Top 5 Crucial Responsibilities of a Healthcare Administrator

healthcare administrator
Top 5 Crucial Responsibilities of a Healthcare Administrator

Students and professionals considering getting into the healthcare industry often ask the same question. That is, what does a healthcare administrator do? Healthcare administrators are sometimes called health services managers. They play a crucial role in healthcare organizations. Some of these organizations include a hospital, nursing home, or any other healthcare facility. They may also work in a private medical facility or different healthcare settings. They are not usually directly providing medical services. Still, the health administrator forms the foundation of support within these organizations. In this article, we have listed some of the key healthcare administrator duties and responsibilities. This is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). We have also listed other related duties of healthcare administrators and health services managers. These are the tasks that define their day-to-day functions in healthcare administration. If you want more information about the profession, we have an entire article devoted to healthcare administration.

Like business administration, those in healthcare administration are leaders in the healthcare industry. They guide and support their teams to help patients and families in the healthcare facility. Those in the field of health services administration work to ensure the quality of health care delivery. They help patients make informed decisions. In health administration, you deal with the business side of medicine. You’re responsible for driving the profitability of hospitals, clinics, or any medical facility. This is all while maintaining the highest quality of health care for all. A health administrator will analyze the impact of various factors on patient outcomes. These include:

  • information systems
  • population health
  • technology trends

Everyone needs medical care at some point in their lives. Healthcare administration professionals are responsible for ensuring people the best care. In a healthcare administration role, they may not interact directly with the patient. Even so, they impact decisions and services rendered through the many teams they manage. A strong foundation of competencies is needed to be influential healthcare administration professionals. This includes in-depth knowledge and awareness of diverse healthcare topics and a range of business skills. Healthcare administrators work on making a lasting and positive impact on the patient experience. They can affect change and influence both systems and policies. In doing so, they help develop better and more effective health programs and healthcare services. In effect, they improve the quality of hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

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What does a healthcare administrator do? A closer look. 

Top 5 Crucial Responsibilities of a Healthcare Administrator

Healthcare administrators oversee many different areas of a healthcare facility. This includes patient care. Top healthcare administrator duties and responsibilities include:

  • Operations Management
  • Financial Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Legal Responsibilities
  • Communications

Most healthcare administrators and health services managers are essential employees in any healthcare setting. They are responsible for delivering quality healthcare services and driving organizational success. Let us take a closer look at the top five responsibilities. 

#1 Operations Management

Top 5 Crucial Responsibilities of a Healthcare Administrator

Operations management is perhaps one of the most crucial responsibilities in health administration. It includes many tasks that ensure the healthcare practice operates smoothly and efficiently. Healthcare administrators and health services managers must plan ahead. This is to execute an efficient organizational structure. They also review the healthcare management industry and organizational practices. A healthcare administrator oversees the staff, facilities, and business. They develop a master budget and ensure that all costs are well managed. Along with strategic planning and managing technological updates, leaders in healthcare administration also focus on identifying and managing outsourced business services. They strive to create a safe, positive, and quality work environment. 

#2 Human Resource Management

Top 5 Crucial Responsibilities of a Healthcare Administrator

Employee and staff management is essential to every organization. That’s because they are the most valuable resources in a healthcare setting. Most healthcare administrators manage staff. They are often responsible for vetting resumes, interviewing, and hiring healthcare personnel. They know what is best for the organization and ensure they add the most qualified administrative personnel to the team. They manage teams and ensure that they have the resources to do their jobs properly. Healthcare administrators and health services managers motivate their teams. They focus on retaining human resources by creating a positive work environment. They also foster employee engagement in the workplace. They work with HR personnel to offer incentives and employee assistance. Finally, they provide training and advancement opportunities to team members. 

#3 Financial Management

Top 5 Crucial Responsibilities of a Healthcare Administrator

Financial management is an essential part of an organization’s operations. In fact, it is integral to its success and survival. It is also integral to a healthcare administrator’s duties and responsibilities. In most cases, healthcare administrators manage a team of finance account executives. They may also manage individual accountants. This depends on the size of the business and organization. Qualified healthcare administrators manage their teams and perform functions well. This is because they are trained in particular aspects of finances. They are familiar with reimbursement policies and know the billing codes and the billing cycle details. Healthcare managers oversee:

  • accounts payable
  • manage cash flow
  • oversee payroll administration

They also supervise audits and review budgets.

#4 Marketing & Communications

Top 5 Crucial Responsibilities of a Healthcare Administrator

Healthcare administrators work with upper management to ensure a positive brand in patient care. This includes internal and external relations. There are some key responsibilities of a healthcare administrator. These include developing and maintaining lines of communication between the various departments within the organization. They often serve as liaisons between boards of trustees, departments, and medical and business staff. They are involved in multiple projects. These include:

  • internal communications
  • information management
  • community relations

As for internal communication, they work with HR to provide streamlined channels for employee feedback and suggestions. They communicate the organization’s message with PR departments regarding external communications. They also improve and bolster community relations and attend fundraisers.

