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Leading the Way to Better Care: The Impact of Healthcare Administration

Because patient care is high stakes, healthcare administrators must lead with confidence and care, have excellent organizational skills, communicate expertly across many audiences, and seamlessly navigate issues that arise.

Across the complexity of healthcare systems, administrators are a critical component. They often work behind the scenes to coordinate various departments and the details necessary to run an efficient, high-quality healthcare operation. Because patient care is high stakes, healthcare administrators must lead with confidence and care, have excellent organizational skills, communicate expertly across many audiences, and seamlessly navigate issues that arise. 

If this is a career path you’re interested in taking, here are some things you’ll need to know.

Healthcare Administration 101: Necessary Skills 

To say healthcare administrators do “a little bit of everything” is a broad statement, but accurate. These are the individuals who make sure that all the important parts of the medical facility are managed efficiently and effectively. Competent management allows all personnel—nursing and medical staff, administration, equipment suppliers and vendors, custodial workers, training staff and more —to successfully do their jobs and focus on providing the best in patient care. It’s a big job, with a lot of moving pieces, but the right person can dig into the details, provide organization, and prioritize organization-wide communication.

There are many positions within healthcare administration, such as in a small private medical office, working with a team to manage large, complex hospital organizations or somewhere in between. Regardless of the size of the facility, healthcare administrators often manage multiple tasks at once, and must impart their skills in problem-solving, budgeting, goal development, organization, and communication regularly.

Because there are so many active components to successfully operating a facility, healthcare administrators must be excellent and efficient communicators. Being able to share information directly and effectively, collaborate on projects, execute directives, and amplify organization goals is a key attribute to confidence in leadership. On any day, a healthcare administrator might interact with physicians, nurses, department heads, administration staff, IT specialists and media, all in service of streamlining processes and providing resources for optimal patient care.  

A Day in the Life of a Healthcare Administrator

Teamwork and interpersonal skills are essential skills of an effective, confident administrator.  Most large medical facilities and healthcare organizations will have several departments work together to successfully operate. The duties of a healthcare administrator can vary depending on the specific job title and department, the size of the facility, and what needs the organization has etc., but general responsibilities can include: 

  • Recruiting, training, and supervising staff members and personnel
  • Creating work schedules
  • Preparing and monitoring budgets
  • Keeping and organizing facility records
  • Coordinating insurance transactions and billing records 
  • Communicating with members of medical staff and department heads
  • Effectively allocating resources to better support staff and organization initiatives 
  • Handling issues as they arise while preparing for what-if scenarios

Bigger picture items might include strategic planning, budgeting and forecasting financial plans, incorporating new technological advancements, and training, safety compliance and oversight and working with community and patient outreach to ensure quality care at all times.  

The Great Debate: Management versus Administration 

While some might use the terms healthcare management and healthcare administration interchangeably, the two positions are related but separate. Healthcare management is focused on the overall needs of the organizations, looking at “big picture” issues and overseeing the direction of initiatives for the entire healthcare facility or system. Some job titles for healthcare management might include hospital administrator, executive director, practice administrator, public health director, health advocate and social welfare administrator.

On the other hand, healthcare administration more often focuses on specific and individual departments, including budgets, day-to-day operations, and staffing. Some job titles associated with healthcare administration are clinic director, hospice care director, health services manager, practice administrator, medical records manager and practice or office manager. 

While there is some overlap of titles and some job descriptions may combine, overall, it is up to the employee to see which track best suits their personality, knowledge base, and skill set to best serve the patients and their care. 

The role of a healthcare administrator is integral to the infrastructure of a healthcare facility because the cost in time, money, and most importantly, patient welfare and care, is too high to risk. A quality education in healthcare administration is vital to producing confident, competent, problem-solving leaders to help save lives and provide exceptional healthcare to communities everywhere. Are you up for the job? Learn more about Herzing University’s accredited healthcare administration programs and see how you can positively impact future healthcare operations.

Learn More About Our Healthcare Administration Degree


* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2023 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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