MHA Core Competencies

The University of Iowa MHA Program prepares graduates for their initial positions as health care managers and provides a solid foundation for executive career development in a variety of health organizations. The MHA curriculum is designed to foster excellent analytical and communication skills, innovation, and strong commitment to community service and performance improvement. The curriculum is structured to include a broad range of didactic and experiential learning opportunities.

The University of Iowa MHA Competencies are:

I. Leading People

A. Professionalism

  • 1a. Demonstrate effective verbal communication, including but not limited to formal individual and team presentations.
  • 1b. Prepare effective written business communications.
  1. Think critically and assess the potential impact and consequences of decisions in a broad variety of situations.
  2. Commit to ethical professional behavior.
  3. Commit to the personal pursuit of professional development.

B. Team Development

  1. Use leadership practices that support team effectiveness.
  2. Perform effectively on teams and in different team roles as appropriate to the situation.
  3. Support effective conflict management approaches in interpersonal and team situations.
  4. Integrate the knowledge and experiences of other professions, as appropriate, to inform and implement decisions.

II. Managing Resources

A. Finances

  1. Interpret balance sheets and income statements.
  2. Compile and analyze financial information to develop a business plan for a new service or program.
  3. Explain revenue cycle and its impact on financial stability.
  4. Summarize the process for strategic capital formation.

B. Operations

  1. Distinguish different approaches to organizational design for the organization and delivery of healthcare.
  2. Use various improvement tools to address quality, safety, and efficiency goals, including lean techniques and performance monitoring tools.
  3. Develop an evaluation plan based on operational or strategic goals.
  4. Use organizational behavior concepts to solve problems and make decisions in the day-to-day management of healthcare organizations.
  5. Apply concepts and techniques related to the management of human resources in healthcare organizations.
  6. Interpret ethical issues and legal concerns and use appropriate approaches to analyze and resolve them, including recognizing when to seek counsel.

C. Information

  1. Explain the roles of, and relationship between, electronic medical records and financial data systems for clinical and strategic decision-making and for evaluating the quality and efficiency of care.
  2. Analyze data and use the results to address strategic, operational, financial, and quality performance indicators for healthcare organizations.

III. Setting Strategic Direction

  1. Value the roles and relationships of governance, executive leadership, and external stakeholders in strategically addressing the health needs of a community or target population.
  2. Conduct an environmental assessment to identify changing needs/demands of a community, including an analysis of demographics, epidemiological data, organizational capacity, competitor strategies, technological changes, regulatory issues, and payment methods.
  3. Develop a business plan to propose a new service or program, addressing strategic objectives, financial analysis, structural and staffing implications, and evaluation.

IV. Improving Population Health

  1. Appreciate the impact of social and behavioral determinants of health and their interrelationships on health and healthcare delivery.
  2. Distinguish and compare the major settings for, and types of, healthcare services, including individual and population health, and payers.
  3. Explain the process for developing and implementing new policies and regulations at the state and federal levels.
  4. Analyze new healthcare regulations/laws to determine the likely impact on different stakeholders, including care delivery organizations, payers, and individuals.
  5. Analyze the impact of changes to payment mechanisms on healthcare delivery and health outcomes using economic and insurance concepts.
  6. Relate the roles of healthcare and public health in contributing to the health of a defined population.
  7. Assess healthcare workforce need projections and critical issues related to workforce needs for the future