An Industry Perspective


Healthcare and Project Management


By Dr. Deepa Bhide, MBBS, DCH, PMP

Hyderabad, India


Mary*, a computer science graduate, was at a crossroads in choosing her career path in project management. She was recently certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP®) by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Mary approached the author to learn about the healthcare industry’s specifics that would influence her career as a project manager for healthcare projects.

The healthcare industry, one of the world’s largest industries, is at the center of global intelligence and operational radars. As one of the fastest-growing industries, healthcare witnessed an unprecedented emergency in the Covid-19 pandemic that swept the world over the last couple of years. This disrupted the healthcare of the world’s workforce a big time. As a result, the world riveted its attention to the healthcare industry as a messiah of economic recovery and global population health.

While the healthcare industry is about hospitals, supply chains, information technology enablement, patient data privacy and security, partnerships with pharmaceutical and medical devices industries, medical tourism, and more, the patient care delivery processes are at the center of this universe. Therefore, it is paramount to envision “patient care delivery” as a project/program to conceptualize and plan consummate healthcare processes and organizations around this. As a keeper of “life,” healthcare has specific dimensions. These specifics create a compelling reason for healthcare project management to differ from other industries.

PMI’s Project Management (PM) framework, as per Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®), is a state-of-the-art framework for projects and programs across domains. The framework ensures that the project managers have the tools and techniques to increase the chances of a successful project outcome.

In this article, the author would like to elaborate on a few fundamental concepts related to the healthcare industry and project management. Keeping in mind these concepts of the healthcare industry, for those already existing project managers in the healthcare industry or those aspiring to make a career in this industry, the author would like to advocate understanding the finer nuances of project landscape and tailored approach while using the existing PM framework in healthcare projects.

Key terms: healthcare industry; uniqueness; project management principles; project management career

Mary: Hello, doctor. I hope you are well. Thank you for your time for this conversation. In roles as a patient or a caregiver, so far, I have been a consumer of the healthcare industry. However, as I now consider healthcare project management as one of my career choices, with your deep experience, can you throw some light on the healthcare industry? That will help me with deciding between the career choices that I have.

Author: Thanks for approaching me, Mary. I appreciate your interest in learning more about the healthcare industry. Gaining insights about the sector is critical to making the right choice. Let’s start with a few project scenarios from the healthcare industry. Let’s focus on an overview of the industry in this session. In our subsequent conversations, we can dive into a few more general and specific aspects.


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Editor’s note: This is the first in a new series of articles about project management in healthcare by Dr. Deepa Bhide, a pediatrician with additional experience in information technology and project management. Being a physician herself, she has recently experienced healthcare from a patient’s perspective while recovering from a broken ankle.  In this series, Dr. Bhide will reflect on programs, projects, and project management in various aspects of healthcare from industry, provider, and human patient perspectives. Learn more about Dr. Bhide in her author profile at the end of this article.

How to cite this paper: Bhide, D. (2023). An Industry Perspective, Healthcare and Project Management, series article, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue II, February. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/pmwj126-Feb2023-Bhide-an-industry-perspective-healthcare-and-project-management.pdf

About the Author

Dr. Deepa Bhide

Hyderabad, India


Dr. Deepa Bhide, MBBS, DCH, PMP, has over 20 years of professional experience where she has blended medical practice and research with IT and Project Management. She juggles consulting, training, and operations and is proficient in clinical medicine, project management, and healthcare information technology. Starting her career as a medical practitioner, she has worked with varied organizations before her current stint as director and clinical expert for Inventurus Knowledge Solutions.

Her passion for IT and Project Management was born from her day-to-day patient interactions. Deepa’s growing interest and work in these areas helped her view Project Management as a backbone of progressive healthcare. Her paper on “Patient Care – A Project Management Perspective” has received global recognition and acclaim. Deepa is an active contributor to PMI with her articles on a cross-domain confluence of Healthcare and Project Management. With a physician background as a solid foundation to leverage IT/PM skills and knowledge, Deepa has blended her broad-based experience and learnings to present a unified, holistic, wholesome view of Project Management and Healthcare. Through various webinars, events, talks, and writings across platforms, Deepa has been an evangelist in championing global project management during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A Gold medalist from Osmania University for standing First in the MBBS course and also for Human Physiology, she went ahead to pursue her DCH in Pediatrics and Child health. Deepa is an active member of their volunteer initiatives. Deepa has served a variety of roles in local and global PMI regions. The part of Council Lead for PMI’s Healthcare Community of Practice for two years (2013-15) involved identifying and mentoring volunteers and collaborating across geographies for knowledge assets. Deepa is currently a part of PMI’s Ethics Insight Team, a global team of 7 volunteers advocating PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

Deepa lives in Hyderabad, India, and loves to travel, sing and experiment with global cuisine. She can be contacted at deepabhide@gmail.com

To read more works by Dr. Bhide, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-deepa-bhide/