The field of healthcare can sometimes feel like it’s both moving at the speed of light and mired in molasses at the same time. There are plenty of ideas on how to improve any healthcare setting, but successful implementation is a whole different beast. Enter project management! In healthcare, a project manager—or someone with dedicated project management skills—can be a vital force for positive and efficient change.
What is project management for healthcare?
Project management in healthcare involves the hands-on oversight of multiple initiatives in a health setting, from instituting new care processes to coordinating new software development and beyond. The intent of project management is to shepherd new developments in an organized and efficient manner, to clearly allocate responsibilities and keep everyone on task to meet deadlines, and to either anticipate or mitigate roadblocks along the way.
Without project management, initiatives can quickly get out of hand, forgotten, tripped up by unforeseen events, or subtly yet frustratingly altered from their original purpose. In a healthcare setting, that could result in huge expenses, subpar care, overburdened health professionals, and even lawsuits.
We’ve likely all been part of a project that was a bit chaotic. Adding project management into the mix is a proactive measure to avoid any confusion or messiness.
“Organizations are wasting an average of $97 million for every $1 billion invested, due to poor project performance.”
– Project Management Institute, 2017
Read more: Webinar: Predictive Analytics in Healthcare
Skills needed for project management
One of the unique aspects of the project manager’s role is that they are likely to touch on every single department in some fashion in the course of their work, Due to this, one of the most important skills needed for successful project management is communication. “Communication skills” can also encompass other so-called “soft skills” such as teamwork, negotiating, conflict resolution, problem solving, leadership, and flexibility, among others.
As far as technical skills go, the good news is that you will not necessarily need to know the ins and outs of every project participant’s expertise. If the project involves coding, you most likely won’t need to learn how to code! What you will need to know is how to identify someone who can code, make sure there is a clear line of communication between them and those who requested the coding project, and assist the coder by alleviating any roadblocks that come up along the way.
Beyond that, you’ll probably want to be familiar with some kind of project management software (such as Basecamp, Monday, Asana, or Trello) and project management frameworks (such as Agile or Scrum).
Our former in-house project manager gave a great presentation the basics of project management that you may find useful.
How to earn these skills
To become a skilled project manager, consider taking our online course HIN 700 – Project Management, which can be taken either as part of a degree or certificate program or as an individual course for personal or professional development.
HIN 700 will take you through the basics on how to create and guide documents such as:
- Project Charters
- Network Diagrams
- Communication Plans
- Project Team Member Profiles
- Risk and Change Plans
As part of UNE Online’s focus on getting its students career-ready, you’ll also get hands-on experience facilitating a project from start to finish throughout the 100% online, eight-week course.
Here’s the course summary:
HIN 700 – Project Management: The implementation or integration of any new technology into healthcare requires careful planning and organization. This course will provide students with widely-accepted concepts and skills that can be used and scaled to successfully complete projects of varying sizes. Through coursework, students will gain experience with the common language used by professionals involved in project management. Students will explore concepts of project charter, work breakdown structures, scheduling, risk planning, and project reporting.
For more information
As healthcare continues to expand, project managers will be in ever-greater demand to assist the workforce. Develop (or further elevate) your project management skills today, and you can position yourself to be an invaluable member of your healthcare team. You can see what skills and salaries you could earn by enrolling in a health informatics education: