How Do You Become A Healthcare Consultant?
How To Become A Healthcare Consultant: The Ultimate Guide
I bet the first career you think of when you think of healthcare jobs is not to become a healthcare consultant but maybe a doctor or a nurse instead. For this role, you'll need an extensive amount of business knowledge, but that's not the only thing you'll need. You also need to practice up on the trials and tribulations of healthcare procedures and law, and be familiar with having to make connections with new people, and pivot plans at the turn of a key.
I’ve stated in many of my other articles that healthcare is straight up the fastest-growing job sector in the U.S. Going back to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the healthcare industry will increase another 18 percent by the end of 2026.
Management Consulting is predicted to expand by a staggering 14 percent over the same period of time. If you mix the two industries together, you get healthcare consultants, which are specialized management consultants who help healthcare practitioners and organizations identify ways to:
- Reduce costs
- Improve efficiency
- Enhance patient care
- Improve patient safety
As a whole, healthcare consultants typically work with these types of organizations:
- Nursing homes
- Mental health clinics
- Doctors’ offices
- Long-term care facilities
- Other healthcare facilities
A healthcare consultant looks at their clients business operations, finds problem areas, and gives solutions to the issues they’re having.
Why Do Businesses Need Healthcare Consultants?
You might be asking yourself why these organizations don’t use the people they already have under their employ to solve the problems they may be facing. In many cases, it’s because they can’t spare the extra resources or people power for the changes that need to be done.
In the majority of cases, the people employed at the organizations may be the problem, or at the very least, be part of it. Often, organizations stick to outdated and antiquated ways of doing things and that’s why they need someone who isn’t immersed within their culture to come in and make a change.
A healthcare consultant with no prior ideas can focus explicitly on optimizing the practices of the organization in question.
After reading this article, you should have the information you need to begin making an informed decision on the following:
- Different kinds of healthcare consultant careers
- What sort of education is needed to become a healthcare consultant
- Licensure and accreditation needed to become a healthcare consultant
What Kinds of Healthcare Consultant Careers Are There?
Healthcare and medical organizations of many kinds enlist the help of healthcare consultants with solving their problem(s). Some consultants specialize in small private practices, others, billing or hospitals.
Consultants can work with anyone in the organizations in question at any level. Doctors, nurses, top-level executives, and specialists, as a healthcare consultant you’ll meet a variety of people and have to know how to interact with people of all levels and kinds.
What Does A Healthcare Consultant Do On A Daily Basis?
They help all sorts of people like we mentioned previously by:
- Reviewing office financials and suggesting resource allocation changes that can increase revenue
- Institute new procedural outcomes
- Challenges changes to procedures, scheduling, fixing office management to make the patient experience better
- Ensurement of regulatory compliance
- Making sure everything in the space is up to date on healthcare laws and compliance
- Create efficiency and quality plans with a plan to implement them
- Analyze job performance from all levels
- Review staff and patient feedback and suggest changes
Healthcare consultants can even work with private practices or facilities to implement the new processes, systems, or procedures they have recommended to them.
What Education Do You Need To Become A Healthcare Consultant
There are no explicit educational requirements to become a healthcare consultant, most employers won’t consider candidates who however don’t have at least a bachelor’s degree, and in many cases a master’s degree. Real world experience is also considered a plus, but not essential in any capacity.
To become a healthcare consultant, you’ll typically need a bachelor’s in a field like business, nursing, or public health. A great option is the bachelor of science in healthcare administration degree. This is because it will prepare you to tackle the business, management, and organizational challenges that medical facilities face.
Typical Coursework Includes:
- Resource management
- Evaluation methodologies
- Management and policy
- Healthcare delivery systems
- Healthcare economics
If you want to head to the next level, getting yourself a master’s in health administration or in other words, MHA. Most programs likely won’t let you in until you’ve gained some real-world work experience in the healthcare administration field. For context, you’ll likely need two to five years of real-world experience under your belt. In many programs, they will even have you delve deeper into the organizational side of healthcare and might even have you focus on a particular area of administration.
Your classes in graduate school will likely focus on the needs of those in the healthcare market, so it’s safe to say after you graduate, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a leader in the field. Many people choose to pursue an MBA in healthcare management, this is a degree path that is business-focused as opposed to healthcare-focused. A master’s degree makes it easier to compete for the highest-paying healthcare jobs that we have on our niche healthcare job board, Healthcare Consultant.
These programs typically take two to three years to complete, but there are also accelerated MHA programs that are usually around a year to complete. You may need to work while studying though, if so, there are executive MHA programs that take place on nights, weekends, or online. These will take longer to complete, as they have the same requirements for graduation as the comparing on-campus programs.
Healthcare Consultant Licensure and Accreditation - What You Need To Know
It’s probably shocking, but there are no licenses or certifications required for consultants to work independently or to become employees in any firms. Career advancement for healthcare consultants is typically based almost entirely on experience in the field.
Consulting companies are often happy to hire recent graduates, and healthcare consulting companies often prefer to hire people who have worked in the industry over those who might appear better on paper. In some cases, completion of an unpaid internship in healthcare administration can make you a more attractive candidate to employers on the healthcare consultant niche healthcare job board than a candidate with more education or certifications.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has predicted that the demand for consultants in healthcare will increase heavily due to increased demand from an aging population and a regulatory environment that is becoming increasingly more complex.
We know that job growth in the medical field won’t slow down any time soon, I’ve preached this in many of my articles. Becoming a healthcare consultant is one of the best jobs you can get in the United States, with a median salary of $97,400. The salary is so high because healthcare consultants help make the patient experience the most optimal it can be. When you enter this field, don’t be afraid to work hard and get rewarded. Find that next position of your dreams on our free niche healthcare job board, Healthcare Consultant, today!