The healthcare sector in the United States is growing at a rapid pace. The combination of an aging population, an ongoing pandemic, and growing numbers of retiring healthcare workers mean that the demand for skilled personnel is at an all-time high.
One particular area that is also burgeoning is healthcare administration. These individuals play a vital role in ensuring that the daily running of a healthcare facility is efficient and working according to standards. If you’re interested in a career in this field, below is a short guide about what it involves.
Healthcare administrators oversee the day-to-day operations of a hospital or healthcare facility. Otherwise known as healthcare managers, these individuals ensure that a medical facility is adhering to the best and most efficient practices. They are often required to plan and supervise all services as well as monitor budgets and update health records. The average salary for a healthcare administrator is $99,000 per annum.
If you’re interested in becoming a healthcare administrator, there are a few requirements that you’ll need:
- Relevant degree: it’s important to study for a degree in areas of health care administration or business administration. A bachelor’s in this subject area is a start, but to make yourself even more employable, a master’s degree such as a TUW MHA Degree will take you even further.
- A minimum of 5 years’ experience in hospital administration.
- In-depth knowledge of the healthcare regulations and terminology.
- Proven experience with accounting or administration.
- Outstanding written, verbal, and communication skills.
- Excellent problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and organizational skills.
The responsibilities of healthcare managers can vary depending on their specialization and on the clinic, hospital, or facility they’re working in. Generally, though, healthcare managers are responsible for the following:
- Designing budgets and establishing rates for services
- Keeping detailed records of medical and office supplies
- Hiring and training staff
- Developing work schedules for employees
- Liaising between staff, governance, and patients
- Ensuring patient medical records are up to date
- Creating organizational strategy (short, medium, and long term)
- Ensuring departments comply with existing regulations and healthcare laws
- Streamlining financial and operational practices
While healthcare administrators can work in general regions of healthcare management, they can also specialize in a few key areas. These include:
- Human Resources: this requires developing retention and recruitment programs, building relationships with nursing and medical schools, and meeting with other members of staff within the organization to ensure that everyone is looked after.
- Health Policy: this area involves extensive research into current healthcare policy and regulation, as well as statistics and data gathering. Individuals specializing in this area will likely spend time drafting proposals or pitching ideas while working with clinicians.
- Logistics and Equipment: individuals working in this area will be responsible for forecasting, overseeing supplies, and tracking shipments. This is a vital and important role for hospitals, as was evidenced by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and the need for crucial PPE equipment.
- Healthcare Marketing: healthcare marketing is an important specialism that involves conducting patient surveys, analyzing industry trends, and working with copywriters and media creatives to promote an organization’s services.