Make an impact in your organization with Walden University: No. 1 in master’s in healthcare administration graduates in the U.S.¹
The Systems and Policy specialization gives you a solid understanding of systems and policy theories—and the ability to think critically and creatively about the big picture, a requirement of tomorrow’s healthcare leaders and managers. You will explore recent healthcare system and policy reform that is reshaping the way health and medical care is delivered. You will also gain specialized knowledge in systems and policy that can prepare you to address the changing needs of healthcare organizations and consumers.
Transfer of Credit
You may be eligible to receive 25 transfer credits for prior master's-level coursework when enrolling in Walden's MHA program, which can save you time and money. Call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286 to determine eligibility and learn more.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286.
The program’s courses are delivered in a prescribed sequence.
|Course Code||MMHA 6000||Course||Foundations of Healthcare Administration*||Credits||(3 cr.)|
|Course Code||MMHA 6050||Course||Contemporary Topics in the U.S. Healthcare Delivery System||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||MMHA 6200||Course||Principles of Population Health in Healthcare Administration||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||MMHA 6300||Course||Law, Ethics, and Policy in Healthcare Administration||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||MMHA 6400||Course||Healthcare Financial Management and Economics||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||MMHA 6500||Course||Human Resource Management and Organizational Development and Leadership for Healthcare Administrators||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||MMHA 6600||Course||Healthcare Informatics and Technology Management||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||MMHA 6700||Course||Healthcare Operations Management||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||MMHA 6800||Course||Marketing Management and Business Communication for Healthcare Administrators||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||MMHA 6900||Course||Healthcare Quality Management||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||MMHA 6999||Course||Strategic Planning in Healthcare Administration||Credits||(5 cr.)|
In this course, students work toward increasing their knowledge of key contextual and environmental factors affecting the practice of healthcare administration, including the importance of culture, communication, and diversity. This course is an introduction for students to healthcare stakeholders in a variety of settings within the field of healthcare as well as key health and medical terms, including basic health, wellness, and disease information. They consider professional behaviors, such as setting goals and managing time, as well as the attitudes and motivation required for success as a healthcare manager. In addition, students work toward developing the competencies needed for success within an online environment as well as critical thinking, written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
Students in this course are provided with the opportunity to gain thorough insight into the current structure and components of health services and delivery. Students identify and describe components of the system, including patients, healthcare professionals, public and private third-party payers, regulators, reimbursement methods, and technology. They engage in activities and discussions focused on the continuum of services related to healthcare, such as hospitals and hospital systems, ambulatory care, and long-term care. Students also explore issues related to these services, such as wellness, prevention, and community and public health, for a comprehensive understanding of the system. Students contextualize their study through the examination of current factors and challenges as well as the impact these challenges have on delivery and management.
An increasing need exists for healthcare administrators to address population-wide health issues. Developing evidence-based health programs enables healthcare to be addressed on a preventive basis at the community or service area level. In this course, students utilize clinical data sets and combine this knowledge with public health data sets concerning socioeconomic and behavioral influencers of health. Students analyze these influencers to determine effective and appropriate services, programs, and solutions to benefit the population as a whole. They discover health issues facing special populations, respond to case studies, and create program plans to improve population disease outcomes.
The rapidly evolving healthcare system presents the healthcare administrator with complex challenges and risks. Healthcare administrators must possess the skills needed to assess external and internal healthcare polices to influence organizational design and delivery of healthcare services. Students assess and discuss key policy initiatives from the diverse perspectives of policymakers, interest groups, and other stakeholders. In their coursework, students focus on required knowledge of laws and regulations developed by policymakers that impact the healthcare organizations, and students will review key laws that govern patient care delivery, employee relations, contracts, and fraud. Emphasis will be placed on legal and regulatory failure points that administrators must avoid in designing and implementing policies and practices within the healthcare organization. To help frame these concepts, students examine the ethical underpinnings and principles that healthcare organizations and administrators follow in the delivery of services to patients.
In this course, students gain knowledge of economics principles such as cost, quality, and access as it relates to the healthcare world. The principles of healthcare financial management including accounting and finance are vitally important to the viability and ongoing operations of a healthcare business. Students have the opportunity to interpret and analyze the financial statements of a business, use and analyze financial ratios, utilize variance analysis, understand and implement operating and capital budgeting, and develop knowledge of the business planning process. Students create portions of a business/financial plan using these techniques and analyze the viability of their plan using accepted financial management tools.
