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What is the difference between healthcare management and administration?

There is a lot of overlap in terminology between roles in healthcare management vs. healthcare administration. However, they are unique career paths requiring distinct sets of skills:

  • Healthcare management. Healthcare managers deal in the overall operation of an organization. Their primary role is in leadership and the business side of healthcare.  Healthcare managers interact with stakeholders and other board members for organizational direction and planning, usually involves managing more than one department—or an entire clinic.
  • Healthcare administration. Healthcare administrators are more concerned with day-to-day operations. An administrator’s focus is on daily staff management and administrative procedures within a department. Healthcare administrators usually report to healthcare managers, and work within individual departments as supervisors or manager support. They may be found in smaller, rural areas as office managers or other similar job titles depending on area, experience and availability.

Smaller healthcare institutions may merge the roles into single positions and use each term interchangeably, but bigger facilities will often specialize into unique roles and differentiate them more clearly in terms of management or administration.

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