Healthcare Leadership

Healthcare MBA Essentials

The comprehensive general management course for high-potential healthcare leaders

About the Course

IHLM’s Healthcare MBA Essentials course combines structured learning with personalised, one-on-one coaching to take participants on a “deep-dive” into the business and management practices that enable modern healthcare organisations to develop clinical and commercial advantages in challenging operating environments.

The course is designed to prepare high-potential healthcare leaders for more senior roles and greater responsibilities.  It features absorbing case studies and insights from all of the core disciplines you would study during an MBA programme at a world-ranked business school, including:

  • high-performance healthcare leadership
  • healthcare strategy, planning and execution
  • healthcare operations and patient flow management
  • digital healthcare transformation
  • healthcare financial management, productivity and cost control

Delivered via IHLM’s online e-learning platform and virtual tutorials, you will become part of a global community learning how to transform the performance of their healthcare organisation.

What you’ll learn

On completion of this course you’ll be able to:

  • understand the management practices that lead to high-performing healthcare organisations
  • understand the impact of teamwork on healthcare outcomes and improve the performance of your team
  • understand the leadership competencies and behaviours that are associated with superior performance
  • critically reflect on your unit or department’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • communicate and deliver a strategic plan using Strategy Maps, Balanced Scorecards and strategic projects
  • understand the four decision areas through which operational excellence in healthcare is achieved
  • evaluate digital healthcare innovations and technologies and measure their potential benefits for patients
  • measure, analyse and improve the financial health of your healthcare unit or department
  • map and analyse patient journeys to understand the costs of their care and identify improvement opportunities
  • improve productivity, reduce the costs of care and enhance the profitability of your unit or department

How you’ll learn

This course is broken down into ten manageable weekly modules:

  • work at your own speed through a carefully curated collection of self-paced online learning materials that include video lectures, podcasts, interviews and real-world case studies
  • evidence-based research from peer-reviewed publications will help you dig more deeply into topics that really interest you
  • you are not alone – you will interact with other course members, collaborate on learning activities and get direct feedback and coaching from the course leader during weekly virtual tutorials
  • earn professional certification by completing weekly learning activities and mini-projects

This course should take approximately 4 – 6 hours per week.  You can expect to devote about 1 – 2 hours per week to watching video lectures and reading learning materials, 1 – 2 hours per week preparing for and participating in the virtual tutorial and 1 – 2 hours per week applying your knowledge through learning activities and practical assignments.  Every virtual tutorial is recorded so you can rewatch it at any time.

Who should take this course?

This course has been designed for high-potential healthcare leaders from both clinical and non-clinical backgrounds who already lead a team, unit or function and want to prepare themselves for more senior roles and greater responsibilities. It will be particularly suitable for anyone who wants an introduction to all of the fundamental business and management disciplines that are studied during an MBA programme at a world-ranking business school, as they apply to healthcare.

About the certificate

Upon successful completion of the course you’ll receive an IHLM Certificate of CPD Completion.  This may be useful for course members who belong to professional bodies that have Continuing Professional Development requirements.  The course has an estimated 60 hours of guided learning.

How to register

Ready to start?  Just click the ‘Register now’ button at the top of this page or use the ‘Ask us a question’ button if you’d like to talk to one of our course facilitators.  The fee for this course is £995 per person.  If you’d like to pay in instalments you can arrange this by contacting us at:

We provide discounts to organisations registering 3 or more staff in the course and can also provide a customised in-house version tailored to your organisation’s specific needs.

All registrations are subject to our terms and conditions which are available here. By registering for an IHLM course you are accepting these terms and conditions and agreeing to be bound by them.


Module 1: What Makes a High-Performing Healthcare Organisation?

Every healthcare provider needs to deliver high quality care to patients.  But how do we define “high quality care” and what are the practices and behaviours through which it is achieved?  In this module we consider the types of performance outcome that define a successful healthcare service and the characteristics of high-performing healthcare providers.  The topics covered in this module include:

  • the standards that must be achieved in order for a healthcare organisation or service to be described as ‘high-performing’
  • the characteristics of high-performing healthcare organisations
  • what ‘high performance’ means for your unit or department

Module 2: What Makes a High-Performing Healthcare Team?

Despite the wealth of evidence-based research that demonstrates a consistent link between teamwork and patient outcomes, we frequently undervalue and neglect the importance of co-ordination and integration in the delivery of care. In this module we therefore take a detailed look at how to lead effective teams and transform their performance.  The topics covered in this module include:

  • the impact of effective teamwork and why it is so important in healthcare
  • the major obstacles to effective team-working in healthcare
  • how to measure and observe the effectiveness of a healthcare team
  • how to develop your healthcare team and improve their performance

Module 3: What Makes a High-Performing Healthcare Leader?

