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Healthcare Management

Health systems management or health care systems management describes the leadership and general management of hospitals, hospital networks, and/or health care systems. In international use, the term refers to management at all levels. In the United States, management of a single institution (e.g. a hospital) is also referred to as "medical and health services management", "healthcare management", or "health administration".

Health systems management ensures that specific outcomes are attained, that departments within a health facility are running smoothly, that the right people are in the right jobs that people know what is expected of them, that resources are used efficiently and that all departments are working towards a common goal.

healthcare management2Early hospital administrators were called patient directors or superintendents. At the time, many were nurses who had taken on administrative responsibilities. Other superintendents were medical doctors, laymen and members of the clergy. In the United States, the first degree granting program in the United States was established at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By 1927, the first two students received their degrees. The original idea is credited to Father Moulinier, associated with the Catholic Hospital Association. The first modern health systems management program was established in 1934 at the University of Chicago. At the time, programs were completed in two years – one year of formal graduate study and one year of practicing internship. In 1958, the Sloan program at Cornell University began offering a special program requiring two years of formal study, which remains the dominant structure in the United States and Canada today (see also "Academic Preparation").

Health systems management has been described as a "hidden" health profession because of the relatively low-profile role managers take in health systems, in comparison to direct-care professions such as nursing and medicine. However the visibility of the management profession within healthcare has been rising in recent years, due largely to the widespread problems developed countries are having in balancing cost, access, and quality in their hospitals and health systems.

The Health Care Management major builds on the established strength of the management core to provide expertise in the unique elements and issues of the health care industry. The manager’s role in health care organizations continues to grow in importance, as the rapidly changing health care industry becomes the nation’s second largest employer. A Wharton health care major is unusually well-qualified to respond to the many critical problems now faced by hospitals, government agencies, group practices, pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, insurance and managed care organizations, and consulting firms.

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Culinary Art

Culinary arts is a prominent part of American history and culture – not to mention an important and exciting career around the world. If you’ve been asking yourself what is culinary arts, then you are in the right place. In the following article, we will explain what is involved in culinary arts and why it may be the perfect degree for you!culinary arts

You may have asked yourself at one time or another, exactly what is culinary arts? The word culinary is defined by as “of or relating to a kitchen or to cookery” while art is described as "human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature." Put these two words together and you start to see that the culinary arts really involves creating something unique and beautiful – and something that is completely edible! It is called culinary arts for a reason, not just anyone can create delicious and inventive masterpieces. The culinary arts have been continuously growing in popularity and as a result, more and more international students are beginning to realize the value of pursuing this career path.

When you think about what is culinary arts, you should think of the things you love to eat. If you are a culinarian (or chef) then you can decide what your ingredients will be! There are specific cooking methods and techniques to learn, but it’s up to a chef to decide which methods to use and the overall appearance and taste of the dish. They can create fusions between different types of cuisines, or something that is completely unique. When someone is earning a culinary arts degree they will have the chance to learn about all these different possibilities.

International students who choose to study the culinary arts will have a chance to learn about contemporary and classic culinary techniques and cooking methods. Usually the learning style associated with a culinary arts degree involves a combination of theoretical classroom instruction and hands-on laboratory work. So not only will you learn about and discuss the preparation of dishes, but you'll learn how to make them yourself. For those students who want to pursue managerial positions within the field, learning how to be a leader and use effective communication skills can be very helpful, because most people in the culinary arts work in a team-oriented kitchen environment.

If you really want to earn a culinary arts degree in the USA, perhaps it’s best to know the origin and history first. One of the first American cooking schools was founded in Boston, in the late 1800's. In 1929 the American Culinary Federation (ACF) was founded and became the biggest group of the U.S.'s most prominent chefs. The mission of the ACF is to help professional chefs through development resources, and make a positive difference for culinarians through education, apprenticeship, and certification. After World War II culinary education was in high-demand. Soon televised cooking shows became very popular. Famous chefs such as James Beard, Julia Child, and Madeleine Kamman became household names and culinary icons. James Beard, known as the grandfather of American gastronomy, had a cooking show and founded a cooking school, teaching American cuisine preparation for more than 30 years. Later on people became interested in learning about international dishes, and at the time French cuisine was the very best. Julia Child hosted a show called, The French Chef, wherein she taught viewers how to cook French cuisine. Her show and cookbooks were considered groundbreaking and ended up generating a lot of public interest in the culinary arts as a career. Madeleine Kamman opened a French cooking school called, Modern Gourmet, in Massachusetts. Kamman was from France and blended French cooking standards with American ingredients, the result was an entirely new culinary world to be explored and exploited. People began realizing the possibilities and opportunities the culinary arts presented and began taking advantage of them. After the Culinary Institute of American was founded more and more career-oriented cooking schools were opened in the United States. Nowadays we have the FoodNetwork, and celebrity chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Legasse to look to for new culinary ideas and inspiration, but it’s safe to say that the humble beginnings of culinary arts education has definitely developed into a huge exciting industry full of many career opportunities.

