Should I Become a Hospital Analyst?
A hospital analyst is a type of research analyst who gathers data and transforms it into relevant information used by a hospital in the development of strategic plans for the long term, in addition to tracking the effects of assorted initiatives. These professionals develop analytical tools that review market share and profitability, expenses, operational volumes, and service utilization.
Hospital analysts typically ensure the accuracy of project data, including data mining and distribution, extraction, processing, analysis, manipulation and storage, and interact with facility administrators. Additional duties may include ensuring data integrity; providing planning, coordination and analytical support on a variety of projects; and performing complex analyses using forecasting, modeling and statistical analysis methodologies.
Typically, these professionals work in a comfortable office atmosphere. However, they might be subject to a great deal of stress, since the analysis they provide can be used to make major decisions in the administration of a business, like a hospital.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree required, some employers may prefer a master's degree|
|Degree Fields||Statistics, economics, finance, business, accounting, healthcare, social science, mathematics|
|Experience||2-3 years of experience preferred|
|Key Skills||Analytical, interpersonal, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, writing, and math skills; familiarity with Microsoft Office, database management software, programming languages, and other tools to prepare analytical requests|
|Salary (2015)||$84,180 yearly (median for all operations research analysts, including hospital analysts)|
Sources: Job postings by employers, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET OnLine
Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Let's look at the steps required to become a hospital analyst.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Most employers require that hospital analysts have a minimum of a bachelor's degree. This degree can be in a variety of fields, such as finance, business, accounting, economics, healthcare, statistics, or mathematics. Since this career relies heavily on quantitative analysis, students should take extensive coursework in mathematics, including calculus, linear algebra, and statistics. Other courses that might help students succeed as hospital analysts include computer science, political science, economics, and engineering.
Aspiring hospital analysts should also develop strong communication skills. Employers value candidates who are strong communicators and can communicate effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds. Analysts who can communicate with managers and others within an organization will likely have the most favorable prospects. To develop these skills, one might consider taking courses in public speaking, psychology, and English.
Having a background in commonly-used programs and software also might give candidates a competitive edge upon entering the job market. Most employers prefer candidates who are experienced in Microsoft Office and database management software, as well as various programming languages. To get an idea of the types of software with which hospital analysts need to be familiar, students can look at job postings from various employers.
Consider a Master's Degree
Step 2: Consider a Master's Degree
Many employers prefer candidates who have earned a master's degree. Individuals with a graduate degree in management science, operations research, or a related field tend to have the best job opportunities. As a student in a master's program in operations research, one can expect to take courses in mathematical statistics, operations research practice, linear algebra, and applied statistical analysis. Coursework for a master's in management science might include system dynamics, system simulation, applied operations research, and applied engineering statistics.
Acquire Work Experience
Step 3: Acquire Work Experience
Aspiring hospital analysts should have at least 2-3 years of relevant work experience, preferably in the healthcare field. One can gain this type of experience by pursuing entry-level positions at clinics and hospitals.
In summary, hospital analysts need at least a bachelor's degree in finance, healthcare, statistics, or a related field, while a master's degree in management science or operations research could improve job opportunities. Hospital analysts also need relevant work experience, which can be attained in a healthcare setting.