University extension campuses and continuing education departments often provide certificate programs in health care management, with graduate certificates also sometimes available. Certificate programs do not require a general education component.
Most distance learning health care certificate programs can be completed entirely online through asynchronous lectures, readings and examinations. Unlike campus-based programs, these may allow students to enroll and begin courses immediately. Once enrolled, students can typically progress at their own pace. Many distance learning programs have specific online libraries and study materials always available to students.
Generally, health care certificate programs include between 5-7 classes, all of which directly relate to the specific certificate. Course examples include the following:
Health Care Management and Leadership
Examines the organizational structure of health care organizations. In addition, it explores topics in human resources, team building and performance analysis.
Health Care Financial Management
Centers around accounting, budgeting, financial statement preparation and reporting practices specific to health care organizations. Also looks at things related to investing, managing resources and analyzing finances.
Health Care Marketing
Teaches how to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats applicable to marketing within a health care organization. May also discuss the marketing fundamentals of product, pricing, promotions and placement as it relates to this industry.
Online health care courses can vary significantly depending on the specialization of the program. For example, the following courses are offered typically in a distance learning health care ethics certificate program:
- Ethical Considerations for Health Care Delivery
- Issues in Death and Dying
- Legal Considerations for Health Care Delivery
- End of Life Care
Other specializations may include:
- Medical coding
- Health education
Distance learning health care certificate programs can prepare graduates for entry-level positions in an array of fields in the medical industry. While some students use certificate programs as building blocks in pursuit of more advanced health care fields, the certificate also serves as a terminal program for its area of specialization. Possible positions include:
- Health services manager
- Geriatric care manager
- Medical coding specialist
- Medical transcriptionist
Online health care certificate programs are extremely flexible, allowing students to take courses in the business-related aspects of the field without having to worry about specific course hours or assignment deadlines. Graduates are can pursue entry-level jobs in health care administration.