“If ever there was a good time for a healthcare worker to do an MBA, it’s now.”
That’s how Claire Johnston describes the increasing demand for business skills and strategic thinking in a healthcare industry rapidly evolving to meet modern challenges.
Claire is the Manager of Cardiac Services at Mater Hospital and is applying learnings from her UQ MBA in the newly created role tasked with growing the department, driving innovation and delivering the highest quality patient care.
Claire said the number of healthcare professionals undertaking MBA study had increased as the health industry rapidly advanced.
“There has been a significant change in the way health organisations and healthcare is run in the last few years. It’s no longer just seen as purely technical healthcare,” Claire said.
“We’re essential workers, but we’re also expected to grow healthcare and run as a business to help cover costs and staff accordingly, so we can continue to provide best practice patient care.
“A medical degree, nursing degree or physiotherapy degree does not equip people with the skills needed to deal with all the issues you end up having to deal with in this profession.
“Healthcare is multifaceted, and there’s a need for foundational understandings of business practices and strategic thinking. That’s why an MBA is a must.”
“My day-to-day is so diverse. One day I can be face-to-face with a patient pulling a femoral arterial sheath, and the next day I could be in an executive state-wide planning meeting looking at what data management system we need.
Claire said during the pandemic, the business of healthcare had grown even faster, and leaders had identified gaps.
“Increasing pressure has been put on the healthcare industry since COVID-19 hit, highlighting that we need that foundation of business to grow it and better prepare us,” she said.
“The biggest elements of leadership in healthcare are centred around strategic thinking, strategic planning and tackling key issues such as patient monitoring solutions and project management.”
“Completing an MBA provides you with a breadth of knowledge and understanding across a number of different areas that allow you to problem solve, enhance capabilities and execute growth opportunities.
“The UQ MBA gives me the skills I need every day.”
UQ MBA Training Health Leaders
The UQ MBA was ranked as Queensland’s No.1 MBA program by The Economist in 2021. The program is designed to equip professionals to become leaders by arming them with dynamic skills across 12 courses, teaching them how to have a birds-eye view of a complex organisation to make strategic and impactful decisions.
Students with a health background can complete projects based on the industry to put learnings into practice in a hands-on way.
Claire said the healthcare industry required a clinical foundation, but the strong business understanding gained from the UQ MBA was critical at a leadership level “to help you get through every single day”.
“When you reach management level in healthcare, you’re now expected to be an all-rounder with an increased level of business acumen,” she said.
“Every day, the level of HR management is significant and continuous improvement activities are ongoing.
“The reality is that you won’t get employed in a senior leadership position in healthcare without a postgraduate qualification.
“I think the well-rounded business skills an MBA gives me are just as crucial as my clinical skills.
“Being able to plan strategically for growth at many levels requires an understanding of many different perspectives. I actually think completing an MBA is vital for patient care to be improved.”