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Certificate in Introduction to Health Care Management

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Programme Summary

The CPE Office of the University of the West Indies, Open Campus has developed a continuing education programme Introduction to Healthcare Management.  This programme was borne out of the need to provide first level support for healthcare workers who wanted to progress in their careers by obtaining formal introductory training in healthcare management. The programme will consist of 120 contact hours geared towards equipping individuals with the foundation knowledge, skills and competencies required to function effectively in the healthcare management industry.


In health, like the aviation industry, the consequence of making wrong decisions can result in sickness (morbidity) and death (mortality). Health needs a team environment of multiple specialities (managers, doctors, nurses, orderlies, medical records personnel, pharmacists, nutritionists, social workers, medical laboratory technicians, radiographers, pathology workers, biomedical technicians and many others) to do the work of caring for the health needs of the sick, and to do their part in prevention and delaying or avoiding complications. In a world increasingly impacted by growing health needs and decreasing budgets, there is the need for those who lead and those aspiring to lead, to make good and informed decisions with limited resources.

Healthcare management may be defined as the body of professional knowledge that provides leadership to organizations that deliver personal health services, and to divisions, departments, units or services within those organizations.[1]  Diseases have existed and plagued mankind for centuries. Hospitals health centres and other health institutions have developed to meet the needs of the sick, the diseases that they live with, within the existing culture, technological context and environment of the time. Historically, improvised hospitals existed in tents, ambulances, trains, ships, schools, churches and airplanes to provide care for soldiers and in times of disaster. Breakthrough discoveries in medicine, management, leadership, quality and technology revolutionised the health sector. Modern healthcare management therefore needs to embody all of the many disciplines that have positively impacted it and bring international best practices of care and management to the sick of the Caribbean.

Programme Aims And Objectives

This certificate programme in health care management aims to build the capacity of health professionals and those interested in leading the health care sector and its composite institutions. The objectives include:

  1. To provide participants with formal knowledge relevant to health care management.
  2. To provide insights into best practices in the various topic areas.
  3. To encourage cross-functional team and project learning.
  4. To use exercises and projects as research tools to gather data to start building the health capacity of individuals and institutions.
  5. To formally assess competence in the subject matter through a combination of projects and examinations.


Programme Structure

Course Codes

Course Titles

Continuing Education Units

Semester I


Primary Healthcare



Healthcare Management


Semester II


Health Leadership



Health Quality



When Will The Programme Start?

Contact your nearest Open Campus Country Site on the start date for the programme. 

How Do I Apply?

Kindly contact an Open Campus Country Site location nearest to you for further information on the application process.

Entry Requirements

Participants are encouraged to possess some working experience, interest or knowledge of the health sector.

Programme Duration

The duration of the programme is one academic year.

How Much Will This Programme Cost?

The cost for this programme may be obtained at Open Campus Country Sites.  Please contact your nearest Open Campus Site for information on the cost for this programme.

Assessment Structure

A model of continuous in-course assessment is proposed for all courses to be offered in this programme. This health care management programme will provide assessment through a multiple choice quiz, essays, individual assignments, group projects and formal presentations. Students will be assessed at different intervals over the duration of each course as an alternative to mid-semesters and final examinations. Continuous assessment is learner-focused and reduces anxiety with respect to the finality of testing. Students are provided with more than one opportunity to develop mastery and as a result, develop their own pace as they progress through each course. This assessment method, therefore, enhances learning since students will be able to remediate weaknesses before each course ends.

Course Of Study

Primary Healthcare: This is the first point of contact with the health institution. In most countries this will be the health centres or local doctor’s office. This course will show the various issues that impact primary healthcare (PHC), what managers need to understand about its management, what international best practice (e.g. the World Health Organization) has said about PHC, how the Caribbean region has responded to PHC and what still needs to be done.

Healthcare Management: This is the science and art of planning, directing, organising and controlling resources related to health. This will examine managerial styles, issues impacting health management and provide a first step of formal training for those who intend to manage health.  Topics will also include ‘Understanding and analysing the healthcare environment’ and ‘Organisation theory and health services management’.

Health Leadership: This course will explain the difference between leadership and management, and it includes topics such as leadership skill, behavioural style perspectives, leadership models and leading and respecting clinical professionals. Continuous improvement of your leadership is a critical skill of functioning effectively in the health industry. Good health leadership makes a positive difference and this is seen from the first point of contact (e.g. the Emergency Room in a hospital) to creating the effective selling an idea in the Management Team meetings with the CEO.

Health Quality: Quality in healthcare can make the difference between a surgeon avoiding medical error in cutting off the wrong leg or how to comfort patients and treat them with respect. To those who want to lead in the healthcare industry, quality adds the value atop the other disciplines in measuring and evaluating how the level of healthcare provided is assessed against international standards. Participants will be exposed to topics such as what is quality, why is there the need to improve the healthcare system, what are the components of quality in healthcare, how to determine what to monitor, how to assess performance, developing a monitoring system and healthcare standards and accreditation.