MHA Competencies

The Master of Health Administration Program has adopted the
National Center for Healthcare Leadership competencies model. Three competency
domains (Transformation, Execution and People) and eighteen competencies within
those domains guide the MHA Program curriculum. By the conclusion of the MHA
program, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and application in the
following competencies:

Competency Domain:
– Visioning, energizing, and stimulating a change process
that coalesces communities, patients, and professionals around new models of
healthcare and wellness.

Achievement Orientation: A concern for surpassing a standard
of excellence. The standard may be one’s own past performance (striving for
improvement); an objective measure (results orientation); outperforming others
(competitiveness); challenging goals, or something that has not been done
previously (innovation).

  • Level 4
    Target: Sets and Works to Meet Challenging Goals: Establishes -‘stretch goals’
    for self and others that are realistic and possible to reach; Strives to
    achieve a unique standard (e.g., "No one had ever done it before.");
    Compares specific measures of baseline performance compared with better
    performance at a later point in time (e.g., "When I took over, efficiency
    was 20%; now it is up to 85%.").

Financial Skills:
The ability to understand and explain financial and accounting information,
prepare and manage budgets, and make sound long?term investment decisions.

  • Level 4
    Target: Evaluates Financial Analyses and Investments: Analyzes rate of return,
    net present value, cash flow analyses, and risk-return trade-offs and
    cost-benefit analyses; Analyzes population, disease, utilization data;
    Understands basics of insurance rating and actuarial risk.

Analytical Thinking:
The ability to understand a situation, issue, or problem by breaking it into
smaller pieces or tracing its implications in a step?by?step way. It includes
organizing the parts of a situation, issue, or problem systematically; making
systematic comparisons of different features or aspects; setting priorities on
a rational basis; and identifying time sequences, causal relationships, or
if?then relationships.

  • Level 3
    Target: Recognizes Multiple Relationships; Makes multiple causal links; several
    potential causes of events, several consequences of actions, or multiple-part
    chain of events (A leads to B to C leads to D); analyzes relationships among
    several part of a problem or situation (e.g. anticipates obstacles and thinks
    ahead about next steps, in detail, with multiple steps).

Information Seeking:
An underlying curiosity and desire to know more about things, people, or issues,
including the desire for knowledge and staying current with health,
organizational, industry, and professional trends and developments.

  • Level 3
    Target: Asks a series of probing questions to get at the root of a situation, a
    problem or a potential opportunity below the surface issues presented; call on
    others who are not personally involved to get their perspectives, background
    information, experience etc.

The ability to draw implications and conclusions in light of
the business, economic, demographic, ethno?cultural, political, and regulatory
trends and developments, and to use these insights to develop an evolving
vision for the organization and the health industry that results in long?term
success and viability.

  • Level 1
    Target: Conducts Environmental Scanning: Performs analyses that identify the
    competitive/market, governmental and regulatory, public opinion, scientific and
    technological forces that currently and will shape the organizations;
    identifies the strengths and challenges of the organization vis-a-vis the
    forces today and into the future; identifies the social and economic position
    of the organization in light of the environmental scan.

Competency Domain: Execution – Translating vision and
strategy into optimal organizational performance

The ability to hold people accountable to standards of performance or ensure
compliance using the power of one’s position or force of personality
appropriately and effectively, with the long?term good of the organization in

  • Level 3
    Target: Demands high performance: Imposes new, different, or higher standards
    of performance with little input from others; Insists on compliance with own
    orders or requests; Monitors performance against clear standards; Ensures promised
    results are achieved; Demands high performance, quality and resources; Issues
    clear warning about consequences for non-performance; Shares results with

Communication Skills:
The ability to speak and write in a clear, logical, and grammatical manner in
formal and informal situations, to prepare cogent business presentations, and
to facilitate a group.

  • Level 2
    Target: Prepares effective Written Business Cases or Presentations: Uses
    accurate and complete presentation of facts; Uses logical presentation of
    arguments pro and con; Develops well-reasoned recommendations; Prepares concise
    executive summary.

Impact and Influence:
The ability to persuade and convince others (individuals or groups) to support
a point of view, position, or recommendation.

  • Level 4
    Target: Calculates Impact of Actions or Words: Analyzes the needs, interests,
    and expectations of key stakeholders; Anticipates the effect of an action or
    other detail on people’s image of the speaker; Prepares for other’ reaction;
    Tailors messages to interests and needs of audience; Aligns persuasion actions
    for targeted effects or impact; Takes a well-thought-out dramatic or unusual
    action in order to have a specific impact.

Technology Management:
The ability to see the potential in and understand
the use of administrative and clinical information technology and
decision?support tools in process and performance improvement. Actively
sponsors their utilization and the continuous upgrading of information
management capabilities.

