive for people of all backgrounds. 

Combatting Burnout and Improving Job Satisfaction

As mentioned above, the conflict management and leadership skills that many business professionals possess can be great innovation tools. These skills, when applied to high-stress industries like healthcare, can help combat burnout. For example, hospital administration would be in charge of arranging and providing for nurses’ appreciation week. These gestures can help the nursing staff feel recognized and valued, improving their job satisfaction. 

Safety and Security 

Leaders with business skills are also often in charge of maintaining or updating safety and security procedures for their departments. This could include enacting a disaster plan in a crisis, overseeing risk management, or updating safety procedures with current events. For example, in response to COVID-19, creating and informing employees and patients of the masking protocol could fall under the purview of an HR or administrative role. Whereas temperature checks and testing would fall to medical personnel. This is just one way that business leaders and medical professionals work together in healthcare. 

Setting Achievable Goals

Setting short and long-term goals is another area where business leaders can help healthcare advance and grow. SMART goals are a cornerstone of business success, but they can be applied to initiatives in clinics and hospitals as well. SMART stands for:

  • Specific;
  • Measurable;
  • Attainable;
  • Relevant;
  • Time-based. 

Using these tools for goal-making can help business leaders in healthcare make and measure the success of different initiatives. Both internal and external goals can be SMART. For example, implementing a new hospital policy and soliciting employee feedback is a SMART goal. The policy would have to be specific and relevant, the feedback would make it measurable, and setting a trial time for new policies makes it time-based and attainable. 

Medical personnel may be very good at setting goals. However, they may not have the time, ability, or resources to set achievable and measurable goals the way that business leaders can.

Successful medical care combines both aspects of business leadership and excellent medical service. The dependence of medical professionals on their administration, financial, and legal departments just illustrates the importance of the intersection between business and healthcare.

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