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Int J Health Policy Manag. 2017 Apr 9;6(10):555-560. doi: 10.15171/ijhpm.2017.40.

Professionalizing Healthcare Management: A Descriptive Case Study.

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Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
Yale Global Health Leadership Institute, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.


Despite international recognition of the importance of healthcare management in the development of high-performing systems, the path by which countries may develop and sustain a professional healthcare management workforce has not been articulated. Accordingly, we sought to identify a set of common themes in the establishment of a professional workforce of healthcare managers in low- and middle-income country (LMIC) settings using a descriptive case study approach. We draw on a historical analysis of the development of this profession in the United States and Ethiopia to identify five common themes in the professionalization of healthcare management: (1) a country context in which healthcare management is demanded; (2) a national framework that elevates a professional management role; (3) standards for healthcare management, and a monitoring function to promote adherence to standards; (4) a graduatelevel educational path to ensure a pipeline of well-prepared healthcare managers; and (5) professional associations to sustain and advance the field. These five components can to inform the creation of a long-term national strategy for the development of a professional cadre of heathcare managers in LMIC settings.


Health Policy; Healthcare Management; Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs); Quality Improvement

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