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CASE 8    |   Mrs. Millie Larsen

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Health Administration

Health Administration-USA

What Is a Healthcare Administrator?

Healthcare administrators regularly interact with doctors, nurses, surgeons, and technicians. They direct the operation of healthcare organizations and rarely meet directly with the patients in the healthcare facility. 

An administrators’ duty is to shape the policy that runs the facility and improve the patients’ experience. Healthcare administration careers are essential to successful and efficient healthcare facilities. 

Due to the constant need for healthcare facilities, from hospitals to nursing homes, healthcare administration is a vital, stable job for those interested in improving healthcare policy. 

Healthcare administrators work behind the scenes to make large-scale decisions for the healthcare facility or institution. They deal directly with policy and budgets to create better patient experiences and ensure the safety of guests and staff. 

Healthcare administrators have in-depth knowledge of the regulatory framework in patient care. Their responsibilities are entirely different from the responsibilities of a doctor or physician. While physicians manage patients directly, healthcare administrators oversee the facility itself and usually have a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in healthcare administration. 

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What Do Healthcare Administrators Do?

A healthcare administrator’s job responsibilities may change depending on the facility. Healthcare administrators can work in nursing home, surgery, physical therapy, and other healthcare facilities. 

The most common job responsibilities for a healthcare administrator include: 

  • Develop work schedules for staff and physicians. 

  • Manage facility finances. 

  • Manage patient fees and billing. 

  • Improve facility efficiency and quality. 

  • Ensure that the facility complies with all laws and regulations.

  • Train staff members. 

  • Communicate with physicians and nurses.

  • Present investor meetings and meet with governing boards. 

  • Monitor budgets and spending. 

Healthcare administrators have a wide range of roles and need to be flexible enough to pick up new roles through their employment. The location and size of the healthcare facility may also influence the job responsibilities. 

Some healthcare administrators may manage an entire facility, while others may focus on a single department within a facility. No matter where the healthcare administrator is employed, they are required to know both state and federal laws and ensure that HIPAA laws are followed within their area of responsibility and expertise. 

What Education Does a Healthcare Administrator Need?

Healthcare administrators need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management to get a job in a starting position. This type of degree will teach you business and healthcare fundamentals that’ll help you understand daily operations, budgets, strategy, and communication for healthcare positions within medical facilities.

Many employers will require applicants to have an MBA in healthcare management or a master of health leadership to demonstrate that they understand principles of person-focused and culturally relevant care and are adequately prepared for leadership in the healthcare industry. These advanced degrees will go deeper into executive strategy, large-scale management, and leadership principles that are key for administration positions.

Many employers prefer health administration candidates to have experience in a healthcare setting. This type of experience is critical to ensuring you are qualified to take on more leadership responsibilities in an organization. When determining the right healthcare leadership degree for you, consider your desired role.