A healthcare administrator directs and monitors the day-to-day activities in a healthcare facility. Unlike physicians and nurses, healthcare administrators have minimal contact with patients. Instead, they work to develop policies and procedures, make needed changes and offer leadership to the facility. This post will shed more light on the key responsibilities of health administrators, their working environment, academic qualifications and job outlook.
Key Roles of Healthcare Administrators
- Ensure the facility offers services in accordance with the relevant laws.
- Conduct research to find new ways of enhancing the level of service delivery within the facility.
- Monitor and manage the processes the facility uses to store and utilize information.
- Participate in the development of new strategies that ensure information is accessible, readable, accurate and secure.
- Oversee training of new personnel.
- Participate in budget formulation.
- Assess payrolls to check if they are accurate.
- Participate in disciplinary actions against offending staff members.
A majority of healthcare administrators work 40 hours a week. However, there are some instances where they are required to work for longer hours. These may include during emergencies or when the number of patient visits increases. Most of their work is within the healthcare facility. Some may travel to inspect satellite facilities, attend conferences and meet potential clients.
Healthcare administrators are highly skilled individuals who perform important executive roles. As leaders, they have strong management and organizational skills to keep the staff on track and ensure the facility runs without interruptions. Since they deal with the staff and patients, they often encounter volatile situations that require effective problem-solving skills. In such situations, healthcare administrators think creatively to come up with effective solutions. Healthcare administrators also have a deeper understanding of the legal framework governing the healthcare industry. They often apply such knowledge to ensure the facility operates within the dictates of the law.
The minimum academic qualification for those who work as healthcare administrators is a bachelor’s degree in health administration or public health. Since administrators perform very important roles, many employers require individuals who have advanced education, such as master’s or doctorate degrees. Those who have bachelor’s degrees often work for smaller health facilities and clinics as administrators or assistant managers. They also earn less than those who have master’s degrees.
Healthcare administrators often begin their career in entry-level positions. Most of them start as assistant administrators or department heads as they gain more experience and work their way up through the ranks. In order to manage a large facility, one may be required to have at least three years of experience and be licensed by the state. The state licensure may require one to have a considerable amount of experience and proof of academic excellence.
Job Outlook and Salary
The healthcare industry continues to be one of the best employers in the country. As baby boomers continue to remain active into their retirement years and median age population climbs, more healthcare professionals will be required to respond appropriately to these demographic shifts. This presents a bright future for healthcare administrators. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects the demand for healthcare administrators to increase by 20 percent from 2016 to 2026. The Bureau also places their average annual salary at $96,540.
Healthcare administration is a serious profession that requires people who have excellent leadership skills. As a healthcare administrator, you will ensure the day-to-day operations of the facility run smoothly and that all employees observe the regulations put in place.