What Is Healthcare Administration?

Clinic receptionist in headsetEvery industry needs an army of talented executives, managers and administrators to be successful. In most situations, the people who focus on the specialized talents in an industry lack the business skills necessary to keep the industry profitable. Musicians have business managers and hospitals have healthcare administrators. There is a lot that goes into becoming a successful and qualified healthcare administrator and it all begins with a desire to lead and a comprehensive understanding of the healthcare industry.

While the range of talents acquired by some of the best healthcare administrators can vary, the one thing that remains constant throughout the entire industry is the need for a Master in Healthcare Administration degree. There are many accredited and reputable universities throughout the country that offer the kind of educational background that people need to be successful in this field. In the end, it is a combination of educational process and practical workplace experience that makes a successful administrator.

When you start to examine the many curriculum involved in the study of healthcare administration, you will see courses focusing on leadership scattered throughout the entire process. An administrator is expected to not only make the decisions that keep a facility running, but he is also called on to make sure that the facility is profitable at all times. Even though most medical facilities are non-profit organizations, the ability to generate a perceived profit means the availability of more funds to hire personnel and bring in cutting edge equipment.

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Leadership also means the ability to inspire people to accept the cause of the greater good and make the sacrifices necessary to realize success. It can sometimes be difficult to develop that balance between personal need and the success of the organization, but an administrator finds that balance and gives his people a reason for caring about the facility and its ability to offer the best possible care to its patients.

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Careers in Health Care Management: Perspectives from the Field

The panel consisted of:

  • Dr. J. Robert Galvin, commissioner of the state Department of Health
  • James Cullen, president and chief executive officer of Gaylord Hospital
  • Nancy Rosenthal, senior vice president for health systems development at Greenwich Hospital

The presentation was moderated by Angela Mattie, associate professor of management in the School of Business.

The management portion of a healthcare administration job is more of the day to day elements of maintaining a staff. In most healthcare organizations, there are several layers of management that have to work together to help the facility to reach its goals. A good healthcare manager has to deal with everything that comes with running a medical facility, which includes scheduling the staff, finding new staff members to keep up with the needs of the facility, maintaining departmental budgets and making sure that the facility always has the staff it needs to get the job done.

A healthcare manager also has to keep up with the laws and regulations that guide the healthcare industry and can change constantly. The manager must make sure that the facility’s records and record keeping methods are within legal guidelines and yet still accessible to the people who need to see them. The manager also keeps up with company guidelines and makes sure that each department runs within those guidelines. The managers of a healthcare organization are charged with upholding the policies and procedures that the administrators create.

The administration portion of a healthcare administration job brings together disciplines from several fields in order to keep a healthcare network or facility running in a manner that allows it to care for patients with a variety of conditions. One of the more common disciplines utilized by an administrator is an understanding of accounting and finance. Not only does an administrator have to understand the organization’s current budget, he also needs to be able to find new ways for the organization to create more revenue in the future.

An administrator needs to keep his eye out for new technology and do his best to bring in the equipment that the medical professionals need to treat patients. There is a huge network of grants and other forms of financing that an administrator must navigate in order to bring in some of the latest equipment available. Every administrator knows that his facility can gain a strong reputation in its local area, or even around the country, if it finds a way to bring in the latest technology being used to treat the most prominent conditions.

Another element of healthcare administration that sometimes gets lost is marketing. While a hospital may not feel as though it needs to market its services in order to stay in business, the truth can be that marketing is what separates a successful hospital from one that closes its doors after a while. We have all seen commercials on television that talk about local hospitals and the services that they offer. A good healthcare administrator understands the power of good marketing and the importance of getting word of his facility’s life-saving services to the people who need to know about them.

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The U.S. Healthcare System – Current and Future

William Roper, Dean, University of North Carolina School of Medicine discusses how the US Healthcare System will affect your Career.

As technology continues to advance, the need to understand how computer services benefits medical treatment and research grows. This need is left to the healthcare administrators to analyze and understand. As an administrator, it would be your job to stay up to date on all of the new technology that is being released and understand how it could benefit your organization, or determine that it has no place in your healthcare network. Many healthcare administrators hire staffs consisting of the best technical minds to help gain an understanding of how these new devices will advance medical research and treatment.

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If you decide to embark on the career of a healthcare administrator, then you are taking on a quest that will become a rewarding but challenging endeavor. The Master of Healthcare Administration, or MHA, is a baseline requirement for success in this industry. Once you start to understand the wide variety of information you have to understand in order to be successful at the job, you will begin to see why an advanced degree is so important.

It can take years to become a successful healthcare administrator. In the process, you will accumulate knowledge in a wide variety of disciplines that could be useful in a variety of other professions. But when you see the end result of your work and how much it can help other people, you will become very comfortable with your decision to be a healthcare administrator.


  • http://www.allalliedhealthschools.com/health-careers/health-care-administrator/health-care-administration-careers-overview
  • http://www.navy.com/careers/healthcare/healthcare-administration.html
  • http://www.princetonreview.com/careers.aspx?cid=76

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