Healthcare administration, sometimes referred to as health or medical administration, is concerned with both short and long-term decisions that revolve around the healthcare system. Healthcare administration integrates disciplines from various fields, including management, medicine, health policy, to ensure a smooth flow of activities within a healthcare facility. Professionals in healthcare administration play a vital role in the management of employees, policymaking as well as general facility management and maintenance.
Unlike other healthcare professionals, healthcare administrators are not in direct contact with the patients. Instead, they work behind the scenes making major decisions, changes, and policies regarding healthcare. The goal is to ensure that operations run smoothly, providing top-notch patient care to society.
Healthcare administration also calls for professionals with sharp insight on business-related matters who also understand how the healthcare system operates. Unknown to most people, healthcare is also a business that applies business disciplines like marketing strategies to thrive. Accounting and finance are good examples of business disciplines heavily applied by health care. The healthcare administrator must have a clear understanding of the facility’s current budget and ways to ensure they abide by the budget and, above all, come up with ways of raising more revenue in the long-term.
The Value of Healthcare Administration
When choosing a career in healthcare, healthcare administration is probably the last thing on your mind. In fact, most people don’t know that there exists a career in healthcare administration. Most of the work of an administrator occurs behind the scenes, and the impacts may not be felt immediately. However, their overall impact on the healthcare system is undeniable. They play a vital role in influencing the availability and accessibility of quality healthcare in society.
Healthcare administrators focus on availing a conducive environment where physicians and nurses can provide effective and efficient services to the patients. Although the major focus of healthcare administration is the business side of healthcare, it has a significant influence on the quality delivery of health care.
Administrator’s duties can consist of:
- Making orders for equipment and other necessities from simple rubber gloves to complex equipment’s in radiology and Xray machines. The availability of all this equipment is crucial and, therefore, the need for a constant, uninterrupted supply.
- Coordinating different tasks within the organization. These include Human resource department functions revolving around staff evaluation, defining employee tasks and schedules, and all issues relating to the payroll.
- They enable the sharing of information and maintenance of important records. They ensure that all patient’s information is well documented and employees files well maintained for easy retrieval when needed.
- They ensure that the facility operations comply with all the state laws and guidelines relating to healthcare. It is also their responsibility to educate the staff on new policies that emerge in the healthcare industry.