In this module we will be exploring the most influential factor that shapes the culture and success of healthcare organisations: leadership.  We will review the evidence on what makes a high-performing healthcare leader and explore how you can develop your own leadership qualities.  The topics covered in this module include:

  • the leadership behaviours associated with superior performance in healthcare organisations,
  • the role of competencies and competency models in defining what leadership means, and
  • how to assess and reflect on your personal leadership qualities and continuously develop yourself as a healthcare leader.

Module 4: Developing a Strategic Plan

For many healthcare organisations, success means delivering high quality, safe, patient-centred care.  But for others there is the additional challenge of gaining and sustaining a competitive advantage over rivals.  In this module we examine how healthcare providers can understand their “marketplace” and the needs of their patients in order to plan for success.  The topics covered in this module include:

  • what is meant by ‘strategy’ and ‘strategic planning’ and why they are essential to the success of healthcare organisations
  • how to understand the threats and opportunities facing your healthcare service or organisation by analysing your macroeconomic environment, your competitive environment and your customer’s needs
  • how to critically reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of your unit, department or organisation and identify priorities for improvement

Module 5: Executing a Strategic Plan

In our previous module we looked at how to analyse the internal and external factors that influence a healthcare organisation’s strategic choices and identify priorities for improvement in order to develop a strategic plan.  In this module we shift our focus to how healthcare leaders make strategy happen.  The topics covered in this module include:

  • how to communicate our vision and goals using Strategy Maps
  • how to use Balanced Scorecards containing measures, targets and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track progress towards achievement of our strategic goals
  • how to design a portfolio of strategic projects and initiatives capable of delivering our strategic goals

Module 6: Managing Healthcare Operations

In the first module of our second workshop we explore what healthcare operations management is and why the performance it results in can make or break a healthcare organisation or service.  The topics covered in this module include:

  • how volume, variety, variation and visibility explain the differences between different types of healthcare service
  • how healthcare services align their resources, capabilities and processes with their performance objectives
  • the four major decision areas of the healthcare operations manager: capacity, purchasing and supply, process technology and improvement

Module 7: Digital Healthcare Transformation

Technology has far too profound an impact on the delivery of healthcare services for decisions about its use to be left solely to technical specialists.  In this module we explore the role a healthcare leader should take in deciding what digital innovations to invest in and when to use them.  The topics covered in this module include:

  • what are digital healthcare innovations and why do they matter in healthcare?
  • using a digital innovation roadmap to identify your service’s potential future needs
  • how to evaluate a new technology and decide whether to use it

Module 8: Understanding Financial Performance in Healthcare

There have never been more financial demands placed on healthcare organisations than there are today.  So in this module we consider what makes a healthcare service financially sustainable and profitable, as well as how to measure financial performance in healthcare.  The topics covered in this module include:

  • what financial performance means for a healthcare organisation or service
  • how to read the basic financial statements common to all healthcare organisations
  • the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) used to measure and analyse financial performance in healthcare
  • how to use these metrics to analyse the financial health of your healthcare organisation or service

Module 9: Calculating the Costs of Care

How much does it cost your healthcare organisation to deliver an episode of patient care? When you deduct this from the payment your organisation receives from the patient or their insurer, have you made a profit or suffered a loss?  In this module we will learn the techniques healthcare managers use to answer these vital questions.  The topics covered in this module include:

  • what is meant by a Care Delivery Value Chain (CDVC) and how it helps managers to analyse how healthcare value is created and delivered
  • know how to map a patient journey in order to understand the costs of their care and identify opportunities to improve value and reduce costs
  • the benefits of Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing (TDABC) in healthcare and how to use it

Module 10: Controlling Costs and Transforming Productivity

Having considered how to measure and understand financial performance, we now turn our attention to the strategies through which the financial performance of a healthcare organisation can be improved or transformed.  The topics covered in this module include:

  • how to match capacity and demand by improving productivity, reducing the variability of patient flow and solving productivity challenges
  • how the upstream and downstream linkages that connect a hospital to its suppliers affect its financial performance
  • the potential role of big data, data analytics and digital technology in improving the capacity and productivity of a hospital’s assets
  • how performance improvement projects can be used to reduce costs and increase productivity


Course Leader

Benedict Stanberry

Course Factfile

  • Next session: 18 April 2024
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Commitment: 4-6 hours a week
  • Qualification: Certificate
  • Cost: £995
  • Location: Online

Find out more about Healthcare MBA Essentials


More courses

All courses


  • What is a mini MBA and who is it for?

    October 18, 2023

    Pretty much everyone working in business or management has heard of the MBA degree. However, few healthcare leaders have the time, money or need for such a lengthy and expensive programme.

  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

    September 8, 2022

    IHLM is deeply saddened by the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty was patron of more than 600 charities, many of them in the field of health and medical care.

Upcoming Courses