How to become a medical and health services manager

July 09, 2024 · 4 min read · By ASU Online

Medical and health services managers are in charge of planning, coordinating and directing business responsibilities for healthcare providers. Read on to get the details on the education and skills needed to succeed for this in-demand and well-paying career. 


What do medical and health services managers do?

Medical and health services managers are in charge of overseeing the daily operations of healthcare facilities, allowing them to operate efficiently and deliver high-quality services. A typical day might include managing staff and financial records, to policy development and regulation compliance. As a medical and health services manager, you’ll be the point of contact between staff members, patients and upper management.

In this role, you may work in a variety of healthcare settings ranging from hospitals and physicians offices to outpatient care centers and mental health facilities.


The skills and knowledge you’ll need to succeed

While the specific skills needed and duties required may vary by institution and setting, the foundational knowledge needed to succeed in this role is applicable across the board.  You’ll need to develop an understanding of different healthcare technologies and software systems, such as electronic health records (EHR). You’ll also need to be proficient in the many healthcare laws, regulations, policies and standards. In addition to technical training, you’ll need a diverse set of hard and soft skills, including:

  • Adaptability: The ability to adapt to changes within healthcare laws, technological advancements and industry practices, are very important in this ever-changing field of work.
  • Communication: As a leader, having strong written and verbal communication skills is necessary in order to communicate effectively with patients, staff members and upper management.
  • Leadership: The ability to motivate staff, set goals and manage teams effectively is key when managing a group of individuals across a team.
  • Organizational: This role requires the ability to manage multiple tasks at once. Having strong organizational skills ensures that deadlines for the team are always being met on time.
  • Problem-solving: As a manager, being able to identify issues and implement effective solutions promptly for yourself and your team is very important.

“Empathy and respect for patients are core values that must guide medical and health services managers,” said Rachael Don, an associate teaching professor at Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions. “Simultaneously, a successful manager will recognize and try to minimize the pressures placed on providers given systemic constraints.”

Joshua Anbar, an assistant teaching professor at the College of Health Solutions added, “Patient care may be the focus of most healthcare organizations, but medical and health services managers must remember to focus on the care of their staff and employees. Healthcare organizations that succeed in taking care of their employees will be better positioned to deliver on their promises to patients and communities.”


An in-demand and well-paid career

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow at a much-faster-than-average rate of 28% between 2022 and 2032. And it’s a well-paid career, with the median annual salary for those in the role being $110,680 in 2023.

The projected increase in medical and health services managers relates in large part to the aging population. As Baby Boomers enter old age, their needs for healthcare will inevitably increase, which translates into high demand for healthcare jobs.


Degrees that prepare you to be a medical and health services manager

ASU Online’s Bachelor of Science in health care administration and policy equips you with the necessary tools to understand the non-clinical side of healthcare. You’ll cover a wide range of topics, including law, policy analysis, data analysis and quality improvement. You’ll also gain a cross-cultural perspective by comparing the U.S. healthcare system to those in other countries.

“Our HCAP program encourages you to engage with a variety of healthcare organizations on both a theoretical and practical level,” noted Anbar.

Our Bachelor of Science in health sciences takes a broader approach and focuses on improving healthcare outcomes through forms of administration, education or research. You’ll choose from five distinct tracks in high-demand areas to fit your interests, plus gain hands-on experience during an internship.

“The online health sciences curriculum incorporates practical and relevant learning materials with dynamic instruction from professors accomplished in both healthcare administration and the delivery of patient care,” said Don. Due to the broad nature of this discipline, you’ll be prepared to pursue a range of management positions in healthcare or public health upon graduating from this program.

“The ability to work with a team and manage conflict are critical skills in the healthcare setting, so many classes in these programs help students learn teamwork skills and provide practice,” said Janice Connell, an assistant teaching professor at the College of Health Solutions. “In addition, students study how and why conflict develops and strategies to manage it.”

Everything you need to know about ASU Online classes and degree programs

We’ve compiled what you need to know about online classes and degree programs at Arizona State University. Read on to learn all about what to expect from the ASU Online learning experience.


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