The health care field is full of growth and transformation. As such, health care administrators have become more involved with project management. Part of the growth process in the health care industry has to do with developing new patient programs, patient databases for medical charts and technological advances. Thus, there is an industrious connection between health care and project management.
When we hear health care, we associate the term with doctors, local hospitals and pharmacies. However, the health care industry is not as basic as it once was. Health care has expanded into an industry that spreads out across various administrative, political and global realms. There are still doctors, hospitals and pharmacies, but the industry encompasses pharmaceutical manufacturing, the engineering of medical equipment, research and development for the cure of diseases, insurance companies, political involvement and globalization to expand health care services to other countries around the world. It has become an industry based on innovation. Consequently, it has become necessary for health care administrators to keep up with the project management that the industry calls for.
Projects are the driving forces behind change and growth, but projects cannot exist alone. They must be created, designed and managed by individuals who are committed to seeing a project through to the end. Project management is act of creating the vision of a new project, determining how the project can be developed, coming up with a project budget, deliverables and schedules, minimizing risk and setbacks and ensuring that the project is implemented successfully. Project management plays an important role in making successful changes and developments in the health care field.
According to the September 2009 issue of “Arts and Health” journal, when people enter the health care field as administrators, they should prepare, and expect, to lead the company through organizational changes at some point during their administration. The nature of the health care industry is that it is experiencing continuous change. Due to the constant movement and progression, people who work in health care should anticipate that their organizations, whether small or large in size, will be impacted by the innovative changes that are taking place in the industry.
To sustain growth, health care organizations should designate a project management department or team that is responsible for overseeing new projects. The team or department should be made up of individuals who are certified project managers or have strong project management experience. To make a comprehensive and well-rounded team, the individuals should have various backgrounds in areas such as research, development, manufacturing, finance and technology.
By instituting new projects, health care organizations can maximize their profitability. New projects usually bring in new revenue streams, new stakeholders and more consumers. The expansion potential for health care organizations can result in financial benefits. According to the 2007 issue of “The Service Industries Journal,” since the health care field moves forward daily, organizations should build project management systems and teams into their organizational structure, so that they can be prepared to make the changes necessary to keep up with, or innovate, the evolutionary changes surrounding them.
- “Arts and Health”; The State of the Arts in Healthcare in the United States; Jill Sonke, Judy Rollins, Rusti Brandman and John Graham-Pole; September 2009.
- “The Service Industries Journal”; Healthcare Industry Value Creation and Productivity Measurement in an Emerging Economy; Syi Su, Mei-Chi Lai and Hao-Chen Huang; 2007.
Kyra Sheahan has been a writer for various publications since 2008. Her work has been featured in "The Desert Leaf" and "Kentucky Doc Magazine," covering health and wellness, environmental conservatism and DIY crafts. Sheahan holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance.