As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in early March, healthcare professionals were faced with a barrage of patients and change—a virus they’d never treated before and new information coming at them every day.
Smaller practices were forced to shut their doors, and when they opened, they had to work to do things differently.
Some of those healthcare professionals were in the midst of earning a graduate certificate from the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI, and they say they were able to use skills learned in the program to navigate the changing times—including how to better manage and lead their teams and how to address budget and financial needs to better understand the broader economic impacts of the pandemic.
The Graduate Certificate in Medical Management gives non-physician healthcare professionals a business education designed specifically for those working in the medical field. It’s offered either fully online or in a hybrid format and includes a capstone project through which students solve a real-world healthcare issue using their business training. Students represent all aspects of healthcare—from nurses to practice managers to physical therapists and care coordinators to hospital marketing professionals or administrators.
For Angela Yepes, who runs a pediatric dentist office with her husband, COVID-19 brought their business to a halt.
“We had to close the office for two months, and we reopened in May. During the time we were closed, we worked to make sure everything we were doing was as efficient as possible—to stay efficient with our inventory and to keep our staff productive. Everything I learned during the program helped to keep us afloat after we were able to open again,” said Yepes.
Yepes is now applying her graduate certificate credits to the Kelley Evening MBA Program, which she began this fall.
“I thought: I want to learn more. This program was so good and so informative; I am craving more. I know a dental office can be a profitable business while serving our clients in the best way we know. I learned so much about human resources, accounting, innovation, consulting and marketing, and I can’t wait to learn more in the MBA program.”
Shelly Ford is the occupational therapy manager for IU Health Methodist, University and Saxony hospitals, and she finished the graduate certificate at the end of August. She says she was able to use skills learned from the program to better lead her occupational therapy teams during the pandemic.
“The leadership course was really important during the pandemic,” said Ford. “Every leader can improve on soft skills of leadership, especially during uncertain times and as information is changing rapidly. You want to make sure you build trust with your team. One of the most important parts of leadership is knowing how to adjust your leadership depending on what you’re dealing with. I think the technical part of leadership is easier to grasp than the soft part, which is the hardest but, also, the most effective.”
“Prior to COVID, we had huddles with our teams twice a week,” explained Ford. “We adjusted to huddles twice a day due to the amount of information, and we worked to make sure we were transparent and that everyone knew the latest information available. We took the approach of transparency, and that built a lot of trust within the team during a time that was really uncertain for everyone—professionally and personally. We learned quickly that more information was much better than being in the dark. We were also open that we know the information may have changed from the last huddle.”
“Healthcare is a business, and learning the business of medicine truly puts healthcare professionals in a position to help thousands of patients with a single decision. It also helps them to take on leadership roles, to gain a seat at the table and to be more impactful in their organizations,” said Kim Saxton, faculty coordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Medical Management and clinical professor of marketing. “Learning the language of business allows healthcare professionals to affect change in their organizations.”
Posted by: Teresa Mackin, firstname.lastname@example.org