Healthcare administration and healthcare management are often incorrectly viewed as the same fields. While there are similarities, there are also unique differences between the two career focuses.
The primary difference between healthcare management and healthcare administration
Healthcare management focuses on overseeing the direction of a healthcare facility or system, organization-wide initiatives, and “big picture” needs, while healthcare administration focuses on individual departments and budgets, day-to-day operations, and staffing.
Healthcare management also focuses on the overall needs of the entire organization. By comparison, healthcare administration is more focused on individual areas and departments. A healthcare manager helps direct organizational policies and procedures and shares that information with the entire system, while a healthcare administrator is more focused on best using and directing his or her staff within a department.
Where do healthcare administrators and managers work?
Both healthcare administrators and healthcare managers may work in similar settings, such as hospitals, private clinics, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or even educational settings such as teaching hospitals or school districts.
The daily tasks and strategic goals are often different for healthcare management and healthcare administration employees and are often dependent upon where the person works.
Skills needed for healthcare administrators and healthcare managers
Healthcare managers and administrators are often found at the executive or c-suite level. Because of this, certain leadership and soft skills can help them be successful:
Communication and interpersonal skills
In addition, it is vital that both healthcare administrators and managers understand medical language, processes, and the unique environment of hospitals, clinics, and other health agencies or providers.
Educational requirements for healthcare administration and healthcare management
For healthcare administrators or managers who would like to advance to higher-level positions, such as vice president or chief operating officer, a master’s degree in a health-related field or a master’s in business administration with a concentration in healthcare can be beneficial.
Salary can vary on many factors such as experience, education, location, and employer. As you gain experience and education in your chosen field, your earning potential can increase. Discover the average salary for a healthcare manager by state and find out what kind of pay you can begin working toward.