Hospital administrators are the brain of a healthcare facility. They manage the legal, financial, and organizational aspects of a hospital. They have a huge amount of power as they create policies that can impact all employees and patients at a facility. Their profession is unexpected, and they can be dealing with new challenges every day.
Hospital administrators regularly interact and cooperate with the entire hospital staff including, doctors, surgeons, technicians, nurses, and more. They run various operations behind the scene to ensure the smooth working of their facility.
Becoming a Hospital Administrator
To become a healthcare administrator, you should complete a bachelor’s in healthcare management. However, this degree will only qualify you for an entry-level job. Many advanced-level positions for hospital administrators require an MBA in healthcare management or a master of health leadership. Furthermore, administrative experience in a healthcare setting is also valuable as it proves that you are qualified to handle leadership responsibilities in a healthcare setting.
Now that you understand how to become a hospital administrator, you must be thinking about the various roles and responsibilities they have in a healthcare setting. Let’s discuss them in this article.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Hospital Administrator
Training Staff Members
One of the duties of a hospital administrator is to train new incoming hospital managers. Effectively training new employees leads to better retention rates and happier employees. Hospital administrators develop efficient training programs to help new employees settle at the facility. An effective new hire training program includes;
- Identifying the procedures hospital administrators want the new employee to complete
- Ordering a mentor to train new employees and then checking in for final understanding
- Ensuring that all managers use a checklist to train a new employee without missing any step
- Start onboarding, such as providing parking instructions, job timings, and more, before day one
- Train new employees to respect and follow the company culture
- Ask for feedback and reviews on the training program to make it better for future employees
Making Effective Policies
Hospital administrators are responsible for developing policies that are in the best interest of the hospital, its staff, and patients simultaneously. It is a crucial task as healthcare policies must be inclusive of all genders, ages, and ethnicities. An effective policy can be enforced easily and is readily adapted by the entire personnel. Some steps that hospital administrators follow to make effective policies include;
- Consulting all relevant personnel to develop a realistic policy
- Tailor a policy to meet the needs of the hospital instead of implementing general policies
- Convey all policies clearly and in an easily understandable language to avoid miscommunication
- Making realistic and relevant policies
- Publishing them to convey to the entire staff
- Train employees to follow the new policies
- Reviewing and enforcing efficient policies
Managing Finances of the Facility
Healthcare administrators manage the finances of their healthcare settings. They manage long-term investments for the hospital like, establishing a new cardiac center or buying the latest machines and equipment for the operation room. Hospital administrators develop innovative ways to reduce hospital expenses and also look for new ways to increase revenue. They basically ensure the financial well-being of a healthcare facility. Some of their duties as financial managers may include;
- Ensuring that the finances of the facility meet legal requirements
- Analyzing financial reports and market trends to draw data-driven conclusions
- Consulting top executives before approving financial decisions
- Supervising financial reporting system
- Facilitating contract negotiations between different parties
- Paying bills and clearing other hospital dues
- Smartly budgeting monthly and yearly for the facility
Advocating for patients
Another crucial role of the hospital administrators is to act as advocates for the patients at their facility. They ensure a healthy and respectful relationship between patients and their care providers. They deal with any problems that the patients may face and work to resolve their issues as soon as possible. For example, an inaccurate diagnosis, unsafe accommodations, or unclear instructions resulting in problems for the patient are brought to the notice of the hospital administrator. They help resolve such cases and provide as much help as possible. Hospital administrators may implement the following strategies to facilitate patient advocacy at their facility.
- Improving the facility’s health literacy outreach
- Utilizing nurse advocates
- Adopting interminable visiting hours
- Preventing unwanted intervention by family members
- Empowering patients to advocate for themselves
- Learning from patient feedback
Monitoring Daily Administrative Operations
The job of hospital administrators is rewarding but equally challenging as well. They perform several specialized and general roles in their healthcare facility. They efficiently fulfill their responsibilities to ensure the smooth running of a hospital. Other than the specialized roles of hospital administrators that we have discussed so far, they also perform some general daily roles that are discussed below;
- Ensuring that the hospital follows all rules, laws, and policies
- Improving the quality of patient care
- Supervising staff members and creating their daily schedules
- Reviewing managed care contracts
- Representing their hospital at meetings, training, and conferences
- Recording hospital services
- Handling emergencies
- Resolving disputes among staff or between patients and health care providers
- Smartly managing crisis situations
Hospital administrators play a vital role in their facilities. They have a hectic schedule most of the time and constantly work to ensure the well-being of their employees as well as patients. Healthcare services are expected to rise, and hospitals will have a greater need for administrators to effectively manage their facilities. The aging population and late retirements in this profession are the reason behind the increasing job opportunities for hospital managers. According to the US Bureau of labor statistics, a 32% growth is expected for medical and health services managers in the next decade, with 429,800 job openings each year. Therefore, it is a promising career option with plenty of job opportunities upon graduation.
The Wrap Up
Hospital administrators play a crucial role in a healthcare facility. They manage the whole organization effectively. They recruit and train new employees while developing new employee training programs to ensure better employee retention rates. Another essential role of hospital administrators is to develop and implement realistic, relevant, and efficient policies that benefit all hospital employees and the incoming patients. Furthermore, they advocate for patients to create a just healthcare system.
Managing the hospital finances to increase profits and decrease expenses is also one of their responsibilities. Overall, they also perform many small roles on a daily basis in their healthcare facility. These daily tasks can include developing schedules, assigning responsibilities, and more. The profession of a hospital manager is rewarding but taxing. However, the job outlook is promising, and many job opportunities are available upon graduation. Hopefully, this article will educate you about the various roles and responsibilities of a healthcare administrator.