Students in this course examine organizational behavior as well as the roles and responsibilities of management and leadership within healthcare organizations through the macro (organization-wide) and micro (individual and team performance) perspectives. Students also focus on understanding organizational values, mission, and vision; management and leadership principles to help manage change; and effective delivery of services in an increasingly global environment. They also learn and apply theories of organizational design, governance, and alternative organizational structures, and they consider the theory and practice of managing individuals and groups through motivation, communication, teamwork, leadership, organizational change, coalition building, negotiation, and conflict management and resolution. Through group assignments and personal assessments, students work toward developing self-awareness and effective management styles and strategies.
Students in this course have the opportunity to learn how sustainable health information technologies and applications inform organizational strategies and transformation in the healthcare environment. They can also learn how these complex systems help organizational decision makers to improve patient care outcomes and organizational behaviors. Topics include evolving technologies such as data analytics, eHealth, and social media; using technology applications to manage population health; and personalized medicine. Students are challenged by scenario-based discussions that analyze best information technology practices across multiple industries.
In this course, students examine the factors that affect performance outcomes within healthcare organizations; methods to monitor, adjust, and improve performance; and techniques and tools of quantitative analysis of operations and decision support that assist in management of capacity issues, reengineering, staffing, scheduling, productivity, and supply chain. Other important concepts that students examine include understanding operational assessment; understanding patient care and related support-care processes through creating flowcharts of steps in the process; taking a systems perspective on the organization and delivery of services; identifying problems and improvement opportunities using analytical techniques; and monitoring performance data to identify trends and variation based on current operations and those resulting from changes and improvements.
Students in this course apply principles, theories, and relevant contemporary concepts of healthcare marketing. They evaluate the effectiveness of healthcare marketing tools, such as advertisement campaigns and social media, develop data collection tools for marketing research, and create a marketing plan for a healthcare organization. The interrelationship of a healthcare organization's strategic plan, business plan, marketing plan, and healthcare consumerism is analyzed. Students will apply best practices of business communications as they practice effective oral and written business communication skills.
Students in this course are introduced to the basis for quality and patient safety and are provided an overview of healthcare quality, methods of assessing quality, and techniques for improving quality. They can learn key terminology and concepts, including defining quality care; measuring quality in terms of the structure-process-outcomes model; distinguishing between clinical and customer service quality; identifying techniques to avoid adverse clinical events; and exploring customer service quality in terms of defining, measuring, and improving patient satisfaction. Students also explore and discuss the roles of governmental agencies in promoting and reporting quality information regarding hospitals and other health organizations, accrediting bodies, and recent performance initiatives of government and private payers. They apply course concepts to current issues of improving clinical and service quality in healthcare organizations, with special consideration of the 5 Million Lives Campaign—a national effort initiated by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement designed to improve medical care in the United States.
Throughout this course, students review and apply the phases of strategic planning, integrating the principles and practices presented throughout the Master of Healthcare Administration program. They examine the role of strategic planning in achieving organizational performance excellence, as well as the notion of planning as a cyclical process within the healthcare organization. Students submit a comprehensive strategic plan and recommend courses of action that help healthcare organizations address their strategic and tactical needs and the needs of their communities.
*Students enrolling in a midterm start date will take a 6-week version of this course by itself in their first term.
You may elect to complete an optional specialization by adding the following courses to your program of study.
|Course Code||MMHA 6038||Course||Health Behavior Theory||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||MMHA 6451||Course||Public Policy Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||MMHA 6475||Course||Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation||Credits||(5 cr.)|
Students in this course are introduced to concepts necessary for promoting positive health-behavior change by examining the most commonly used theories and models in public health and health education and promotion. Coursework focuses on the identification and application of theories and models for promoting and designing effective health behavior programs and interventions. Students explore individual, interpersonal, and community theories and modules to determine the most appropriate application.
Contemporary public administrators work in a dynamic, partisan environment with unprecedented access to public policy data—conditions leading to extraordinary opportunities and, often times, severe constraints. Students in this course thoroughly examine key stakeholders involved in the public policy process and devote special attention to their function, impact, and constraint on policy development. In addition, students explore professional ethics related to the role of the policy analyst and consider the significant social outcomes of public policy. They examine the theories and strategies used by policy makers and policy analysts to develop, implement, execute, evaluate, and promulgate public policy. They also assess the impact and consequences of public policy and evaluate it through a social justice framework. Using critical-thinking and communication skills, students craft a policy memorandum regarding a current public policy problem, for which they consider and evaluate competing policy alternatives.
Students in this course promote competency in strategic planning; program planning; and design, implementation, and evaluation. They receive an overview of public health program planning and development, as well as needs and assets assessment. Students focus on the methods required to develop a strategic plan, linking it to implementing programs and evaluating their efficacy. Students discuss the administration and coordination of public health program interventions and activities, and they explore the variety of methods used to facilitate public health research (quantitative, qualitative, and/or mixed-methods) in practice settings.