Hospital Administrator Job Description
Hospital administrators oversee and manage healthcare facilities. They are crucial to the both the day-to-day running and long-term success of their facility, since they make key strategic decisions, allocate budgets, and coordinate operations. Hospital administrators also function as a liaison among staff members such as doctors and nurses, and they maintain smooth communication between the facility and stakeholders, patients, and the general public. This is a complex and demanding role, and although hospital administrators typically work full time during regular business hours, they are perpetually on-call in case of any emergencies, since hospitals operate 24/7.
Hospital Administrator Duties and Responsibilities
Hospital administrators handle various tasks based on their employer, but no matter where the job may be, all hospital administrators are expected to fulfill the following duties:
Hospital administrators oversee the day-to-day operations of their facility with the goal of providing high-quality and efficient medical service to patients. This involves supervising departments, monitoring performance, identifying threats and opportunities, and creating long-term strategies.
It’s up to hospital administrators to manage overall finances by designating budgets and deciding on service fees that maximize facility revenue. They may also prepare regular reports summarizing financial statuses and facilitate the processing of employee payroll and benefits.
Hospital administrators play a vital role in developing positive relationships both internally and externally. They connect medical staff, patients, and governing boards while contributing to public relations by representing their facility at conferences and community programs.
Hire Staff Members
Many of a hospital administrator’s tasks overlap significantly with HR, as hospital administrators are often in charge of hiring and monitoring the performance of medical staff, including doctors, nurses, and interns. It’s common for them to lead regular meetings and conduct trainings on topics such as organizational values or healthcare policies.
Staying updated with relevant laws and standards is important for hospital administrators, who are responsible for creating and modifying facility policies. Implementation is another step toward compliance, and they must ensure that all programs are in line with regulations.
Hospital Administrator Skills and Qualifications
Hospital administrators shine in dynamic environments where they must use analytical thinking, project management, and business expertise to build a thriving facility with top-notch medical care. In addition to a master’s degree in healthcare or business administration, companies hiring hospital administrators look for candidates with the following skills:
- Leadership – hospital administrators act as leaders of their facility, organizing resources based on a strategic vision and directing staff members in their everyday work
- Knowledge of healthcare – hospital administrators are well-versed in the business and social aspects of medicine, including healthcare systems, medical billing, marketing, and ethics
- Organization skills – because they coordinate the activities of various teams and spearhead projects, hospital administrators should be organized and at ease with multitasking, even in high-pressure environments
- Communication skills – hospital administrators relay important information to staff members and give presentations to stakeholders, so they must have stellar communication skills
- Customer service – from a high-level perspective, hospital administrators constantly strive to improve customer satisfaction and create solutions to major concerns
Tools of the Trade
Hospital administrators must be comfortable using the following programs:
- Hospital management software (Intelligent Medical Software, Insta HMS, eHospital Systems)
- Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
Hospital Administrator Education and Training
Most hospital administrators have a master’s degree in health administration, business administration, public health, or a related field, which may take two to three years to complete. However, some employers consider candidates with only a relevant bachelor’s degree, as long as they have several years of experience in a senior management position, preferably within a healthcare setting.
Hospital Administrator Salary and Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes hospital administrators as medical and health services managers. It reports a median annual salary of around $98,000 for this sector, with the lowest 10 percent of earners making less than $58,000, while the highest 10 percent receive more than $176,000.
This sector is expected to grow at an optimistic rate of 20 percent through 2026. More job openings will be available as longer human life expectancies trigger an increased demand for healthcare services.
If you’re ready to become a hospital administrator, we’ve compiled the following resources to get you started:
American College of Healthcare Executives – this international organization caters to thousands of professional healthcare leaders. It offers members a premier certification in healthcare management along with educational and networking opportunities
Patients Come Second: Leading Change by Changing the Way You Lead – prioritizing customer satisfaction seems like a universal rule, but this book points out that, paradoxically, healthcare managers can achieve this by taking care of their employees first. Through a sense of purpose and personal growth, workplace teams can perform much better
American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management – AAHAM is unique for its focus on the healthcare revenue cycle. Hospital administrators can join this association to reach out to experts and learn more about topics such as data management and patient relations
First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently – this popular book on organizational management is based on an extensive study of 80,000 managers. Evidence-based and idiosyncratic, it goes against conventional wisdom and describes career ideas taken from the lives of these managers
Modern Healthcare – an awareness of industry trends is necessary to keep any business running. This print and digital publication is a must-read for healthcare leaders, as it delivers business news and research that may be crucial to organizational strategy
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