Top 5 Crucial Responsibilities of a Healthcare Administrator

Medical and health services can be complex. These areas often involve a lot of people, both internally and externally. Healthcare administrators work hand in hand with their organizations’ legal and ethics departments, These are crucial issues in the medical profession. They work with their legal teams to stay updated on the current laws and regulations to remain compliant with regulatory issues. Since they are also responsible for internal communications and employee management, healthcare administrators create an ethical and safe working environment. They develop and maintain strategies and procedures to deal with adverse events. They establish compliance programs for federal and state laws and regulations. They also follow health care licensure requirements. Finally, they oversee all kinds of crisis management.

Before deciding on a healthcare administration degree, students need to do their research. They should learn more about a healthcare administrator’s role. Further, they should develop various business and healthcare competencies. Other business areas that the role of a healthcare administrator covers include: 

  • Policy
  • Supervision
  • Project management
  • Quality assurance
  • Risk management
  • Insurance & regulatory issues
  • Healthcare administrator job description 

A healthcare administrator’s role touches upon all the above in their day-to-day work. They must be trained in healthcare management basics through a healthcare administration program. They must also be knowledgeable in all relevant organizational and business basics. There are two skill sets crucial to healthcare administration. These are practical leadership skills and making good business decisions for healthcare settings. The above are the top job responsibilities that healthcare administrators perform. Still, their jobs include a lot of other duties in health management. A quick overview: 

  • Managing staff and health professionals within an entire facility or department
  • Improving the quality of medical and health services and their delivery
  • Addressing public health issues involving medical and health services
  • Managing health informatics, including medical records
  • Organizing healthcare facility records, maintaining confidentiality and security
  • Understanding healthcare policy, laws, and regulations
  • Managing the client care/patient care experience
  • Overseeing the financial health of the department or organization
  • Reviewing financial budgets and managing operational costs
  • Managing human capital, including policies for performance reviews, hiring, staff schedules, etc.
  • Ensuring an organization’s regulatory compliance with medical and legal regulations and internal policies

Health administration job outlook 

Top 5 Crucial Responsibilities of a Healthcare Administrator

Healthcare administrators’ jobs are complex and expansive. Their day-to-day work ensures the smooth operations of healthcare companies, non-profits, and other healthcare organizations like nursing homes and clinics. They are in demand and accountable for delivering high-quality medical and health services while also remaining profitable.

There are many healthcare facilities and organizations seeking professionals with particular skills. They want administrators who can plan, manage, and coordinate various medical and health services aspects. Most of these will demand at least a bachelor’s degree in the field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the future employment of medical and health services managers who complete these degree programs. According to the BLS, these jobs will grow by 28 percent through 2031. That is faster than the average growth of other occupations. The median annual salary for a medical and health services manager is $101,340. Those with a health management or healthcare administration degree take on leadership positions. They work in healthcare facilities and settings like: 

  • Private hospitals and health centers
  • Nursing homes or residential care facilities
  • Healthcare consulting firms
  • Healthcare insurance companies
  • Health IT startups
  • Eldercare facilities (nursing home)
  • Dental offices
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Medical device companies
  • Community-based organizations
  • Public health organizations
  • Healthcare consulting firms
  • Research institutes
  • Medical and diagnostic laboratories
Top 5 Crucial Responsibilities of a Healthcare Administrator

Where health care administrators work may depend on their university programs. Different degree programs lead to other job types in the healthcare field. One needs to research these degrees and related healthcare administrator job descriptions before making a choice.

Those with an associate degree get into entry-level roles. These include:

  • executive assistants
  • healthcare coordinators
  • healthcare administrative assistants

Those with bachelor’s degrees in health care administration may get jobs with more responsibility and pay. These may include roles such as:

  • senior managers
  • healthcare managers
  • assistant directors
  • assistant managers
  • health care consultant supervisors
  • clinical managers
  • project managers

Master’s degree holders in public health care administration or health care management work in more advanced health professions. These include:

  • directors
  • deputy directors
  • vice presidents
  • health administrators
  • nursing home administrators
  • health services administrators
  • hospital CEO
  • senior health care consultants 

Healthcare administration is a rewarding career path. Healthcare administrators transform the quality of care/ patient experience. They profoundly change patients’ lives through patient advocacy. They use policies, informatics, and technology in the health sciences to foster healthier living habits. Healthcare administrators are focused on various aspects of the organization. These include financial, administrative, and managerial factors. The essential skills for healthcare administration include: 

  • Strong business administration acumen
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Empathy and active listening skills
  • Sound decision-making skills
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and on a team
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Project management skills
  • Health information management
  • Ability to conduct research
  • Executive leadership skills

Educational programs like a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration are a good fit for students and professionals looking to advance their careers in healthcare and clinical settings. This undergraduate program in healthcare administration provides students with foundational knowledge in health sciences. It also includes instruction in the following:

  • healthcare management
  • health care law and regulations
  • human resources
  • health informatics
  • risk management
  • health operations
  • related ethical issues
  • quality assurance

Ambitious students will go on to pursue graduate programs for health care administrators. This is usually a master’s degree in the field, such as a master’s degree in health care administration. Most universities offer experiential learning educational programs for aspiring health administrators. Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program or master’s degree program gain real-world experience in the healthcare industry.