Health care administrators direct the operations of health systems, hospitals, and other health-related businesses. They are responsible for the staff, services, budgets, and collaborations with other organizations. Unlike physicians, health care administrators do not interact with patients directly daily. Rather, they help shape policy, act as change agents, and direct programs by supporting reforms of the health care system to serve patients better. In fact, the choices that healthcare administration professionals make can enhance the lives of patients.

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An Average Day

Working in the healthcare industry is rewarding, and it is one of the fastest-growing industries in the nation. Consequently, the role of a health care administrator is demanding and often complex. People choosing this career path need skills ranging from an understanding of the financial workings of a medical organization to personnel management are crucial for success. For instance, they should be familiar with planning, designing, managing, and coordinating health services with medical staff members that have a positive impact on patient care. Other duties vary from day-to-day and may include:

Responding to emails. It is not uncommon for health care managers to receive hundreds of emails a day that require personalized and prompt attention.

Interviewing candidates. Overseeing the human resources processes is also a significant component of the health care administrator’s responsibilities. Interviewing candidates for medical positions can consume many hours in their day.

Attending meetings. Meetings are essential for success in the position. On any given day, a health care administrator may attend local chamber of commerce gatherings, meet with the board of directors, and hold individual discussions with department managers.
Providing advice. The health care administrator should have extensive knowledge of the institution’s operations to handle challenges from a logistics and budgetary perspective.

You can become a leader in the health care industry by earning a healthcare administration degree from USC Online. To learn more about earning a health care MBA or a Master’s in Health Administration, click here. These degree programs may equip you with the skills, knowledge, and abilities to advance your career in a variety of health care organizations.

Educational Requirements

A bachelor’s degree is the traditional preparation necessary for health care administration jobs. However, some employers prefer professionals with direct health care knowledge or relevant expertise. High-level executive positions usually require an MBA or a different type of master’s degree. Subspecialties such as health information management, health care services, and long-term care administration may propel a health care administrator’s career. For instance, a department manager with a graduate education may become an executive manager of an entire institution.

Serving as Change Agents

The health care industry is dynamic, and health care administrators need to adjust to innovative developments in policies, technology, and laws. They need to be organized, flexible, analytical, and creative when implementing and communicating changes with all levels of professionals. This effort may include staying current with the facility and identifying responsibilities for all employees’ daily jobs. As a leader, health care administrators often serve as the face of their organization. Consequently, they must always maintain a professional appearance and demeanor.