A hospital administrator career demands extensive hands-on experience in and an intimate knowledge of the healthcare field. It’s a solid career-path with a projected job growth of twenty percent over the next eight years, which is well above the national average.
What is a Hospital Administrator?
Hospitals have executives and a board of directors to oversee the broader, wide-scope issues that affect the overall growth and achievement of the facility. However, success largely depends upon the quality of day-to-day management. Hospital administrators manage critical daily operations, including human resources, public relations, operating budgets, and general administration.
At its core, the role of hospital administrators is similar to that of a manager. They plan, direct and coordinate medical and health services, which may extend to an entire facility or remain within a specific clinical area or department. They must adapt to changes in healthcare laws, regulations and technology. Exact duties for this position vary depending on the employer. In general, their role can be divided into five areas of responsibility:
- Finances: Hospital administrators create quarterly and annual budgets, monitor expenses and improve cost-effectiveness and manage patient fees, billing and insurance changes.
- Human Resources: They recruit, train, supervise, and evaluate staff members.
- Hospital Representative: They manage hospital-patient relations, including representing the hospital at investor meetings and governing boards.
- Policy Regulation and Quality Control: They develop, implement and enforce effective policies and procedures, as well as ensure the facility is up-to-date with healthcare regulations.
- Daily Administration: They maintain medical and employee records, maintain a stock of office and medical supplies, create work schedules and oversee general clerical and administrative tasks within the facility or department.
Hospitals operate twenty-four hours, so most administrators remain on-call. Work hours often include nights and weekends.
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Requirements and Salary
Many people who want a hospital administrator career begin with a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management or Administration. These degree programs combine business and medical-related courses to prepare professionals for leadership positions in the healthcare field. Students learn accounting and budgeting along with medical terminology and hospital organization. Once in the field, those seeking highly-competitive positions often pursue a master’s degrees with specific concentrations to gain a competitive edge.
In addition to a related degree, most employers hiring for this position favor candidates with significant experience in the medical field. After earning a B.S. in Healthcare Management, those wanting to pursue this career path often begin work in clinical management. In clinical management, candidates gain experience overseeing a specific department within a hospital.
Hospital administrators earned a median salary of $107,230 in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries largely depend upon on a facility’s size, location, and financial health. Larger hospitals present a longer list of responsibilities, but many times this correlates with larger salaries.
Those with knowledge related to health information technology will become increasingly valuable in this position as technology continues to advance. Familiarity with the latest in healthcare technology could result in career advancement opportunities or bumps in salary.
Hospital Administrator Careers
What is entailed in hospital administrators’ careers depends on the facility or area of expertise in which they work. The following are examples of types of medical and health services managers:
Nursing home administrators manage staff, admissions, finances, and care of the building, as well as the care of the residents in nursing homes. All states require licensure for nursing home administrators, the requirements for which vary by state.
Clinical managers oversee a specific department, such as surgery or physical therapy, and have responsibilities based on that specialty. Clinical managers set and carry out policies, goals, and procedures for their departments, evaluate the quality of the staff’s work and develop reports and budgets.
Health information managers are responsible for the maintenance and security of patient records. They must stay up to date with evolving information technology, laws about health information systems and trends in managing large amounts of data. Health information managers must ensure that databases are only to authorized personnel and often take on a supervisory role.
Launch Your Hospital Administrator Career
If you love the medical field and are business-minded, a hospital administrator career may be just the track for you. The right degree program and proper experience give you all the tools you need to make the change and join this exciting career field.
The online Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management program at Avila University enhances your knowledge of the healthcare industry to help you become an expert in management. Courses focused on organizational behavior, proposal writing techniques, micro and macroeconomics, statistical analysis and much more give you the competitive edge to succeed in this rapidly growing field.