The business side of health care is managed by health care administrators. Health care providers are focused on assisting patients to return to good health. The administrator is interested in how this can be done in a way that is cost effective yet does not reduce the quality of care. To to this, the health care administrator must be understand all operational aspects of a health care facility.
The Scope and Responsibilities
Health care administrators may be in charge of a specific department or unit, or they may oversee many areas. The role is often found in long-term care and assisted living facilities, hospitals and clinics, diagnostic centers and physicians’ group practices. In a large facility, there may be many administrators in charge of various areas. These roles would all report to a chief administrator who has overall responsibility for the business of the facility.
In smaller facilities, the administrator may be responsible for the operations of multiple areas such as human resources, accounting, and patient scheduling. These are ideal roles for the entry level administrator. It gives them experience in many business areas of health care.
Like their health care provider colleagues, the administrator is often drawn to the role by a sense of service. They have the desire to offer the best quality care to people in an environment that promotes good health. The administrator faces a number of challenges to achieve this goal:
health care is delivered in a variety of ways and is constantly changing
state and federal regulations control many aspects of health care
public health issues create links with the community
costs fluctuate dramatically within the system and between vendors
In order to keep a facility running smoothly, an administrator must make sure that all areas are run efficiently. From food service to laundry, laboratory services to building maintenance, anesthesia to recovery, each area contributes to the ultimate goal of quality patient care.
Sometimes a person with a health care background will go back to school and become an administrator. They may then work in their chosen area as a clinical manager. For instance, someone with experience in physical therapy may become an administrator that works exclusively in that area. These administrators have a unique perspective of that specialty area because of their experience.
The health care field continues to grow. People are living longer and there are better diagnostic tools and treatment options. All of these contribute to this growth. With more services comes the need for more administrators to manage them.
The Education Path
Health care administrators may also start out with associate’s degrees and work their way through a bachelor’s and master’s degrees. If you find yourself considering the path of Health Care Administration, find out more about the opportunities available to you at Colorado Christian University.