What does a health administrator do? – Becoming a health administrator is an excellent career choice for those who want to work in the health care industry. Health care administrators are responsible for organizing and managing health care organizations, such as hospitals, clinics, and doctor offices.
Learn About Being a Health Administrator
Healthcare is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world today. And it’s not hard to see why: with a growing population, healthcare professionals are in high demand. With so much work to be done, you’ll need someone who can manage all the aspects of your healthcare organization.
What does a health administrator do? Essentially, they are responsible for managing an entire organization’s administration functions that have been delegated by the Board of Directors or Board of Trustees. This includes tasks like coordinating policies, ensuring compliance with those policies, and executing overall administrative needs.
A health administrator organizes and oversees clinical services and business operations to provide their organization with a successful team. Here are some traits you should look for when hiring a health administrator:
What does a health administrator do?
Health administrators are professionals who are employed by healthcare facilities, hospitals, or other organizations to oversee day-to-day operations. They are responsible for the management of information and data, providing leadership, and overseeing the growth of their institutions. If you’re wondering what does a health administrator do, this blog will introduce you to the professional duties and responsibilities that come with this position.
A health administrator controls the overall operation of a healthcare organization. Also known as a health service manager, they are responsible for services, staff, facilities, relationships with other businesses and other high-level functions. A health administrator works to improve the healthcare experiences of patients within a clinic or hospital, but it is not a patient-facing role. They make improvements by creating policy changes, monitoring systems and increasing efficiencies.
The duties of a health administrator include financial management of the facility, including salaries, budget projections, accounts payable and accounts receivable. They are also responsible for regulatory compliance with federal, state, and local laws.
Other duties of a health administrator could include:
Arranging and attending meetings with high-level management, investors, other organizations and governing bodies
Ensuring that all staff and services provided comply with the healthcare laws and policies of the state and country
Streamlining systems to make sure they are as efficient as possible
Writing grant proposals for funding
Managing the facilities and keeping records
Health administrators are usually full-time, though some may work part-time. Standard office hours are common, but if the employer offers healthcare after hours, such as in an emergency or elderly care, they may be expected to cover these shifts. Salaries vary depending on the size and location of the organization and the qualifications and education level of the employee.
Common salary in the U.S.: $72,040 per year
Some salaries range from $15,000 to $172,000 per year.
Health administrator requirements
To gain employment as a health administrator, you need to comply with certain requirements, including:
To become a health administrator, you will need a bachelor’s degree and possibly a master’s degree, depending on the employer. Degrees are available in health administration and health management, although many employers will also accept a degree in nursing, public health administration or business administration.
If your undergraduate degree is not specific to health administration, getting a master’s degree in healthcare management and policy or health administration can increase your employability. A graduate degree in this field usually takes two or three years to earn and might also require work experience in a healthcare organization.
New health administrators usually go through an on-the-job training period to familiarize themselves with the way the organization functions. This training may involve shadowing an experienced staff member and working together while the new staff member gains experience.
Continuing professional development shows employers that you have an attractive skill set. These certifications are a valuable addition to a health administrator resume:
Certified Revenue Cycle Executive (CRCE)
This certification is offered by the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM). It shows that the recipient has advanced knowledge of healthcare and management strategy. Critical thinking and communication abilities are essential to be successful in this certification.
Certified Compliance Technician (CCT)
Also offered by the AAHAM, this certification shows that its recipient understands the compliance requirements common to the role of health administration.
As a health administrator, you could be in charge of a large organization. You must have a range of skills and be able to communicate with a variety of people. A health administrator needs to develop the following skills:
You will be managing and leading one or more teams of staff. You must be able to hire the right people, train them correctly, motivate them and lead them to perform to the best of their abilities.
As a health administrator, you will interact with many people in both your own and other organizations. You need to be approachable and know how best to communicate with people to bring about the best results.
Since they have a wide range of responsibilities, such as solving problems involving staffing, patient management, supply issues and budgeting.
A large part of the health administrator’s role is ensuring that the organization is efficient. You will need to analyze figures to determine if efficiency levels can be improved, and if so, where and how to make these changes.
Attention to detail
When you are managing a large amount of essential paperwork and accounts, it is vital that everything is accurate. Being detail-oriented can help health administrators perform their duties effectively.
To analyze figures and manage healthcare systems, a healthcare administrator must be technically capable. Depending on your employer, you may need to understand basic coding to use electronic health records and tailor them to the needs of the organization. You must stay up to date with emerging healthcare technology and understand how it can benefit your workplace and role.
Health administrator work environment
A health administrator works in an office within a hospital or clinic setting. They may spend long periods of time sitting at a desk and will use typical office equipment. Depending on the healthcare setting, they may work standard office hours or have to cover night and weekend shifts. Full-time hours are standard. They may also need to be on call in case of emergencies.
How to become a health administrator
The following steps can help you achieve a career as a health administrator:
1. Get a degree
Most employers require that you have a bachelor’s degree for a health administrator position, and you may also consider earning a master’s degree so you are more appealing to employers. If you get two degrees, ensure that one of them is in health administration and the other is in a complementary field, such as public health, finance or business management.
2. Develop technological skills
Most hospitals are moving toward using electronic health record systems to capture patient data, and you will need to be familiar with how these work.
3. Gain soft skills and relevant experience
Interpersonal, communication and leadership skills are essential to the role of a health administrator. You can gain experience with these skills in lower-level, volunteer or intern positions while also gaining relevant job experience.
4. Create a resume and cover letter
When you are ready to apply for a health administrator position, look at the job listings in your area and tailor your cover letter to each position. Include keywords from the job description and your work history, experience, achievements and skills on your resume.
5. Perfect your interview skills
Once you are successful in securing an interview, it is essential to be prepared. You should make a list of questions you are likely to be asked. Think about the situations you have encountered that display your skills and abilities. Consider the questions that you would like to ask your potential employer.
Health administrator job description example
St. John’s Clinical Healthcare is proud to be one of the fastest-growing healthcare companies in the country, and with the opening of 20 new departments in the following three months, we are seeking a capable health administrator.
Candidates must be comfortable with all aspects of this demanding role and at ease communicating with all levels of the team, since they will be the point of contact between insurance agents, customers, executives and our healthcare providers.
The duties for this role include:
Managing the budget to ensure that financial projections are met and that any variance is remedied and reported
Creating educational programs for the healthcare providers and administration team to ensure regulatory compliance
Providing supervision, leadership and management to the healthcare team staff to ensure that the highest standards are achieved
Writing job descriptions and hiring appropriate staff members, as well as managing their schedules, training, promotions, disciplinary action and termination
Collaborating with the executive director and top-level executives on the board of directors on operational and regulatory issues
Building relationships with related businesses and organizations to foster mutually beneficial collaborations
At least five years’ experience in a similar role
Leadership and communication skills
Ability to multi-task, think strategically and work independently