The majority of, if not all, universities that award the Doctor of Health Administration (D.H.A.) degree offer an online format for prospective students. Some programs are entirely online. It is a viable option if you’re like most people who could use a flexible schedule in pursuing a higher education degree and advancing their career.

Hospitals entertain an endless surge of patients. Medical professionals ensure that all of them get the help and treatment they need. The direction from and guidance of Doctors of Health Administration make this possible.

What does a health administrator do?

A health administrator is a leader in the healthcare industry who manages the financial, organizational, and technological operation in medical institutions. They are equipped with leadership skills to implement systems in the healthcare industry.

One of the core functions of health administration is financial management. A health administrator calculates medical expenses and, from that data, decide on the most cost-effective course of action. Through cost-benefit analysis, medical practitioners can optimize health services and giving their patients the best experience.

On a macro level, health administrators work in regional, national, or global health organizations in addressing epidemiological concerns. In other words, health administrations are the geniuses that prevent HIV, Ebola, bird flu, and other outbreaks from potentially harming communities. They stop the spread of diseases by tracking human patterns in migration, tourism, trade, and other transport opportunities.

Aside from taking charge of money and administrative matters, health administrators also pay close attention to Information Technology. They utilize cutting-edge technology to handle responsibilities that pertain to population health and management.

By being involved in the financial, bureaucratic, and technical process of medical businesses, health administrators are the key persons who aid legislators in developing policies related to health care.

What sort of accreditation should I look for in a school?

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides accreditation to all tertiary level academic programs in the country including D.H.A. Accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) that may supplement to the school’s eligibility to open online programs.

Affiliation with professional organizations such as the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) and American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) certainly helps improve a D.H.A. institution’s reputation.

How do I earn my D.H.A. degree?

To enter a D.H.A program, you must have a master’s degree related to public health. Medical professionals, doctors, nurses, dentists, and more are encouraged to take their educational level a notch higher. Bachelor’s degree holders may also apply in a straight program wherein students earn a master’s degree in the same university with less coursework requirement upon proceeding with the D.H.A. program.

If you are studying full-time, you can finish the D.H.A. program within 3 to 5 years. Study on a part-time basis and earn your D.H.A. degree in  7 to 10 years.

The written research requirement varies depending on your school. Some universities require students to write a dissertation while others have them work on a “doctoral project” or a capstone project. These deliverables are necessary to develop the research skills of graduate students while also give them opportunities to contribute to health. The final project of D.H.A. programs involves quantitative research methodologies and comparative studies of different health services around the globe.

You might encounter the Sca.D. title (salutem cura administrationem in Latin) which is an equivalent doctorate of Doctor of Health Administration (D.H.A.).

What type of degree do I need to pursue research or educate others in Health Administration?

Due to its interdisciplinary nature, D.H.A. programs have quite an impressive faculty lineup. Professors come from the medical, scientific, and business sectors and are holders for D.H.A., PhD., Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), medical doctors (M.D./D.O.) or equivalent degrees. Some professors may also have a multifaceted set of credentials, for instance, MBA and Ph.D.

Scholarly endeavors in Health Administrations are publishable in journals and books related to health, business, and social sciences.

What kind of career and salary can I expect with my Doctor of Health Administration (D.H.A.) degree?

Health administrators work as officials in medical institutions. Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that medical and health services managers make an average of $98,350 annually. Health administrators with D.H.A. degrees who work in big hospitals earn as much as $207,000 per year.

This professional field is expected to grow as demand rises on account of more baby-boomers seeking quality healthcare.

Do I need a license to be a health administrator?

Most states do not require licensing requirements for healthcare administrators. However, certification matters most in this field. If you have an advanced degree like the Doctor of Health Administration (D.H.A.), your co-workers and patients trust that you are a highly trained specialist in the field. Aside from your diploma, membership with ACHE is valuable in the medical community.

What schools offer D.H.A. degrees?

Most universities offer D.H.A. programs in an online format. The following schools guarantee a 100% distance learning experience:  A.T. Still University (ATSU) in Kirksville, Missouri; Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio; and the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona. Take note that online courses may be the usual scenario for these institutions above, yet on rare occasions, the school might demand mandatory face-to-face interactions.

While advertising in an online format, these universities adopt a hybrid format in their D.H.A. curriculum: Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina; The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi; and Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, MI.

Do you have the brains and the passion that it takes to become an expert in healthcare administration and rise to its challenge? Earning a Doctor of Health Administration (D.H.A.) degree may unlock opportunities for you to become part of the ever-growing health care field.