Public Health Policy for Hospital Administrators

Public health is an often-overlooked sector of healthcare that is nonetheless quite important for a strong, well-functioning society.

According to the World Health Organization, a health policy “refers to decisions, plans, and actions that are undertaken to achieve specific health care goals within a society.” Such policies are important for building visions of a healthier future, and building or refining these policies can even be a career trajectory of its own.

Health policy and hospital administration?

You may be wondering what public health policy has to do with hospital administration. Perhaps you’ve never considered what a career in public health would look like.

While hospital administration is a fulfilling career of its own, some within it may eventually want to go on to other sectors with the field of health. Policy work can offer an opportunity for administrators to use their talents in new and relevant ways.

Skills in organization, data management, analysis, detailed reading, and working with a variety of stakeholders are attributes hospital administrators possess that can also be helpful for a career in public health.

Public health policy is actually an excellent career transition for those in hospital administration, because in order to set good policy, you have to intimately know the issue you are talking about. Having worked on the inside of the healthcare system, hospital administrators can offer insights on setting new rules and regulations that actually make sense for patients, healthcare providers, administrators, and the general public alike.

Case Study: Health in All Policies

For an example of public health policy in action, there’s no better place to start than Health in All Policies. Heath in All Policies looks at socioeconomic factors of health such as educational attainment, housing, and transportation. It promotes positive outcomes in those areas in order to ultimately improve health and quality of living for all residents.

Health in All Policies work is one example of the ways in which pursuing public health goals can help hospitals and other healthcare institutions as well. If neighborhood populations are healthier as a whole, such institutions could see improved patient health and reduced patient loads.

Other policies that promote health

But Health in All Policies is certainly not the only approach to improving health and wellbeing on a big scale. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website lists public health initiatives as diverse as Alzheimer’s disease and chronic illness planning to environmental disaster and vaccine preparedness.

Having a national or state level initiative for various diseases is a big factor in not letting such illnesses get out of hand, as well as in ensuring that the proper research is being conducted to help reduce the impact of such illnesses in the future. Developing the proper research, in turn, can be a way to ensure that hospitals and other healthcare institutions have the tools that they need to fight illness.

Overall, public health policy offers an exciting supplementary career to healthcare administration. With some creativity, and a lot of perseverance, public health policymakers can affect real change for generations to come.