How to Choose an Online PhD in Healthcare Administration

In this article, you will learn about what an online Ph.D. in healthcare administration is, what to look for in this degree, why you should consider earning one, and how to choose the best program. We also will provide information about accreditation and a good online Ph.D. in healthcare administration to consider.

What Is an Online Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration?

If you crave being on the front lines in the health administration policy and research field, you may want to earn your Ph.D. in this booming field. This doctoral degree will prepare you to be a major leadership figure in the modern healthcare administration industry. With this degree, you will be able to choose a variety of leadership roles and careers where you can be a significant change agent in healthcare.

An online Ph.D. in healthcare administration is extremely valuable for the experienced healthcare administration executive. You will have the opportunity to focus on one or several concentrations, such as policy development, public health, management, informatics and health administration research. Spending several years focused on one of these key areas will provide you with great depth of knowledge that will be very valuable in your future job roles.

You also will have the opportunity to tailor your degree program to other areas, including healthcare administration education, health promotion, and occupational health. Whatever your specialty, with this degree you will be prepared to conduct serious research and apply the conclusions to enhance outcomes and performance in healthcare systems and health services.

As a healthcare administration professional with your Ph.D., you will be able to attain many exciting career positions, such as:

  • Medical or health services manager: These workers are often called healthcare administrators or executives. They are in charge of the planning, directing and coordinating of medical and health care services. They often will manage an entire healthcare facility or healthcare system. Some may also be the manager or administrator for a hospital. Having a Ph.D. in this field is very important as you are responsible for ensuring the healthcare facility is in compliance with healthcare laws and regulations.
  • Nursing home administrator: Responsible for management of a nursing home’s staff, finances, operations, accounting and admissions. You also are responsible for the oversight of the care of all patients. In addition to your Ph.D., you will need to be licensed to work as the head of a nursing home. The license requirements will vary by state.
  • Health information administrator: These highly paid professionals are in charge of the security and maintenance of all patient data and records. You will need to stay completely up to date with information technology, proposed and current laws about health information systems, and tends that are necessary for the management of large amounts of health care data. You must be certain that databases are entirely complete and accurate.
  • Clinical managers and administrators: Responsible for the oversight of a certain department in a healthcare facility, including surgery, physical therapy and nursing. Clinical administrators must carry out and set corporate policy, goals and procedures, and evaluate the overall quality of the work of the staff.

Why Earn a Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration?

The American healthcare industry is growing at a very rapid pace. There will be several million near healthcare jobs in the healthcare system in a decade. Many of these will be in the administrative rather than the clinical side.

For example, the employment of healthcare executives and administrators will rise by a healthy 17% by 2024. This is much faster than average. There is much greater need today for highly trained healthcare administrators to manage patient care effectively and affordably for healthcare organizations.

The higher demand for healthcare services by our aging population is creating more need for doctors and other clinical healthcare workers. It is only natural that there will be great need for managers and administrators as well.

One area of especially strong growth for skilled administrators with a Ph.D. is in medical practices. Many advanced medical services now are provided on an outpatient basis instead of in a hospital. So, we anticipate that there will be more job demand for healthcare administrators in medical group practices.

The salary potential is another major driver of demand in this field. The median salary for all healthcare administrators and executives today is $94,500, and the top 10% earn in excess of $165,000 per year. Most in the top earning bracket have at least their master’s degree and many also have their doctoral degree.

Choosing Your Online Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration Path

You have the option today of earning your Ph.D. in healthcare administration online so that you can continue to work full time.

Online Degree Options

Capella University offers an excellent, online doctoral degree in healthcare administration. In this online program, you have the choice of focusing on global health policy, US health policy, health care advocacy, leadership or planning and strategic vision.

Some of the highlights of this widely respected healthcare administration degree include:

  • Complete your degree in as few as three years if you already have your master’s degree in MHA health administration. You may be able to complete the degree in 3.5 years if you have a master’s degree in another field. For those with their MHA, you can transfer as many as 12 quarter credits. This could save you $8000 and possibly six months.
  • This program has a competency based curriculum, meaning that you will gain the most desirable healthcare administration competencies that employers today expect you to have.
  • Capella University is a participant in the American College of Healthcare Executives Higher Education Network, so you may be confident that this program will be widely respected in the field.
  • You will attain real world work experience in a healthcare environment during your specialization classes. You can use your new skills in your capstone and practicum classes. This real life work can help you to become a true leader in the healthcare administration field.
  • Experienced and distinguished faculty: Professors have many years of work experience in the healthcare administration front lines, and will provide you with helpful feedback on your work.

Required courses include:

  • Collaboration, Communication, and Case Analysis for Doctoral Learners Innovative Business Practices in Health Care
  • Strategic Financial Management in Health Care
  • Health Care Policy Processes
  • 21st-Century Health Care Leadership
  • Preparing for the Professional Doctorate in Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Scholarly Methods in Nursing and Health Sciences

Accreditation

Obtaining your doctoral degree in healthcare management or administration is a major financial and time commitment. It is very important to attend a program that has been properly accredited to ensure you are earning a degree that will be appreciated and recognized by your peers and employers.

In healthcare administration, we advise that you verify that the Ph.D. program has be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education, or CAHME.

Summary

The healthcare administration management and executive field is one that holds great promise, especially for those with advanced degrees and experience. With your Ph.D., you will be able to move to the top of the healthcare administration field and enjoy a dynamic career with much personal and financial success.

Robert Sanchez
Written by Robert Sanchez

Robert Sanchez is HealthGrad.com’s Chief Editorialist. Robert Sanchez has over 10 years experience in the Healthcare field and more recently has become an avid writer advising on career and job topics in this exciting field.

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