  • Level 1
    Target: Recognizes the Potential of Information Systems in Process and Patient
    Service Improvement: Is familiar with current technology for patient tracking
    (especially registration, billing and records management), financial automation
    and reporting, and reimbursement management; Is open to Automation of
    paper-based processes.

Initiative: The
ability to anticipate obstacles, developments, and problems by looking ahead
several months to over a year.

  • Level 2
    Target: Is Decisive in Time-sensitive Situations Acts quickly and decisively in
    a crisis or other time-sensitive situation; acts with a sense of urgency when
    the norm is to wait, study the situation and hope the problem will resolve

The ability to understand and learn the formal and informal
decision?making structures and power relationships in an organization or
industry (e.g., stakeholders, suppliers). This includes the ability to identify
who the real decision makers are and the individuals who can influence them,
and to predict how new events will affect individuals and groups within the

  • Level 1
    Target: Uses Formal Structure: Uses the
    formal structure of hierarchy of an organization to get things done;
    understands chain of command; positional power, rules and regulations, policies
    and procedures, etc.

The ability to understand and use statistical and financial
methods and metrics to set goals and measure clinical as well as organizational
performance; commitment to and employment of evidence?based techniques.

  • Level 1
    Target: Monitors indicators of performance. Uses knowledge of customers,
    markets and financial and management accounting to track organization
    performance and financial results; implements basic patient tracking (e.g.
    registration, invoicing, third-party payers and operational measurement
    systems. Reports results in an accurate, timely manner that clearly shows
    organization performance.

Process Management
and Organizational Design:
The ability to analyze and design or improve an
organizational process, including incorporating the principles of quality
management as well as customer satisfaction.

  • Level 3
    Target: Evaluates Organization Structure and Design: Assesses organizing
    structures (functional, departmental, service line, etc.) and their advantages
    and disadvantages; understands basic differences in provider structures (i.e.
    practice site, teaching hospital, community hospital, clinic, subacute
    provider); uses organization structure to design and improve performance.

Project Management:
The ability to plan, execute, and oversee a multi?year, large?scale project
involving significant resources, scope, and impact. Examples include the
construction of a major building, implementation of an enterprise?wide system
(patient tracking, SAP), or development of a new service line.

  • Level 3
    Target: Provides oversight and Sponsorship: Identifies project performance
    requirements, including financing and ROI; defines project requirements;
    selects manager; provides project plan and major decision review and oversight;
    acquires resources; manages major obstacles; provides project performance
    reporting and problem solving.

Competency Domain: People – Creating an organizational climate that values employees from all
backgrounds and provides an energizing environment for them. Also includes the
leader’s responsibility to understand his or her impact on others and to
improve his or her capabilities, as well as the capabilities of others.

Human Resources
: The ability to implement staff development and other management
practices that represent contemporary best practices, comply with legal and
regulatory requirements, and optimize the performance of the workforce,
including performance assessments, alternative compensation and benefit
methods, and the alignment of human resource practices and processes to meet
the strategic goals of the organization.

  • Level 1
    Target: Is Familiar with Basic Employment Processes and Law: Demonstrates basic
    knowledge of employment management principles, policies, and law in relation to
    hiring, promotion, or dismissal; applies human resources policies and
    procedures; applies equal opportunity and federal contract compliance
    (EEOC/OFCCP), the disabilities act (ADA), fair labor standards (FLSA) and
    employee income, security, and refinement regulations (ERISA); demonstrates an
    understanding of union/labor principles and practices (e.g. contracting,
    negotiations, grievances process, mediation).

The demonstration of ethics and professional practices, as well as stimulating
social accountability and community stewardship. The desire to act in a way
that is consistent with one’s values and what one says is important.

  • Level 2
    Target: Promotes Organizational Integrity: Ensures that organization adheres to
    honesty and fair dealing with all constituencies, including employees and
    community stakeholders; promotes the development of professional roles/values
    that are compatible with the improvement of health and wellness; serves all
    equally and upholds trustworthiness.

A belief and conviction in one’s own ability, success, and decisions or
opinions when executing plans and addressing challenges.

  • Level 2
    Target: Acts Confidently at the limits or slightly beyond the limits of Job or
    Role: Makes decisions without asking others; makes decisions even when others
    disagree; acts outside formal role or authority; acts in uncertain

Change Leadership:
The ability to energize stakeholders and sustain their commitment to changes in
approaches, processes and strategies.

  • Level 2
    Target: Expresses Vision for Change: Defines an explicit vision for change
    (i.e. what should be different and how); modifies or redefines a previous
    vision in specific terms; outlines strategies for change.