Health Services Administrators
On the Job
Health services administrators plan and direct the delivery of health care.
The rising cost of health care continues to be a hot-button topic. People live longer, increasing the amount of care they need. Technology is constantly developed to diagnose conditions. New medicines and treatments are tested every day. Many life-threatening diseases are now treatable and even curable. As you might have guessed, all these things cost money. As patients and consumers, we worry about rising insurance premiums. Doctors worry about the costs of running their offices. Who will manage rising costs while making sure we still receive good medical care?Health services administrators run hospitals and other health care facilities. They manage nursing homes and other services for older people. Health services administrators make sure health care standards are met. As the cost of health care rises, they make sure hospitals and clinics run efficiently and are able to stay in business.
Some health services administrators are chief executive officers (CEOs). They oversee all parts of clinics or hospitals. They set budgets and oversee how money is spent. They raise money to construct new buildings or buy new equipment. They keep track of changes in health care, such as the increased focus on preventing health problems before they occur. Administrators assess the need for health services in a community. They regularly communicate with staff, department heads, and members of governing boards. They do this by attending meetings and writing and submitting reports. This is to make sure that everyone is aware of new developments, changes, and department or hospital needs. They also make sure that their organization is ready to handle an emergency. Some administrators make sure buildings are safe and clean and that equipment is in good working order. They make sure that buildings are accessible to people with disabilities. Other administrators oversee health research or computer technology.
Assistant administrators run human resources, finance, and other departments. They hire staff and use computers to keep track of employee data. They plan and implement billing and accounting systems. Some administrators promote health education programs. They often work with different community groups to determine the health needs of the local area. They may also develop teaching materials for community health education.
Some health services administrators run clinical departments, such as nursing or surgery. They set policies and standards for their unit. They develop a budget, hire staff, and write activity reports. They establish work schedules and assign duties to staff. Most clinical administrators have training and work experience in the area they manage.
Health services administrators may manage the business affairs of medical group practices. In large clinics, administrators set policies and manage daily business operations. In small clinics, they manage the billing systems and assist in hiring. They also assist in managing the flow of patients in and out of the office.
The following list of occupational tasks is specific to this career.
- Set budgets and oversee spending in hospitals or clinics.
- Determine the need for health services in communities.
- Stay informed on changes in health services and government regulations. Make organization-level changes when necessary.
- Set goals for quality and make sure goals are met.
- Oversee all aspects of delivering health care to make sure resources are used wisely.
- Oversee medical research programs.
- Inspect buildings and equipment to make sure they are safe and accessible.
- Develop and promote community health education programs.
- Direct and coordinate the activities of a hospital or clinical department.
- Hire and evaluate staff or department employees.
- Make sure the organization is ready to handle an emergency.
- Regularly communicate with staff, department heads, and boards of directors about operations and needs.
- Maintain computer records to store and process employee data.
- Write department activity reports.
- Create work schedules and make staff assignments.
People in this career perform the following list of tasks, but the tasks are common to many occupations.
- Communicate with supervisors, peers, or subordinates.
- Make decisions and solve problems.
- Establish and maintain relationships.
- Evaluate information against standards.
- Get information needed to do the job.
- Develop and build teams.
- Monitor and control resources.
- Guide, direct, and motivate subordinates.
- Analyze data or information.
- Coordinate the work and activities of others.
- Organize, plan, and prioritize work.
- Coach others.
- Develop goals and strategies.
- Resolve conflicts and negotiate with others.
- Judge the value of objects, services, or people.
- Process information.
- Update and use job-related knowledge.
- Use computers.
- Communicate with people from outside the organization.
- Recruit, interview, or hire others.
In a typical work setting, people in this career:
- Have a high level of social interaction. They frequently work with other administrators, employees, and the public.
- Communicate by telephone, letters and memos, and in person on a daily basis. They communicate less often by e-mail.
- Are greatly responsible for work outcomes and the results of other workers in their health care facilities.
- Are often placed in conflict situations. Budgets and insurance plans are complex and people may differ about how to manage them.
- Often must deal with angry, unpleasant, or discourteous people.
- Are responsible for the health and safety of employees and patients.
- Regularly work in a group or as part of a team.
- Always work indoors in offices, hospitals, and other health care facilities.
- Are occasionally exposed to diseases or infections when interacting with patients.
- May on occasion wear safety gear, such as gloves and masks, when visiting medical facilities.
- Work near others. They may share the same office space.
- Must be exact in their work. Errors could prevent hospitals and clinics from running smoothly.
- Constantly make decisions that affect the hospital or clinic.
- Make decisions that affect patients and staff members on a daily basis. They rarely consult a supervisor before deciding a course of action.
- Set nearly all tasks, goals, and priorities for the day without consulting a supervisor.
- Must be aware of moderate job pressures. Hospitals and clinics are heavily dependent on accurate budgets.
- Abide by strict deadlines on a daily basis.
- Often repeat the same activities, such as using a computer mouse or typing.
- Usually work full time.
- Generally work a set schedule.
- May work longer hours during emergencies or to meet deadlines.
- May work evenings or nights in hospitals or other care facilities that operate around the clock.
Physical Work Conditions
In a typical work setting, people in this career:
- Sit when working at a desk or computer.
- Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
- Understand the speech of another person.
- See details of objects whether they are nearby or far away.
- Hear sounds and recognize the difference between them.
- Use fingers or hands to grasp, move, or assemble objects.
- See differences between colors, shades, and brightness.
- Determine the distance between objects.
- Focus on one source of sound and ignore others.
People in this career frequently:
It is important for people in this career to be able to:
It is not as important, but still necessary, for people in this career to be able to:
Source: Minnesota Department of Education.