Academic journal article International Public Health Journal

Integration of Graduates of a Healthcare Management Program in Public and Private Healthcare Services in Israel from an Interdisciplinary Perspective

Academic journal article International Public Health Journal

Integration of Graduates of a Healthcare Management Program in Public and Private Healthcare Services in Israel from an Interdisciplinary Perspective

Article excerpt

The author wishes to thank Yair Shapira and Yossi Weiss for the assistance in the preparation of this manuscript.

Introduction

Healthcare management studies train people for management positions in various levels of the healthcare system. Today, promotion within the public healthcare system in Israel requires an academic degree. Tools acquired at school allow healthcare personnel to apply for senior management positions and gain promotion. The Department of Healthcare Management at the Ariel University Center in Israel trains students for a Baccalaureate degree as part of the School of Health Sciences and aims to help train much-needed administrators for middle and high level management roles in the Israeli healthcare system. The Department of Healthcare Management boasts an innovative program, one of few in Israel. Studies combine classes in administration in different fields with specific professional knowledge related to the needs of the healthcare system. The program is based on the strong foundation provided at the Ariel University Center in the fields of teaching, research, and social sciences. The program imparts to students an extensive base in business management and behavioral sciences, together with a focus on components of the healthcare and medical systems. Based on these tools, students learn and practice how to apply management tools to unique problems in the Israeli healthcare system. The faculty hails from different medical and administrative fields and includes senior managers as well as heads of national health funds and hospital directors.

Once a year the department organizes a healthcare conference, held at the Israeli Knesset and focusing on healthcare issues on the public agenda. The conference is attended by senior representatives of the entire healthcare system, such as the chairman of the Knesset, the Minister of Health, Chairman of the Labor and Welfare Committee, directors of health funds and hospitals, Chairman of the Israel Medical Association, top medical officers, as well as Members of Knesset and ministers, and well-known public and academic figures. In addition, studies in diverse fields related to medical administration, health, and medicine, are conducted at the Department of Healthcare Management. Some of the subjects studied are public attitudes towards health promoting and risk behaviors, preparations within the healthcare system for applying the Dying Patient Act, healthcare systems around the world, topics in health education and public health, and topics in the field of policy planning. An annual national survey on core issues within the healthcare system is conducted as well. The department initiates collaborations with researchers of community- and hospital-based medicine and with the pharmaceutical industry.

In the field of healthcare management, graduates are required to demonstrate management and assessment skills, comprehension, interpersonal communication skills, an ethical approach to the moral standards of the profession, and the ability to work in a multidisciplinary team. Academization of the profession is relatively new. It has developed over the years together with the growing demand for evidence based practice (EBP) (1). Academization has led to enhancement through research, an extensive interdisciplinary system of instruction, and the high academic standards of the profession and its students.

Higher education systems in Israel and elsewhere are required to prove the effectiveness of their teaching programs. The authorities, as well as parents and students, wish to ensure that students receive the education promised them. Those in charge of accreditation require the various departments to operate measures for evaluation of outcomes in order to ensure that students have the opportunity to achieve the academic goals and to reach a high level of proficiency in their chosen field. In Israel, as in other western countries, the Council for Higher Education (CHE) operates a quality control system of schools of higher education. …

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