What is a care manager in healthcare?
Managers of care in healthcare are essential to any healthcare organization, be it a hospital, clinic, or nursing home. They are responsible for efficiently managing and delivering medical and healthcare services. Although care managers offer services in various workplaces, their role does not include providing direct patient care. Their responsibilities primarily include organizing, directing, reviewing, and coordinating services to ensure everything runs smoothly. Instead, healthcare managers deal with indirect factors affecting patient care and experiences. Instead, healthcare managers deal with indirect factors influencing patient care and experiences. Instead, healthcare managers deal with indirect factors influencing patient care and experiences.
The everyday activities of medical institutions are strongly dependent on the guidance of healthcare managers. These individuals profit by having a great grasp of management, a love for healthcare, and exceptional multitasking skills. Understanding the position and duties involved in healthcare administration is beneficial if you consider pursuing a career in this field. In this article, we go through the responsibilities and qualifications for the position of healthcare manager, as well as several comparable jobs in the industry.
What is the importance of healthcare management?
Healthcare is among the most important services provided to people. Hence, healthcare organizations need healthcare management because the delivery of contemporary healthcare necessitates close coordination among many parties. The management of human resources inside a hospital unit is essential to inspire, develop and keep the medical staff functioning effectively, responsibly, and with care for the greater good of society. The significance of care managers in healthcare is highlighted below.
Coordination and organization
Healthcare requires more coordination than any other industry because good coordination guarantees that patients receive safe and timely care. Coordinating procedures, including the scheduling of visits, previous approvals, and communication by healthcare management, raises the standard of service from poor to high. Every organizational level, from supervisors overseeing the daily operations of the medical personnel to executives controlling the whole institution, needs healthcare administrators.
Other than working on the organization of the medical staff in a healthcare facility, healthcare managers are crucial in finding and building connections with other local nonprofits to deliver high-quality care to patients. For instance, healthcare administrators might collaborate with social workers to assist patients in dealing with the social issues influencing their health. Overall, via teamwork, healthcare management significantly increases the effectiveness of healthcare organizations.
The solid performance of healthcare systems and efficient healthcare management are directly related. By improving the standard of care, healthcare management supports the success of healthcare organizations and, as a result, patient outcomes, in addition to effectively coordinating stakeholders. In addition, it has been demonstrated that poor healthcare management hinders healthcare systems from meeting global healthcare objectives, such as lowering child mortality or enhancing maternal health.
Provision of high-quality resources
Healthcare companies can more efficiently deploy their limited time and resources with qualified managers, enabling them to treat more patients with high-quality treatment. For instance, if healthcare management observes that nurses are overworked and overburdened because they spend a lot of time answering calls, they can consider assigning this responsibility to nursing assistants. As a result of this modification, nurses will have more time to dedicate to their primary duties.
The roles and responsibilities of care managers in healthcare
Care managers have a variety of duties in a healthcare organization. However, five of the major ones are highlighted and elaborated on below.
Healthcare management focuses on raising the standard of care, which benefits healthcare businesses. Like hotel or eatery managers, healthcare administrators must select what equipment and resources they need to operate efficiently. Bed linens, staff salaries, IV bags, and new equipment expenses exist. They must communicate with the workforce to determine the financial needs of each department while avoiding unnecessary overheads. Professional management must possess the ability to discriminate between demands that can be lessened and those that cannot, when necessary.
Billing of customers
The most difficult aspect of managing a healthcare facility is invoicing. It is challenging when someone is ill and unable to pay for medical care. As deductibles increase, individuals who cannot pay for treatment bear a greater portion of the financial burden. However, healthcare administrators in this field might start to lessen that load while still generating the required money if they collaborate with them to set up financing options.
Quality control/quality assurance
Although the idea of quality assurance might make you picture assembly lines and conveyor belts rather than hospitals, these facilities need lots of process and safety assessment work. Are the procedures being billed accurately? Do lab test results arrive on time? Are safety precautions being followed? This requirement for critical analysis and proactive management is especially crucial in a sector where the stakes might be high. , Little matters such as planning and prescribing are important when the patient’s health is in danger. Managers must, therefore, continually assess the effectiveness and security of the activities at their sites.
Management of the staff
Training in the field of healthcare is essential for this position. Managers must comprehend the priorities of the companies they collaborate with within all areas, from hiring to scheduling. For instance, if the company wants to save expenses by releasing phlebotomists, a manager must recognize that adding the time- and money-consuming task of collecting blood to a physician’s responsibilities is not feasible. To prevent the overburdening of companies or having to find another strategy to slash the budget, the care manager must devise a plan. This is only possible if they have the right knowledge, the right amount of experience, and good communication skills. These skills allow managers to advocate effectively for their team without clinical experience.
Management of projects
Healthcare, just like any other industry, has its goals. Smart and experienced healthcare management professionals understand the importance of looking at the bigger picture and diligently seek to prevent roadblocks or other obstacles that might slow progress, regardless of whether they are adopting a new policy for treating specific patient conditions or a recent billing procedure. They also establish reasonable implementation objectives and gather data in case the plans need to be modified along the road.
Where do care managers work?
Healthcare managers work in various departments within and outside a healthcare organization. Depending on where exactly they work, their job role might differ slightly. Listed below are some of the places where care managers work:
- Hospitals and clinics
- Nursing homes
- Outpatient departments
- Psychiatric hospitals and rehabilitation centers for drug addicts
- Diagnostic laboratories
- Different medical research departments
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Physicians’ offices
Essential skills to become an expert healthcare manager
The job of a care manager in healthcare is much more demanding than a manager in any other organization because not only is the value and reputation of a healthcare organization dependent on their decisions, but the lives of the patients also directly or indirectly depend on their decisions. This drastically reduces the room for making any mistakes. As a result, these professionals must be highly skilled and experienced in the field. Below is a list of necessary skills for healthcare managers.
Effective communication skills are necessary, and much appreciated when working with other healthcare professionals from different specialties. ‘This ability to communicate effectively is essential in every facet of healthcare administration. Additionally, it’s crucial for patient-centered treatment. On the contrary, faulty communication or an absence of communication in the medical field might cause patients not to understand the guidance given to them or even disregard treatment guidelines completely. Additionally, it may cause a team breakdown resulting in a medical mistake. According to a Joint Commission assessment, faulty communication during patient transfers resulted in 80% of serious medical errors. Care managers must consult with other clinical and administrative personnel when determining a budget or making a schedule to comprehend how their choices may impact others.
Many people find taking orders or working with or under people extremely hard. However, teamwork is a crucial part of healthcare. It holds a lot of importance regarding high-quality healthcare delivery because healthcare is a multidisciplinary field. The doctor or the nurse alone cannot treat a patient, nor can a phlebotomist or a physiotherapist. Collaborating with experts from different medical specialties allows healthcare professionals to provide a high-quality treatment and patient experience.
In the same way, healthcare managers must also be able to work in a team. They must be able to give the right orders to the right people at the right time. At the same time, they must also understand the feedback they get from their peers and incorporate it into their decisions to make them more fruitful and effective.
Building healthy relationships with peers
This is as important as teamwork. It is a requirement for collaboration. A team’s collective effort is required to maintain a healthy workspace, not simply one person’s efforts. A group can function effectively when everyone pulls together and contributes to a single objective. Team members must therefore work to develop positive relationships with one another. Collaboration is significantly simpler when a supervisor has done an excellent job cultivating solid professional connections with colleagues.
It is always preferable for the healthcare manager to have a strong background in healthcare and medicine. However, some managers might not have medical experience, as most job responsibilities are related to business management. Regardless, a care manager must have the ability to research. Experts in the field have studied almost all possible workplace administrative and management-related problems that a care manager could encounter. Analyzing scholarly libraries and websites to locate the right knowledge can help them make evidence-based decisions.
As highlighted above, healthcare managers might get tested with countless problems. Sometimes the employees will go on uninformed leave. Other times, the patients will want a specific off-duty nurse to care for them. In such a job role, managers must be critical thinkers with strong problem-solving abilities to develop solutions without compromising the quality of care.
Giving attention to details
Decisions made by healthcare management have an impact on patients, staff, and facilities. While juggling the demands of many stakeholders, they must carefully strive toward a unified objective. Healthcare managers must consider all the aspects of a scenario while addressing problems, weighing each action against factors such as finances, rules, regulations, and safety. This is true whether they are dealing with a staff conflict or a healthcare crisis.
What educational background is required to become a care manager in healthcare?
In most cases, candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management are preferred. However, individuals with bachelor’s degrees in public health management are also considered. The course syllabus focuses primarily on business, administration, and management-related courses, as their duties do not include direct patient care.
However, recently the trend of nurses as care managers has started to pick up pace where nurses also study business, administration, and management-related subjects during their nursing degree. As a result, nurses can provide direct and indirect care to patients. This is a revolutionary change in nursing scope because nurses have a deeper understanding of patients’ problems and concerns. They also have extensive knowledge of a healthcare organization’s ins and outs. All of these factors make them ideal candidates for care managers in healthcare. Online accelerated BSN nursing programs are available for nurses who have already completed their BSN degree and want a slight change in their career path. Through these online opportunities, nurses will be able to gain the additional knowledge they need to become competent care managers at a fast pace.
The demand for care managers in healthcare
A handsome salary package is offered for care managers in healthcare who decide to pursue a career in the US. According to Talent.com, the average salary for a care manager in 2023 would be around $69,703 per annum. This is an average pay, which means that for those who are just beginning their careers in care management, the salary might be a little less (around $44,000 per year), whereas for those who are experienced, the pay might be higher (around $100,000 per year). The salary package might also differ based on the company and its location across the country.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2026, healthcare will become one of the biggest employment sectors. As a result, there will be a great demand for creative and sympathetic healthcare managers nationwide. The demand for healthcare managers is not just limited to the US. The need for skilled and experienced care managers is global. According to Nursing Process, the countries where care managers are needed include New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, Australia, and Germany, among many others.
The management of the healthcare systems is the responsibility of healthcare administrators. For those who are passionate about health and medicine but prefer the financial side of healthcare organizations, being a healthcare manager may be an excellent career choice.
The future as a healthcare manager
The future of a healthcare manager or a care manager is quite promising. The elderly population is constantly increasing due to the constant developments in medicine and healthcare. Due to this, more and more people will need high-quality healthcare in the future. As a result, the need and value of care managers in various healthcare organizations will increase drastically. The salary for this position has grown steadily, and it will keep rising in the future. Therefore, those with a background in healthcare and an interest in administrative roles should look into a career as a healthcare manager.
The job of a healthcare manager is very diverse and involves a lot of behind-the-scenes work. These professionals do not provide direct care to patients. Still, they take care of all the matters that might impact the quality of care provided to the patients in any healthcare organization. The ideal skillset necessary for becoming a competent healthcare manager includes abilities to solve problems quickly, conduct research, work in a team, communicate effectively, and have at least a BSN degree. The future for those who pursue a career in this field is extremely bright due to the continuously increasing demand. The salary for these individuals has also been growing steadily, due to which it is a new and ideal field for beginning a career.