Health Care Administration Careers: A Complete Guide

The health care field is a broad industry, and it’s growing larger by the day. In addition to medical professionals, health care organizations require skilled employees in many other areas.
health care administration professional

For many, focusing on specific areas of health care administration is an excellent way to develop desirable skills and potentially earn more income. Attention to detail, business acumen, confidentiality and communication skills are helpful when it comes to decision making and strategic thinking. Additionally, public speaking skills are valuable for a health care administrator asked to represent a company in public settings.

Here is a sample of some of the career options available in health care administration:

Hospital Administration and Management

Hospital administrators strategize and create long-term plans for the operations of hospitals or clinics.

Medical Staff Directors

Medical staff in hospitals and large clinics are primarily responsible for ensuring compliance with bylaws, rules and regulations. The positions require attention to detail, an ability to recognize risks, and maintenance of sensitive and confidential information. A few key responsibilities include:

  • Coordinating peer reviews, proctoring and other competency assessment activities of the medical staff.
  • Preparing and maintaining credentialing packets for new physicians and other privileged providers.
  • Taking minutes at medical staff committee meetings and maintaining documentation.

Ambulatory Care

Small-provider practices, outpatient surgical, and free-standing emergency and urgent care facilities employ professionals who serve their communities when and where they need it the most.

Community Health Centers

Community health centers are rising in popularity since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Health care professionals at these locations not only provide medical services, but also education on healthy living, access to healthy foods and assistance to access necessary services.

Medical Coding and Billing

Specialists perform complex coding and billing procedures to assist health care organizations with third party insurance and billing companies.

Financial Management

Financial managers in health care administration are responsible for their organization’s overall financial health. They produce reports, direct investment activities and develop strategies to accomplish long-term financial goals.

Database Administrator

Database administrators manage, configure and monitor database systems of patient information for health care providers.

Senior Care Staff

A wealth of jobs are available in retirement communities that support the mental, physical and emotional health of aging patients.

Patient Advocates

Care coordinators and patient advocates help patients and their families navigate the health care delivery system. These positions require compassion and excellent communication and mediation skills. Bilingual candidates are often preferred. Responsibilities can include:

  • Assisting with the transfer of information between patients and clinicians or others in the organization.
  • Coordinating translation services.
  • Facilitating processes associated with transitions in care – from one level to another or across health care organizations – to keep the patient safe and to ensure the appropriate transfer of responsibility.
  • Responding to complaints and grievances from patients or their families and following up on opportunities for improvement.

Emergency Preparedness Administrator

Emergency preparedness administrators plan and provide education and training opportunities to the public, first responders, hospitals and other stakeholder groups in the event of an emergency.

Safety Professionals

The duties of safety professionals in the health care field are broad and include ensuring the safety of employees, patients, families and visitors.

Quality Assurance Manager

Quality assurance managers make sure that technology, care and medical advisement provided to patients is at the highest standard possible.

Marketing and Communications

Marketing and communications duties in the health care field may include managing social media accounts, bringing awareness to the hospital and its services, fielding public opinions and more. Reputation management is a huge part of this career and may require monitoring and engaging with the public through services like Yelp and Facebook.

Telehealth Program Managers

Health care, education and support are increasingly being delivered virtually using video conferencing, digital medical devices and social networking platforms. There is complexity in the setup of telemedicine visits between a patient and physician who are in two separate locations, and a telehealth program manager attends to the infrastructure needed to make these visits possible. Responsibilities include:

  • Collaborating with information systems and clinical staff on selection of equipment, setup and scheduling.
  • Creating operational policies and processes to guide the delivery of care, support and education of patients in a non-face-to-face environment.
  • Facilitating communications and building partnerships between clinical staff at multiple sites.

Supporting Roles

Health care professionals in supporting roles perform critical duties to assist nurses and physicians with clinical backgrounds.

Conclusion

Health care organizations are some of the largest and most complex in the world; therefore, the different varieties of administration careers available in the field are growing, both for older workers and those starting their careers. Knowing what to expect about careers and workplace environments in health care administration can give you an advantage over other applicants.

Whether you pursue one the options listed here or one of the many career paths in public health, your education is a critical component. For more information about online health care administration degree programs from Columbia Southern University, visit ColumbiaSouthern.edu.