Healthcare Leadership

Healthcare MBA Essentials

The comprehensive general management programme for mid-level healthcare leaders

About the Programme

Now in its 13th successful year, IHLM’s Healthcare MBA Essentials programme 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 programme is designed to prepare mid-level healthcare leaders and managers 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
  • Strategy and Competition in Healthcare
  • Transforming Financial Performance and Delivering Value
  • Patient Experience and Service Excellence
  • Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Delivered via IHLM’s online e-learning platform, through live interactive Zoom webinars and one-to-one coaching, 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 programme you’ll be able to:

  • develop the personal qualities that will make you a more effective healthcare leader
  • improve the performance of your healthcare team, unit or department
  • identify the performance outcomes that define a successful healthcare service or organisation
  • understand the strategic opportunities your organisation faces and the choices it can make
  • analyse the financial performance of your team, unit or department
  • implement practices that can increase productivity and transform the value of care
  • understand the needs and expectations of contemporary patients and their families
  • discover strategies for making care more patient-centred, compassionate and responsive
  • learn how innovations in healthcare business models are creating the next generation of healthcare enterprises
  • use digital innovations and progressive new techniques to improve the quality of care

How you’ll learn

This programme is broken down into ten manageable weekly modules:

  • work through a carefully curated collection of 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
  • one-to-one coaching sessions with the programme director will enable you to establish your personal learning objectives and apply what you learn in your workplace
  • you are not alone – you will interact with other programme members, discuss the module content and collaborate on learning activities during weekly Zoom webinars facilitated by IHLM faculty
  • get feedback and earn professional certification by submitting weekly learning activities and practical assignments

This programme 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 webinar and 1 – 2 hours per week applying your knowledge through learning activities and practical assignments.  Every webinar is recorded so you can rewatch it at any time.

Who should take this programme?

This programme 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 programme you’ll receive an IHLM Certificate of CPD Completion. This may be useful for programme members who belong to professional bodies that have Continuing Professional Development requirements.  The programme 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 programme managers.  The fee for this programme 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 programme 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 programme you are accepting these terms and conditions and agreeing to be bound by them.


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

In our opening 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
  • how to assess and reflect on your personal leadership qualities and continuously develop yourself as a healthcare leader

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 many types of healthcare team
  • why teamwork matters in healthcare
  • the most common obstacles to effective team-working
  • 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 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 many external factors that influence and affect performance in healthcare
  • the characteristics of high-performing healthcare organisations
  • what ‘high performance’ means for your unit or department

Module 4: Understanding Your Strategic Choices

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 webinar 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

Module 5: Making Strategic Decisions

In our previous module we looked at how to analyse the external factors that influence a healthcare organisation’s strategic choices. In this module we shift our focus to look inside our organisation, understand our strengths and weaknesses and align them with the threats and opportunities we are facing. The topics covered in this module include:

  • understanding your organisation or unit’s strengths and weaknesses,
  • how to use an understanding of organisational strengths and weaknesses, and of opportunities and threats in the external environment, to formulate a strategic plan, and
  • the essential steps necessary to turn strategy into action.

Module 6: Understanding Financial Performance

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 7: Transforming Financial Performance

Having considered, in the previous module, 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 challenge
  • 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

Module 8: Delivering Patient-Centred Care

In this module we will explore how the needs and expectations of patients and their families have changed over the generations and discover how these changes have influenced what it means, today, to be ‘patient-centred’. The topics covered in this module include:

  • how and why the healthcare consumer differs from consumers of other types of service
  • how the attitudes and expectations of today’s patients are changing
  • the role and importance of patient experience in the delivery of high quality care
  • what is meant by ‘patient-centred’ care and the main practices and behaviours through which patient-centred care is delivered

Module 9: Transforming Patient Experience

In the previous module we explored what patients want and what patient-centred care is – but the hard part is delivering it. In this module we will discover how to use patient journey maps to improve patient’s experiences of many different types of care. The topics covered in this module include:

  • why the patient journey matters and how it influences satisfaction, revenues and outcomes
  • the main steps involved in researching and mapping patient’s current experiences of receiving care from your healthcare organisation or service
  • the many types of information that can be included in a patient journey map – including the clinical, transactional, psychological and emotional experiences of patients, families and caregivers
  • how to review a patient journey map, identify improvement opportunities and then redesign care to better meet patient’s needs and expectations

Module 10: Managing Innovation in Hospitals and Health Systems

As the global Covid-19 pandemic has shown us, innovation in healthcare is vital to the development of new treatments. But innovation isn’t just about breakthroughs in pharmaceuticals and technology – it is also about finding small opportunities to improve the way we deliver healthcare services that can make them safer, more effective and more patient-centred. In this final module we therefore consider:

  • what innovation is and what is meant by ‘disruptive innovation’
  • the challenges and difficulties involved in the process of innovating
  • the ‘Ten Types of Innovation’ framework and how it can be used to identify new healthcare innovations


Course Leader

Benedict Stanberry

Course Factfile

  • Next session: 3 January 2024
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Commitment: 4-6 hours a week
  • Qualification: Certificate
  • Cost: £995
  • Location: Online

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