An office in any business requires a number of people with various specialties and talents to ensure that that the workflow is smooth, people are tasked appropriately, and all necessary work is performed. The person who generally fills this role is the office administrator.
Healthcare offices such as those in doctor’s offices and hospitals are no different, except the job title is healthcare administer and while any role in a healthcare office is important, this role requires a unique skills set with an education to back that up.
A healthcare administrator has a Master’s of Science in healthcare administration or another business degree and has chosen to specialize in health administration. They are then ready to tackle the complex yet rewarding job of managing a healthcare team and the office. These are some of the reasons why the healthcare administrator might be the most important person involved in your healthcare that you’ll never even see and the roles they take on.
A healthcare administrator is not just a manager, they are a leader. All who work in their department turn to them for guidance. During part of the administrator’s advanced training they learn a great deal about leadership and conflict resolution which makes them the perfect person to ensure that employees feel they’re valued and respected. This in turn encourages them to perform their jobs with more enthusiasm.
2. Policy Creation
Not only does the healthcare administrator create office and employee policies, they also develop and implement policies that affect patient care, comply with privacy regulations, and ensure that all policies comply with industry regulations. They also create training information and handbooks for new employees.
Many of these policies affect patient care as the healthcare administrator works with physicians to create strategies that put patient care first and allow those who do have direct contact with patients to have a clear directive. This saves valuable time and increasing the level of care patients receive.
3. Staff Management and Training
One of the most important roles of the healthcare administrator is the management and training of their staff. The leadership skills they learned during their advanced training are a true asset here as they ensure that all employees comply with office policy. This can also be a tough job but a well-trained healthcare administrator has the tools to manage a staff fairly and effectively.
He or she will also be responsible for interviewing, hiring, and training new staff. This is one of the most important tasks as hiring the right people for the job and ensuring they’ll be a good fit for the team requires not only professional management skills but people skills as well. They’ll be responsible for performance reviews and disciplinary measures.
4. Manage the Office Budget
One of the most important aspects of any business is keeping the operation within a set budget. A healthcare administrator performs this task for their office, whether that’s a hospital, nursing home, or other healthcare facility.
While these tasks are essentially the same for any type of business, a healthcare office has unique situations to deal with. For instance, they must work directly with insurance providers to receive payments and the healthcare administrator will be the one to supervise that difficult role or take it on themselves. It’s also their responsibility to reduce costs and eliminate unneeded expenses.
5. Analyzing Diagnoses and Treatment Plans
While the healthcare administrator may not work directly with patients very often that doesn’t mean that they don’t play an active role in their care. Some healthcare administrators have a background in nursing or similar area and these nursing administrators frequently assess the diagnoses and treatment plans of other nurses on the team to ensure that it fits the patient’s needs.
Some nursing administrators do prefer to have more contact with patients and in that case they may make their own diagnoses and treatment plans for patients and carry them out themselves.
All roles in the healthcare industry are vital from the pediatrician and nurse practitioner to the labor and delivery nurse and everyone in between. But these are the people the patients see and interact with, oftentimes forming long term relationships. However, it’s the person you don’t see — the healthcare administrator — that makes all of this possible. So the next time you thank your doctor, try to send on additional thanks to the healthcare administrator. They’ll appreciate it very much.