''Americans spend $3.5 trillion a year on healthcare,1 making the industry one of the largest and most important in the United States. It’s also one of the most complicated from a business standpoint.

Layers of government regulations, disparities in distribution of care, high costs of certain treatments, high costs associated with labor, insurance policies, provider consolidation, technological change, and the fact that consumer healthcare choices are driven more by need than by choice creates a myriad of business challenges—ones you’re likely familiar with if you work in the healthcare industry. The question is: how do you help overcome those challenges?

No one healthcare professional can address all the business issues facing the industry. But the more business experts we have working in healthcare, the more positive change we can make. And that’s where advanced education can play a significant role.

Doctor of Administration (DBA) programs that offer a Healthcare Management specialization are helping to produce healthcare professionals capable of doing in-depth analyses of healthcare challenges and developing real-world solutions. For example, Walden University DBA graduate Dr. Kimberly Denney used the advanced knowledge she gained in her DBA program to design a better alert system within clinical decision support software, which is helping improve physician and patient decision-making. Since better decision-making can reduce overall costs to all parties, her innovation promises to improve the quality of care and providers’ bottom lines.

Of course, electronic health records are just one part of the healthcare industry—and just one of the business challenges you can help address with the skills you acquire from a DBA degree program. Other roles that healthcare leaders often take on include public and private policymaking, regulation compliance, technological integration, workforce management, public health program development, telemedicine adaption, insurance contract negotiation, patient relations, and pricing of services and treatments—to name a few. As stated, healthcare is a massive industry. But with a DBA, you can make a real impact.

1Source: www.cms.gov/research-statistics-data-and-systems/statistics-trends-and-reports/nationalhealthexpenddata/nationalhealthaccountshistorical.html

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