A healthcare administrator, also called a healthcare executive, plans, directs, coordinates, and supervises the delivery of healthcare to patients. A healthcare administrator is often a specialist who manages a clinical department, or serves as a general manager that oversees an entire facility. With these types of responsibilities, administrators must be educated, well-organized, and detail-oriented.
As with any medical management position, healthcare administrators are asked to monitor and improve the quality of care they provide. They are also tasked with making the delivery of healthcare more efficient. Healthcare administrators play an important role in both large and small medical operations and facilities.
Healthcare Administration Job Description
Because the healthcare industry changes often, current and future healthcare professionals should always be prepared to restructure medical business systems. This will include integrating new healthcare delivery processes, technology innovations, complex regulations, and increased focus on preventative care.
Healthcare administrators must remain knowledgeable and up to date on new healthcare laws and regulations, as well as medical and technological advancements. So, being flexible and open to continuing education will be important to career success.
In small offices, healthcare administrators manage the daily activities in a more detail-oriented way, including overseeing:
- Facility operations
- Patient care when needed
In larger facilities, healthcare administrators:
- Manage daily decision-making
- Assist with directing activities in clinical areas, including nursing, surgery, therapy, medical records, or healthcare IT
Day-to-day, whether working in a hospital or clinical setting, healthcare admins have many responsibilities and are in charge of:
- Coordinating the actions of all departments, ensuring they operate as one unit
- Acting as a liaison between governing boards and medical staff
- Recruiting and hiring assisting administrators, doctors, and nurses
- Planning budgets
- Assisting with continuing education of staff
- Developing and optimizing procedures
How to Become a Healthcare Administrator
To work in a hospital, rehabilitation facility, group medical practice, or outpatient care facility, a four-year bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration is the most common route to employment. Some employers may even prefer to hire someone with a graduate degree.
That being said, associate’s degree programs do exist and will qualify a student to enter this field as an administrative assistant.
While getting an education, expect the coursework to include subjects like healthcare policy, information management, economics, and financial management.
Note: To work in a nursing care facility, a state license is required. And though certifications in this field are voluntary, it’s highly recommended that you consider earning any available certifications.
Healthcare Administrator Salary and Job Outlook
According to the 2019 United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of healthcare administrators is expected to increase 32 percent through 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Salary will vary depending on your location and employer, but the average salary is $100,980 per year.