Recent transformations within the health care industry have given healthcare executives the opportunity to consider more diverse career options. An increase in the shift from medical procedures being done in a hospital setting to them being performed in private practices has created the need for health services administrators to manage these practices as successful businesses.
What is Health Services Administration?
Healthcare administration careers integrate business, policy and science to manage the fiscal and human resources that are necessary to deliver valuable health services.
These services may include:
1. Managing a clinic’s database
2. Directing hospital services
3. Creating budgets for the health department
4. Designing policies for health insurance companies
If you choose this profession, you could work in resource development, administration or in public or private sectors. Although health services administrators frequently find employment in hospitals and medical centers, there are opportunities in nursing homes, retirement communities, and physician practices.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists other facilities where healthcare executives can find employment opportunities, some of which include:
- Home health agencies
- Outpatient facilities
- Healthcare associations
- Consulting firms
- Integrated Delivery Systems (IDS)
- Managed care organizations:
- Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO)
- Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO)
- Research institutions and universities
- The Public Health Department
Entry and Mid-Level Management Positions:
If you decide on a career in healthcare management, you may begin your career in an entry- or mid-level management position.
This position may concentrate on a specific area, such as:
- Government relations
- Human resources
- Nursing administration
- Medical staff relations
- Patient care services
According to a healthcare study, these professionals spend a great deal of time, and place a high value on, problem solving, communicating, collaborations with other disciplines, making decisions, containing costs, and developing their staff's skills.
Career Options for Health Service Administration Graduates:
1. The “Traditional” Administrator
Individuals who begin their health administration career with an associate’s degree frequently find employment as traditional administrators. These administrators order supplies and organize schedules. They also navigate medical software to bill patients, access patient records, and perform other management functions.
2. Assistant Manager/Administrator
An experienced administrator may be given the responsibility of overseeing a facility’s employees, finances, and procedures. This allows health administrators to obtain higher paying positions.
Responsibilities will include:
- Balancing each department’s budget
- Managing group practices with numerous locations
- Reviewing projects
It is also possible to find an assistant manager position with a nonprofit group, a local health agency, as well as with a state or national health agency.
3. Clinical Research Manager
Reinforcement from scientific advancements has helped the field of clinical research continue to grow. The complexity of clinical research requires coordination of researchers, study participants, physicians and pharmaceutical executives.
Federal oversight measures must also be addressed. Individuals who choose to pursue a degree in health service administration and become clinical research managers must also be proficient with financial management and budget planning.
4. Social Media Directors, Health Facility Marketing Managers or PR Specialists
Social media campaigns and public relations are a fundamental aspect of the healthcare business. To become a social media director, PR specialist, or health facility marketing manager, health administration students need to study health marketing or health communications.
5. Nursing Home Administration
To become an administrator in a nursing home, you should consider taking courses in gerontology. Courses such as this can help prepare you for the administration aspect of your career, as well as offer you insight into the special needs of the patients you are helping.
6. Clinical Leader/Manager
A professional that has knowledge relating to a specific clinical area is referred to as a clinical leader or clinical manager. Specific clinical areas include neonatal care and radiology. Once a clinician earns their health administration leadership degree, they may be hired as a clinical leader in their department.
7. Health Information Managers
Health information managers are responsible for maintaining and securing patients’ electronic medical records. These managers may also supervise a team of medical coding employees or work with IT professionals to make sure that all the records are legally compliant, accurate, and easily accessible.
The field of healthcare management requires talented individuals who can assist in introducing and managing the many changes that are taking place within the healthcare industry. As a healthcare executive, you can make a substantial contribution to improve the health of the residents in the communities you serve.