Healthcare Project Management

What is it like to be a project manager in healthcare
I was a 12 year employee in the UK healthcare sector.
During a discussion for Clubhouse’s Project Management Club, I spoke with Nada Abandah (a project manager in PMO for Dubai Health Authority) about the challenges of working in healthcare.
We also answered questions from the audience regarding healthcare PM.
What is the best thing about being an administrator in healthcare?
Nada: You can see how the industry impacts people’s health differently than other industries. There is pressure, but also a sense if purpose.
Elizabeth: Healthcare projects directly impact patient care. It’s easy to see how your project is helping patients.
How was it to deal with the coronavirus response.
Nada: It has been important to be efficient, fast, and courageous. Also, not being afraid to make mistakes and fix them. It has re-engineered many things, including norms, and it has allowed for many things to be re-examined. We have seen how much potential there is in letting go of rigid processes.
Elizabeth: I quit healthcare just before COVID-19 was implemented to concentrate on my independent practice as an instructor and mentor for project managers. However, I still do some client-related project work. I believe that non-healthcare PMs have seen more flexibility and willingness for change as a result the changes in the workplace over the past year.
What certificates are required to be a healthcare project manager?
Nada: Start by deciding what you want from a career as a PM. Then, start an online course to make sure it aligns with your career goals.
How can I transition from my pharmacy position to a role in strategic project management?
Elizabeth: There are many tech projects related to pharmacy and drug management. This could be a route in. You’ll be able to use your valuable experience as a clinician to help with project prioritisation, strategic decision making, and other aspects.
You might want to start out with project management experience, then move on to a position where you are more strategic.
What skills are required to succeed in healthcare management?
Nada: One size doesn’t fit all. Different methodologies work for different healthcare projects. We have customized the methodology that we use for healthcare, as well as the type of project. Different ways of assessing stakeholders are used. It must place the patient at the center of the outcome.
We have created a healthcare competency framework that is unique to our environment.
I have noticed a shift to agile working methods. Is this the same trend in healthcare?
Elizabeth: Agile can be used in healthcare. It was used in our hybrid environment where IT and Marketing teams worked together to manage their work.
The overall work was managed by the program manager. It wasn’t agile. However, it is possible to combine project approaches to ensure the best fit between the work and the teams.
Nada: While I don’t see any resistance to traditional project management, there is definitely an interest in the results and delivering benefits. You should adapt your method to the environment.
Do I need to continue with a public-health degree if I decide to go into PM?
Nada: Yes! This supports the drive to support wellbeing and projects that support it. You can add PM qualifications later. You’d be unstoppable!
Could you please talk about the education requirements for PMP?
Elizabeth: You must have 35 hours of project management training. If you have a degree with project management training, this would count. Many people choose to take a PMP prep course, which provides the necessary contact hours and the knowledge to pass the exam.
You will also need to have project management experience.