Healthcare administrators are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of a healthcare facility or institution. While physicians and nurses deal directly with patient care, healthcare administrators handle a wide range of facility or department-related tasks like patient records, finances and compliance.
Most healthcare administrators have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in healthcare administration. However, roles and responsibilities may differ depending on the position or facility type (i.e., hospital, physician’s office, nursing home, physical therapy, etc.).
What Does a Healthcare Administrator Do?
While expectations and job requirements differ from one healthcare administrator to the next, there is often a core set of basic responsibilities that are standard across healthcare administrator positions.
- Scheduling for all staff and physicians
- Improving the efficiency and quality of care and services
- Managing operational costs and patient billing and reviewing budgets
- Ensuring compliance with all medical and legal policies and regulations
- Organizing records while maintaining accessibility, confidentiality and security
- Overseeing internal policies for hiring, performance reviews, staff schedules, etc.
What Skills Does a Healthcare Administrator Need?
Aside from the invaluable knowledge a healthcare administration degree can provide, a healthcare administrator should also have the following qualities, characteristics and skills:
- Written and oral communication – Communication is key to a healthcare administrator’s role as it ensures accurate instructions are delivered and confusion is avoided in a high-pressure workplace.
- Organization – Healthcare administrators manage many records and files, so it is important to know how to sort and organize all documents to keep the facility on track.
- Business administration skills – The top two business administration skills required of a healthcare administrator are financial responsibility and productivity.
- Quality assurance – Every facility has their own standards/procedures and a healthcare administrator must understand and uphold them.
- Teamwork – Healthcare staff rely heavily on their healthcare administrators for scheduling and providing patient care.
- Budgeting – Managing finances and budgets is one of the most important healthcare administration tasks because it ensures that the healthcare facility remains profitable.
- Versed in patient care – Although they don’t directly provide care to patients, healthcare administrators need to have a basic understanding of patient care so they can support their team and physicians.
Do You Need a Degree to be a Healthcare Administrator?
While a healthcare administration degree is not a requirement to get a job in the field, legitimate academic credentials can greatly increase your chances of securing a steady, well-paying job after you graduate.
Most healthcare employers will often favor a candidate who has a healthcare administration degree and relevant field experience over an applicant who doesn’t have the relevant education or experience.
If your goal is to become a healthcare manager or executive, pursuing a degree in healthcare administration is necessary to be eligible for higher-level positions.
Regardless of the career path you choose in healthcare administration, academic experience and education will better prepare you for the field.
What Jobs Can You Get with a Healthcare Administration Degree?
In most cases, the roles and titles of a healthcare administrator vary depending on the facility and position. Oftentimes, healthcare administrators are given unique titles that might better explain their job responsibilities.
Common job titles of healthcare administrators include:
- Practice administrator or manager
- Healthcare coordinator
- Hospital HR generalist
- Medical administrator
- Administrative assistant
- Program administrator or manager
- Healthcare consultant
- Medical staff credentialing analyst
- Managed care specialist
- Clinical IT application support
What Facilities or Organizations Need Healthcare Administrators?
- Hospitals and various health centers
- Nursing homes or residential facilities
- Consulting firms
- Dental offices
- Insurance companies
- Research institutes
- Pharmaceutical and medical device companies
- Health IT startups
- Public health organizations
- Diagnostic or medical facilities
Interested in Becoming a Healthcare Administrator? Earn Your Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree at St. Louis College of Health Careers
If you are a highly organized person with an interest in the healthcare industry, a degree in healthcare administration may be a great fit for you. At the St. Louis College of Health Careers in Missouri, we offer both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in healthcare administration.
Our programs are available in a convenient online format, making it easy for you to complete your coursework from anywhere you have an internet connection.
Learn more about our programs or explore other healthcare degrees by calling 866-529-2070.