Competency: An observable ability of a health professional, integrating multiple components such as knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes. Since competencies are observable, they can be measured and assessed to ensure their acquisition. Competencies can be assembled like building blocks to facilitate progressive development (Frank, et al. 2010).
The competencies for the Master’s Degree in Health Administration (MHA) graduate program have been established by MHA program leadership based on best practice competency models (National Center for Healthcare Leadership, Healthcare Leadership Alliance, American College of Healthcare Executives, and the Association of University Programs in Health Administration).
a. Evaluates professional and organizational values and stewardship of resources
b. Demonstrates the ability to recognize mistakes and learn from them
c. Demonstrates the ability to ask questions and to challenge alternatives
2. Emotional Intelligence
a. Demonstrates social and human relationship skills needed to address diverse stakeholders
b. Demonstrates consistent integrity and respect for others
c. Identifies, explains, and resolves critical tension
d. Holds oneself accountable for meeting standards of performance
e. Assesses individual strengths and weaknesses and engage in continuous professional development
3. Organizational Change and Innovation
a. Identifies, explains, and utilizes effective motivational strategies to elicit desired behavior and inspire action toward a shared vision
b. Uses team development methods for achieving change
c. Demonstrates effective techniques for working with governance structures
1. Mathematical and Statistical Analysis
a. Identifies and describe quantitative analytical methods for economic, financial, and clinical evaluations, survey research, forecasting, and project management
b. Evaluates testable hypotheses common in management situations, selecting and applying appropriate quantitative methods
c. Understands the application of advanced mathematical techniques such as linear regression, bivariate comparison methods, etc.
d. Incorporates evidenced-based approaches with epidemiological concepts and statistical methods to be used in the prevention of disease, and the improvement of the population’s health
2. Decision-Making and Problem-Solving
a. Uses creative and analytical problem-solving methods
b. Explores cause and effect relationships in order to solve complex problems
c. Evaluates issues from various perspectives
d. Identifies the influences of political, economic, cultural, social, and other factors on decision making
1. General Management
a. Identifies, describes, and applies general management concepts, theories, and tools of management science regarding service excellence and the organization of work and decision theory
b. Describes and applies the principles and tools of continuous quality improvement concepts and skills to improve work processes and patient outcomes
c. Implements project management techniques and systems to examine scope and impact of projects
2. Teamwork Skills
a. Exhibits the ability to work collaboratively in a team with colleagues to achieve a desired goal
b. Demonstrates the ability to facilitate and lead a group, and to present results of the team
1. Public and Organizational
a. Identifies stakeholders’ values and needs and their history and specific interests, and solicit and use input from the community to guide decisions
b. Builds collaborative partnerships at the organizational, local, or regional level
c. Uses negotiation, consensus, and conflict resolution methods to assist community development and evaluation
2. Civic Duty
a. Identifies and articulates community values and needs in relation to the organization’s mission and goals
a. Identifies, demonstrates, and evaluates cultural humility and proficiency
b. Applies the principles to be able to work effectively and respect the differences in others’ culture, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender, race
1. Written and Oral
a. Develops, organizes, synthesizes, and articulates idea and information in an organized and cogent manner.
b. Listens, hears, and responds effectively to ideas and thoughts of others.
c. Writes clearly and effectively based on audience characteristics and communication goals
2. Presentation Skills
a. Speaks clearly and effectively before individuals and groups in formal and informal settings.
a. Recognizes the role of providers, payers, intermediaries, and others in delivering quality care
b. Analyzes the evolving issues and trends in the health care industry
1. Budget and Financial Management
a. Prepares, monitors, and manages budgets
b. Analyzes reimbursement practices for health providers
c. Monitor’s data and identifies deviations in financial performance
2. Market Analysis
a. Prepares and analyzes market data to segment and target sectors
b. Evaluates internal and external trends that may affect business decision-making
c. Uses qualitative methods to determine patterns and trends culminating in decision-making
3. Strategic Management
a. Facilitates and influences the development, implementation and ownership of mission, vision, goals, and plans
b. Uses strategic thinking tools, models, and methods to guide an organization
c. Project’s future scenarios and evaluates and concludes on optimal scenarios
4. Operations Management
a. Measures, tracks, and responds to the changing needs of the customer
b. Applies the basic concepts of management engineering, process improvement, and redesign of systems
5. Information Technology
a. Uses decision-support tools for information and knowledge management
b. Uses and manages relevant computer technology
6. Legal and Regulatory Environment
a. Displays knowledge of federal, state, and local policies and laws effecting the health care industry
b. Monitors and interprets the impacts of laws and regulations on the organization
c. Knowledge of health policy and its effect on providers, payers, and populations
7. Human Resource Management
a. Utilizes the resources and techniques of human resource management to maximize the organization’s investment in human capital
b. Analyzes organizational behaviors to achieve organizational goals
a. Applies the principles of economics and evidence-based techniques to inform decision-making in pricing, service demand, and risk
b. Uses economic modeling in strategic planning
Assessment of Competency Development
The MHA Competencies are linked to learning objectives for each course. Course assignments are linked to the learning objectives of the course. Course assignments are graded by Faculty and feedback is provided to help students develop their MHA competencies. All students must take MHA 5000 as their first course on entry, and Capstone as their last course in the program. In both MHA 5000 and the Capstone course, students are required to take two forms of competency assessment. The first is a self-survey, which asks students questions to evaluate their perception of their skills, knowledge, and abilities as they relate to the MHA competencies. The second assessment is a Health Care competency exam, provided by Peregrine Academic Services™. The exam provides students an objective analysis of their competency achievement, a comparison to other similar students from other Universities in similar programs, and a comparison of the student’s own progression throughout the MHA program.
Communication of Competency Development
Communication is completed in the following ways:
- Self-survey, which provides the student a forum to communicate their perceptions of level of competency to Faculty.
- Health Care Competency exam, which shares information directly to the student and Faculty.
- Advising sessions with the MHA Program Director to discuss survey data, course achievement, and competency progression.
- Capstone mentor survey of student, which allows a practitioner the opportunity to evaluate the student’s competency development.
- Student and Alumni Surveys, provides ad hoc and ongoing data of competency progression.
Aggregate data is analyzed and shared with MHA Program leadership and other stakeholders for the purpose of continually improving the MHA program.