Why healthcare needs executive education graduates | TopMBA.com

Why healthcare needs executive education graduates

By Laura L

Updated June 23, 2022 Updated June 23, 2022

Healthcare industries across the world are facing growing pressure, not just from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also from changing demographics, the increase in non-communicable diseases like cancers, heart attacks and diabetes, and growing workforce challenges.  

That’s according to Professor Nora Ann Colton, Director of the University College London (UCL) Global Business School for Health; the first business school in the world dedicated to reimagining global healthcare management.  

Professor Colton has observed a collective realisation in the healthcare industry that training more clinical staff and adding new technology will not solve the challenges.  

She said: “The industry needs courageous leaders who think and act differently. Business education at the executive level offers bursts of learning with a case-study approach that can empower healthcare leaders to bring their learning back into their organisations to make the needed changes.” 

The UCL Global Business School for Health (GBSH) offers an Executive MBA Health programme and shorter residential courses, with the purpose of empowering tomorrow’s healthcare leaders who can make a real difference to the health of the population.  

It’s not just UCL that’s creating dedicated healthcare leaders. Both Aalto University School of Business and the University of Cologne deliver executive education courses for managers within the healthcare sector too.   

Upskilling the industry for organisational transformation 

Maria Karsten is the Associate Director for Open Enrolment Programmes at Aalto University Executive Education Ltd, where healthcare leaders have been trained for 30 years.  

When asked why executive education graduates are so valuable within the healthcare field, she said: “At least in Finland, most leaders and supervisors in healthcare are trained physicians or nurses and their education doesn’t typically include advanced-level leadership and business management.  

“Many feel they need to develop and update their leadership skills and decision-making capabilities within their organisations. Our Aalto Health Executive MBA programme focuses on strategy, leadership, finance and marketing with a special emphasis on strategy and leadership in a global context, thus answering their educational needs.”  

At the heart of the Aalto Executive MBA is transformation. The programme is designed to enhance students’ skills and competencies as both leaders and as individuals.  

Maria said: “The modules strengthen participants’ strategic thinking, increasing their understanding of why businesses need to transform and how they themselves can become drivers of organisational transformation. These all are skills and competencies that are needed in modern and successful healthcare organisations.  

Aalto also provides a Healthcare Management Education programme, titled The Johtaminen Terveydenhuollosa Programme, which acts as a pathway to the Aalto Health MBA or the Health Executive MBA. The programme is designed for industry leaders, managers, experts and decision-makers and provides the tools for addressing current healthcare challenges through a range of management skills. 

Creating programmes that respond to a complex healthcare environment  

Professor Ludwig Kuntz, from the Department of Business Administration and Health Care Management at the University of Cologne, agrees that the innovative leadership skills required for transforming the healthcare industry are not always taught in medical school. 

He said: “The industry is facing new technological and organisational challenges in an increasingly complex environment. The requirements for managers within the healthcare industry are increasing. The Healthcare Management Certificate Programme of the Business School of the University of Cologne offers ideal conditions for developing the necessary skills.” 

While not an Executive MBA, the certificate gives students executive-level business management skills as it focuses on the application of management methods, analysis and optimisation of processes, knowledge of quality management systems, structure and control of healthcare systems and leadership methods for motivation, management and human resources development.  

“The Healthcare Management certificate programme is aimed at physicians in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organisations who are responsible for management tasks. It is also aimed at physicians in out-patient care and physician associations who wish to improve their practice management,” said Professor Kuntz.  

Specialised business education for industry-ready leaders 

At the UCL Global Business School for Health, Professor Colton feels that there is often an assumption in business schools that all industries require the same business knowledge from students. “However,” she said, “health systems are complex and often reflective of societal values and cultures which make the need for contextualised learning within the industry very important. 

“There is also the need to cover health systems in terms of patients, care teams, organisations and environment – whether public or private, or national or global – so that students understand how to integrate and co-produce better healthcare from several angles.”  

The Executive MBA at UCL’s GBSH is taught by both health and business professionals, which Professor Colton said “is integral in ensuring students understanding how to apply business and management learning to the health and healthcare sector.  

“We also have a Health Executives in Residence programme, designed to give students the opportunity to be mentored and counselled by health professionals who have been or are senior level managers and leaders in the healthcare sector. 

“These skills are needed as the health eco-system expands to be much more interdisciplinary and systemic for addressing the challenges the sector faces.” 

This article was originally published in June 2022 .

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As Senior Content Editor for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Laura publishes articles for our student audience around the world, working with ambassadors and alumni to provide helpful content to those looking for study options. Laura has six years' experience in Higher Education marketing and writing for a student audience. 

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