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Marketing and Sales

Do you know the difference between marketing and sales? Let's think about this question for a moment. Without marketing, you would not have prospects or leads to follow up with, but yet without a good sales technique and strategy, your closing rate may depress you. Marketing and sales should work simultaneously, but in most companies, they are departments that don't even speak to each other.

If we broke it down to the basics, marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects and the sales process is everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract.

Both are necessities to the success of a business. You cannot do without either process. If you work to strategically combine both efforts you will experience a successful amount of business growth. However, by the same token if the efforts are unbalanced or departments don't communicate it can detour business growth.

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Your marketing should consist of strategies that you can measure your reach and work to persuade your prospects that you are the company for them. It's the message that prepares the prospect for the sale. It could consist of advertising, public relations, social media, relationship marketing, brand marketing, viral marketing, and direct mail.

The sales process consists of interpersonal interaction. It is often done by a one-on-one meeting, cold calls, and networking. It's anything that engages you with the prospect or customer on a personal level rather than at a distance. Most the time the prospect or potential customer has been driven to you via marketing efforts.

I like to think of it like this, your marketing efforts begin the process of the eight contacts or touch points that studies show it takes to move a prospect or potential client to the close of the sale. If marketing is done effectively you can begin to move that prospect from the status of a cold lead to a warm lead.

When the prospect hits the"warm" level it's much easier for the sales professional or sales department to close the sale.

Do you see the cycle?

Studies have shown that it takes multiple contacts using both sales and marketing to move the prospect from one level to the next. That is why it is important that you develop a process that combines both sales and marketing. This will enable you to reach prospects at all three levels; cold, warm, and hot. It's all about balance. Make sure that you've integrated the two, marketing and sales. They are not separate. If they are different departments, those departments must talk and communicate in order to be effective.

Are you unsure of how to integrate your marketing and sales?

Try this. Take a few moments and divide your prospect lists and database into categories of cold, warm, and hot leads. Then sit down and identify a strategy on how to proceed with each individual group.

For example, you could try the following methods of contact:

Cold Lead Strategy - Send out a direct mailing or offer them a special promotion

Warm Lead Strategy - Try a follow-up call, send out a sales letter, or schedule a special seminar or training session to get all of your warm leads together.

Once you've moved your prospect to the "warm" level it's time to proceed in closing the sale, call it passing the baton if you'd like. This will be easier to do if you somehow engage the pr

ospect. You can do this by conducting a one-on-one call, make a presentation, or present a proposal, estimate, or contract.

What if you are uncomfortable with the sales or marketing process?

An alternative that often proves successful is to partner with someone that possess the talents that you feel you lack in. If you are stronger in marketing, find someone who understands and gets the sales process. If you are better at sales find someone that can help you strengthen the message, create marketing materials that sell and give you tactics and ideas. If you don't work in a company that has both departments and you are working solo you can do this by creating a partnership, subcontracting, or hiring in that talent.

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Finance and Accounting

Capital Budgeting Process

Capital budgeting is the process that companies use for decision making on capital project. The capital project lasts for longer time,usually more than one year. As the project is usually large and has important impact on the long term success of the business, it is crucial for the business to make the right decision.

finance budget

The specific capital budgeting procedures that the manager uses depend on the manger's level in the organization and the complexities of the organization and the size of the projects. The typical steps in the capital budgeting process are as follows:

Brainstorming. Investment ideas can come from anywhere, from the top or the bottom of the organization, from any department or functional area, or from outside the company. Generating good investment ideas to consider is the most important step in the process.

Project analysis. This step involves gathering the information to forecast cash flows for each project and then evaluating the project's profitability.

Capital budget planning. The company must organize the profitable proposals into a coordinated whole that fits within the company's overall strategies, and it also must consider the projects' timing. Some projects that look good when considered in isolation may be undesirable strategically. Because of financial and real resource issues, the scheduling and prioritizing of projects is important.

Performance monitoring. In a post-audit, actual results are compared to planned or predicted results, and any differences must be explained. For example, how do the revenues, expenses, and cash flows realized from an investment compare to the predictions? Post-auditing capital projects is important for several reasons. First, it helps monitor the forecasts and analysis that underlie the capital budgeting process. Systematic errors, such as overly optimistic forecasts, become apparent. Second, it helps improve business operations. If sales or costs are out of line, it will focus attention on bringing performance closer to expectations if at all possible. Finally, monitoring and post-auditing recent capital investments will produce concrete ideas for future investments. Managers can decide to invest more heavily in profitable areas and scale down or cancel investments in areas that are disappointing.

Complexity Of Capital Budgeting Process

The budgeting process needs the involvement of different departments in the business. Planning for capital investments can be very complex, often involving many persons inside and outside of the company. Information about marketing, science, engineering, regulation, taxation, finance, production, and behavioral issues must be systematically gathered and evaluated.

The authority to make capital decisions depends on the size and complexity of the project. Lower-level managers may have discretion to make decisions that involve less than a given amount of money, or that do not exceed a given capital budget. Larger and more complex decisions are reserved for top management, and some are so significant that the company's board of directors ultimately has the decision-making authority. Like everything else, capital budgeting is a cost-benefit exercise. At the margin, the benefits from the improved decision making should exceed the costs of the capital budgeting efforts.

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