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Online Master’s Degree in Healthcare Quality

A masters degree in healthcare quality is aimed at experienced professionals in the healthcare administration field. This degree allows students to specialize in healthcare quality and patient safety, a growing niche within hospital management. Many healthcare quality graduate programs are tailored to meet the needs of working professionals. As a result, many programs are available online. An online masters degree in healthcare quality could require 30 to 36 credit hours, which includes 10 to 12 courses. The program could take two to four years to complete for a part-time student, depending on the student’s course load and individual circumstances. Completion times can also fluctuate based on the program requirements.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Healthcare Quality

In a masters degree program in healthcare quality, students take a breadth of courses related to the patient safety and healthcare quality field. They acquire in-depth knowledge of the administrative side of the healthcare industry, hospital organization and management, and a variety of issues related to medicine. They will develop skills in statistical analysis and research that will enable them to evaluate patient safety practices for quality and consistency. Courses in human resources management teach students how to lead a variety of staff, from medical office administrators to nurses and physicians. Courses may vary depending on the student’s background. Some students entering a healthcare quality program may already be practicing physicians. Core coursework in a healthcare quality masters degree curriculum might include:

  • Health Informatics
  • Healthcare Organization and Delivery
  • Leadership and Change in Healthcare Equality
  • Human Resource Management
  • Patient Safety Systems

Additional program requirements for healthcare quality masters degree can vary greatly from one program to the next. Some online programs may have a research seminar requirement either on-campus or the student may be able to satisfy the seminar requirement through other means. Some programs might also require students to complete an internship. Working students may be able to satisfy the internship requirement through an arrangement with their existing employer.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Healthcare Quality

Healthcare quality management is a growing field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in healthcare management and administration are expected to grow by 22%, which is faster than average. It can also be a lucrative position. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that professionals in this field can earn approximately $84,000 per year on average. However, this figure can vary greatly depending on the geographic location, the employer, and the professional’s individual experience level and qualifications. Healthcare quality managers who are also physicians may earn more. In general, a bachelors degree is sufficient to launch an entry level career in healthcare quality. However, a masters degree might facilitate a career change, a higher salary, or faster career advancement.

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