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7 Must-Have Skills and Talents for Hospital Administrators

 |  4 Min Read

The primary role of healthcare facilities is to administer quality medical care, but behind the scenes, hospitals are large institutions that run like any big business. That’s why successful hospital administrators must combine a passion for the well-being of patients with management know-how.

Your caring personality may be why you entered the healthcare field in the first place, but developing business, management, and technical skills could help you take your career to the next level. Not sure how to build those skills? Enrolling in an advanced educational program will help you practice the characteristics and develop the necessary skills to be successful.

1. Industry Knowledge

The healthcare industry can be extremely competitive, and receiving a master’s degree can further your career. The country’s most respected master’s in health administration programs are backed by The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), the only organization that can officially recognize programs offering a master’s in healthcare management.1 Employer knows that job applicants with a CAHME-accredited Master of Health Administration (MHA) have received a quality education, honed the required skills, and built a network of industry contacts, all of which help them excel in hospital administration. As one of the only CAHME-accredited online MHA programs, The University of Scranton’s degree program gives graduates a leg up on the competition when applying for jobs.

2. Leadership

Hospital administrators are the executives of the hospital. They are expected to inspire the organization to deliver the best medical care possible on a big-picture level. The day-to-day responsibilities of hospital administration professionals include overseeing staff and ushering in new policies.

In all of their tasks and decisions, hospital administrators must enact the highest ethical leadership standards, organized by the Healthcare Leadership Alliance (HLA) competency models.2 According to the HLA, these competencies clarify an individual’s roles, performance expectations, and development plans and help articulate a strategic vision’s behavioral implications.

Leadership and management skills, as well as an ability to command respect, are required to enact an organization’s mission and vision and ultimately succeed in a hospital administration role.

3. Critical Thinking

CAHME-accredited MHA programs arm future healthcare leaders with the analytical skills they need to determine their hospital’s best course of action. The job calls for professionals with solutions-oriented personality traits who can make informed decisions by looking closely at data and predetermined goals.

Critical thinking is one such trait that HealthWorks Collective identified as crucial for hospital administrators, who “should be independent thinkers who can understand the current medical market and bring in solutions to help with adaptation.” 3 Hospital administrators need to be able to critically evaluate all angles of a decision and its potential outcomes. Then, they can analyze the risks and benefits for their particular needs.

4. Relationship Building

Hospital administrators are liaisons throughout their workplace. According to HealthWorks Collective, within a day, hospital administration professionals might interact with doctors, the hospital’s governing board, and members of its finance team, among others.3 Building strong relationships every step of the way and communicating effectively can rally staff behind a common cause and help keep the organization running smoothly. Establishing trust is vital, as is making decisions that align with the organization’s long-term goals.

5. Ethical Judgment

The HLA stated in their healthcare leadership competencies that healthcare administrators must have high standards of judgment as they develop sensitivity to customer needs and focus on measuring and continuously improving the patient care experience.2 Many hospital decisions fall on the administrator, meaning a solid moral compass is vital in healthcare leadership. The University of Scranton’s Master of Health Administration builds Jesuit values into the program to ensure graduates are ready to make ethical decisions in the field.

6. Adaptability

This is an exciting, yet challenging, time to be in the healthcare industry: The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that by 2030, all boomers would be at least 65. Plus, older adults are projected to outnumber children under age 18 for the first time in U.S. history by 2034.4

Over the years, these generational shifts will place more demand on hospitals. Adaptability is a crucial skill if hospital administrators want to keep up with the ever-shifting healthcare landscape—and they will be required to. Administrators must be willing to challenge the status quo and inappropriate usher changes.

7. Quick Thinking

Due to the changes brought on by population shifts, especially the rising number of aging Americans, doctors and staff are turning to hospital administrators for decisions. Hospital administrators should be comfortable making big and small decisions on the fly, but they also need to readily take responsibility for the success and failure of these decisions.3

Ready for the Next Step?

Take your hospital administration career to the next level with an advanced online degree from the University of Scranton. The online Master of Health Administration program delivers the expert business, management, and technical skills required to go further.

To learn more about The University of SScranton’sonline Master of Health Administration degree program, request information online or speak with a program manager at 866-373-9547.



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