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 nineteen 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:
Transformation – 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.

Strategic Orientation:
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 mind.

  • 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 stakeholders.

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.

Information 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.

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 itself.

Organizational Awareness:
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 organization.

  • 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.

Performance Measurement:
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 multiyear, 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 Management:
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.

Self Confidence:
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 circumstances.

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.

Team Leadership:
The ability to see oneself as a leader of others, from forming a top team, that possesses balanced capabilities to setting the mission, values, and norms, as well as to holding the team members accountable individually and as a group for results.

  • Level 3
    Target: Creates the conditions that enable the team to perform at its best (e.g., setting clear direction, providing appropriate structure, getting the right people); determines team membership (including selection and dismissal), team assignments, performance management, and team development actions in a manner that promotes team morale and productivity; obtains input from others to promote the effectiveness of the group or process; builds team spirit for purposes of promoting the effectiveness of the group or process.

This page was last modified on May 20, 2019