Health Services Administration (HSA) involves the body of knowledge and experience of the effective organization of health care delivery systems. It is a discipline necessary to the proper and successful provision of public health and the care of populations, as well as in the organization of systems to deliver care to individual patients, and it is firmly rooted in the societal values and cultures of a community and nation. Health Services Administration is not simply managing resources, rather it encompasses leadership, insight, planning, and an ability to deal with uncertainty based on learned skills and concepts. These concepts include organizational theory, human resource management and leadership, technology assessment and operating concepts, importance of measurement and feedback in designing and improving work systems, the politics of policy making and alliances within organizations and how to effect change within an organization to maintain currency. Another important concept in health services administration is the approach to the future of health care delivery and how to overcome barriers and anticipate difficulties. The HSA track in the Masters of Public Health curriculum is designed to provide practitioners with these insights and knowledge.
Since 1995, Congress has required the Secretary of Defense to certify that the individuals who command military treatment facilities are fully trained and qualified to do so. The Department has developed a list of 40 competencies to be attained by military personnel prior to assuming command; the high level, integrative competencies on this list are all taught in the HSA track. The U.S. Army specifically desires its command track individuals to have special expertise in HSA and selects individuals for attendance in the MPH program in the HSA track.
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