The responsibilities of a healthcare administrator vary, depending upon the type of organization they work for and whether they work independently or as part of a team. Sometimes referred to as a health administrator or a health manager, the healthcare administrator has a critically important role in the management of healthcare facilities ranging from hospital networks and treatment centers to other types of medical facilities or companies.
There are several myths surrounding the duties involved in healthcare administration, the role of a healthcare administrator, and the healthcare administration skills that an individual needs to become a healthcare administrator.
What Is Healthcare Administration?
The authors who published “Interprofessional Care Teams: The Role of the Healthcare Administrator,” point out that healthcare administration is a major occupation that is “conspicuously absent” from discussions related to how the delivery of healthcare systems today emphasizes interprofessional activities. The authors postulate that perhaps it is because the structure of healthcare delivery systems is viewed as little more than professional bureaucracy.
Healthcare administrators do not work directly with the patients. They work in roles that require them to keep healthcare systems operationally sound while using their knowledge and skills to lead healthcare administration into the future.
What Do a Healthcare Administrators Do?
Healthcare administration responsibilities may vary somewhat, depending on the type of medical facility or organization where they work and their role within the system or organization. Many sources recognize the importance of healthcare administrators to hospital facility systems and operations. The multi-faceted health administration role offers considerable opportunities to effect change within healthcare delivery and systems.
It is time to debunk the myths about healthcare administration, and explore opportunities to develop and deliver improvements within healthcare administration policy and systems.
There are a number of responsibilities that healthcare administrators deal with on a daily basis, whether they work in a large or smaller healthcare system, including:
- Coordinating medical and health services
- Working to improve the efficiency, quality, and delivery of healthcare services
- Preparing and monitoring budgets
- Overseeing the financial health of the department or healthcare facility
- Ensuring healthcare systems comply with existing and new laws and regulations
- Establishing workplace systems and procedures
- Representing the healthcare facility in public, on governing boards, or at investors’ meetings
Some other responsibilities of the healthcare administrator or health services manager include managing the staff within a department or a facility, coordinating medical and health services, establishing goals and strategies, keeping and organizing records of the healthcare facility’s services, and recruiting, training, and supervising staff members.
Soft Skills and Technical Skills
Ask any healthcare administrator what their primary responsibility is and they will likely tell you that it is communication. In fact, an Associate Chief Nursing Officer at Indiana University Health West indicates that good communication is responsible for approximately 80 percent of what healthcare administrators do on a daily basis.
Can you take the ball and run with it even without years of experience under your belt? Believing that a healthcare administrator has to have many years of progressively advanced roles in healthcare is one of the myths associated with the career. You do not have to have a long career leading up to a position as a healthcare administrator. Getting a degree and having the ability to lead are important to a career as a healthcare administrator.
Do you have a good business sense and the drive to succeed? These skills are also important for healthcare administrators. Adaptability is a must for people who work in the healthcare administration field. Healthcare administrators must also be able to complete a wide variety of tasks and be willing to accept and to create the changes that lead healthcare administration into the future.
Problem solving skills are another essential for professionals in healthcare administration, as well as technological proficiency. Healthcare administrators work with a variety of systems, so it is important that healthcare administration professionals stay up to date on technology skills and advances.
Career Outlook and Opportunities
The career outlook and the opportunities for healthcare administrators offers an exceptional look into the growth potential of the industry.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a “much faster than average” job growth for health administrators and managers through at least the year 2030. This gives people who want to consider a career as a healthcare administrator hope for a potentially outstanding career in the field.
Healthcare administration is a field where many people start in one field before switching gears to enter the healthcare industry. Other professionals join the industry right out of school, choosing to pursue an education in one of its many specializations.
Some specializations that a person working in healthcare administration may want to pursue include networks or systems, various types of treatment centers, government departments, or insurance providers. Healthcare administrators also specialize in positions working for consulting firms, health agencies, pharmaceutical companies, medical supply or medical equipment companies, physician practices, or nursing homes.
How to Start Your Career in Healthcare Administration
The first step towards starting a career in healthcare administration is to enroll in a relevant degree program, one that can help you pursue a role leading the healthcare revolution of the future.
Once you complete the academic requirements, the world of healthcare administration awaits you. Employers typically want a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from professionals applying for a healthcare administration position. A 3.0 is typically the minimum starting point. However, those kinds of requirements may vary from organization to organization.
Post Program Highlights
Post University offers prospective students the opportunity to complete a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare. The program consists of 12 courses and regularly scheduled online class discussions throughout each week.
Earn your degree on your terms when you choose either the traditional term-based delivery method or the flexible method that utilizes virtual simulations. The virtual simulations, called Powered by SIMPath, are ideal for those students who are comfortable with technology and who are self-disciplined to complete their studies.
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