How Online HAD Classes Helped Advance My Career

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The best part of the MS in Health Administration (HAD) program is the wide array of courses that are offered to complete the curriculum. Each course you take in the HAD program could benefit you in your present position, or could be preparing you for a future position as a health care executive.

The first course that helped me in my field was the health care organization class. The first class in the master’s program helped me to develop a more comprehensive understanding of how a healthcare system operates. Coming from a supply chain manager role, I understood logistics, par levels, and lean systems. In healthcare, I needed a better of understanding of how a healthcare organization operates. This course not only gave an excellent 10,000-feet overview of what an organization must do to create a mission, vision, and identity – but also the long-range planning you would need to implement these ideas.

Evolution of the Health Care Industry

This class helped to layout the historical evolution of the healthcare industry to help better understand why the modern healthcare is what it is today. The course offered an overview of Medicare, Medicaid, HMOs, managed care, and the Affordable Care Act and how they have all attempted to provide care to every citizen, while somehow finding a way to pay for it. It also gives you the foundation of knowledge you need to better understand the complexities of the system regardless of what part of the industry you work in.

The importance of Informatics

As is with any program, some courses will be more relevant than others. In the supply-side of healthcare, the informatics course was a plethora of knowledge that I have applied immediately to my current role and have already started to see the benefits. HAD “Informatics” taught me the data-mining process and how to find the raw data I needed to make more informed decisions in my field.

More importantly, it showed how to take that raw abundance of data and quantify it in a meaningful way to predict trends and better outcomes for process-flow in supply chain. The biggest misconception I had about informatics was that all data was created equal. The healthcare informatics course showed me how to better analyze the raw data to extract accurate predictions through algorithm metrics. In my current position, I have been able to reduce the nurses wait time for products, reduce inventory waste variations, and increase my product turn ratio’s by applying the data mining process to supply-side management.

Apply What You Learn

As a student goes through the HAD program they will find courses that immediately apply to their specific role in the healthcare industry. More importantly, every class you take in the Saint Joseph’s HAD’s program will allow you to glean important nuggets that you can apply to your long-term in your career as a healthcare leader. The role of ethics, managed care, or even law have not come across my desk yet, being educated in these areas gives me an expanded view that will help me to make a more-informed decision when the time comes.

About the Author

Christopher Powell

Chris Powell is a current graduate student in the HAD program at Saint Joseph’s. Chris is currently a Supply Chain Operations Manager for a health care system in Columbia, S.C.

In his spare time, Chris is a proud husband, father, and the worst golfer you have ever seen. The Hawk Will Never Die.

Grad Year: 2017
Program: MS in Health Administration

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