Five Ways COVID-19 Is Impacting Healthcare Administrators
The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented leadership challenges for healthcare administrators. Some of these are new challenges, the result of the virus outbreak, and others are pre-existing, now magnified by the coronavirus outbreak.
Here are five of the issues impacting healthcare administrators during COVID-19:
1. Managing a Remote Workforce
Transitioning a workforce from a physical location to the virtual space and ensuring business continuity were urgent and complex projects for healthcare administrators—and just one of COVID-19’s many impacts.
WFH (work from home) and RTW (return to work) are now familiar acronyms. Many health services jobs became home-based when the pandemic hit, and many remain that way. Going forward, in some health and medical services businesses, and in positions where remote work is feasible, employees may have the choice of WFH or RTW.1
2. Leading Through Uncertainty
Healthcare administration professionals expect to manage through change and uncertainty. But the COVID-19 pandemic raised the stakes. As epidemiologists learn more about COVID-19, guidelines and protocols continue to change. Healthcare administrators, particularly those working in hospitals and other medical settings, must react swiftly to new recommendations and work with their teams to establish and implement procedures and policies. When impacted by change and uncertainty, healthcare administrators leverage communication skills to ensure that all information is presented in a clear, effective, and timely manner.
3. Maintaining Morale
Retaining skilled workers is crucial to delivering quality service. The pandemic has vastly increased the pressure and stress on health and medical services staff members. A report from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) cites preserving and strengthening morale as a top management challenge. “Maintaining trust in leadership is itself an important cornerstone of staff morale and engagement,” the report says.1
4. Confronting a Financial Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing historic expense increases and revenue losses in many healthcare sectors. Hospitals and health systems are facing “catastrophic financial challenges,” the American Hospital Association says, citing as examples revenue losses from canceled surgeries and other services and the costs associated with purchasing needed PPE and other equipment and supplies.2 Righting the financial ship is a critical role for healthcare administrators.
5. Planning for Readiness
“Preparedness is a staple in healthcare management, but the scope of this pandemic exceeded the imagination of even the most stringent plan or best simulation,” writes Deborah Bowen, the president and CEO of the American College of Healthcare Executives, in her column for Healthcare Executive.3 Healthcare professionals are using what they’ve learned—and learning from the experiences of others—to build stronger, more resilient operations. “Learning and research from across the field can and must be used to create, rehearse, and codify stronger plans, Bowen says.3
Become a Healthcare Administration Leader
If you’re ready to lead through extraordinary times, earn your Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree from Walden University. No other school graduates more MHA students than Walden University.4 The accredited university’s online master’s in healthcare administration degree program features curriculum that combines industry knowledge with the practical competencies you’ll need for healthcare leadership.
In Walden’s online MHA degree program, you can customize your studies by choosing one of four optional specializations: Leadership and Organizational Development, Population Health, Systems and Policy, and Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation. When you choose Walden’s General Program, you can select a completion option that suits your schedule and learning style. There’s the traditional, course-based General Program and a General Program offered in Walden’s Tempo Learning® format.
With Tempo Learning®, you’ll study at your own pace and move ahead by completing competencies, which are the skills, knowledge, and abilities used to demonstrate your progress. Further, the Tempo Learning® format is an all-you-can-learn model: Subscribe to three-month learning periods instead of paying for courses or credit hours. The number of competencies you complete during a learning period is up to you.
Walden designs its online degree programs for working professionals with busy lives. When you earn a degree from Walden, you’ll be able to SFM (study from home), or wherever your laptop takes you. Walden’s flexible, online learning platform lets you find the balance between your job, studies, and personal life.
Walden’s MHA degree program can help prepare you for a career in healthcare administration, an expanding field where the job offerings for medical and health services managers are expected to grow 32% through 2029.5 Healthcare administrator jobs can offer unparalleled leadership opportunities. And earning a master’s in healthcare administration can prepare you for a rewarding career.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.
4Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Collected using Burning Glass Technologies. Retrieved February 2020, using CIP code 51.07 (Master’s degree — Health/Health Care Administration/Management). Includes 2017–18 provisional data.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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