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Top Skills of the Ideal Healthcare Administrator

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When looking for a job, we surf through different job opportunities, stating the skills and expertise they are looking for in a candidate. Will you be applying for a job that doesn’t align with your academic qualifications or strengths? Applying for a job that doesn’t involve your skills may not get you anywhere. A primary care physician cannot get into surgery without fulfilling the prerequisites. Similarly, an ophthalmologist cannot be a substitute for a cardiologist. Healthcare is a diverse field, housing both medical and non-medical degrees, and requires specialised skills for every domain that it offers.

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are always booming with patients. There is barely a day where we don’t see the carts rattling from one place to another. Looking after hundreds of patients visiting regularly or those needing constant medical attention entails tremendous efforts. Looking after patients, ensuring patient care quality, and staff performance are impossible without an administrator or a manager. Managing and streamlining the operations and day-to-day tasks in a hospital is a daunting and demanding job. To ensure healthcare operational excellence in this environment, a manager must be able to juggle multiple tasks and manage a complex system of resources efficiently.

The health services management field is rapidly growing, with baby boomers retiring and snowballing healthcare facilities. You do not have to be a physician or possess a medical degree to advance in the healthcare field. Other than doctors and nurses, healthcare service managers and administrators play a substantial role in maintaining the quality of services in general. A bachelor’s or a masters in health administration online can get you a well-suited healthcare industry position.

Here is a list of a few must-have skills if you wish to be a hospital administrator.

Communication 

No matter what industry you are in, you cannot survive without effective communication skills. Although they fall under the category of soft skills, they are one of the essential skills required in every industry. A health administrator has to overlook various operations and interact with different people. Health administrators spend most of their days at work interacting with employees, patients, and stakeholders. They also have to explain policies and other rules and regulations to new staff members or trainees. The communication can be through emails, on-call, or in person, but the administrator must know how to convey it clearly to others.

Critical thinking and problem-solving aptitude

Working as a healthcare administrator means handling and walking through different issues that can delay an operational outcome. Healthcare administrators must have the ability to understand and analyse problems that arise and look for solutions. Keeping their facilities aligned with the latest healthcare trends and regulations can lead to some roadblocks. Dealing with staffing the healthcare and facilitating the patients may not always go smoothly. 

Successful healthcare administrators have a knack for problem-solving. Critical thinking can reshape managerial activities and streamline other administrative tasks. 

Having industry knowledge

The healthcare industry is home to diversity. A doctor or a nurse cannot function or execute their tasks without the lab technicians for diagnosis and treatment. The healthcare industry has grown pretty competitive, and having the appropriate industry knowledge can help you excel in your career. Before you enter the healthcare industry, it is vital to research the kind of responsibility you will shoulder. Industry knowledge can help you acquire the skills that you need and improve the ones you already have.

Understanding legal aspects

Working as a healthcare administrator means ensuring that every operation in the hospital system does not violate any law. Many healthcare administrators’ job roles include the implementation and execution of organisational policies. Understanding these policies and their impact on the system plays a substantial role in streamlining various aspects of an organisation. An administrator must understand how these regulations and procedures can be beneficial in the long run, keeping track of changes occurring in the policies and aiming for their implication in the organisation. Understanding the legal aspects of the procedures will help prevent any violation that can lead to a lawsuit against any employee or the organisation.

Planning and mentoring 

Managing or monitoring a healthcare system requires detailed planning and strategies to stay ahead of the curve. The healthcare system provides care and assistance, but it also means business. An administrator with effective planning skills can help hospital management set achievable goals and enhance service quality. An administrator plays a vital role in guiding the newcomers to settle into their new workplace and feel comfortable. Guiding them through policies and other rules and regulations can help the new inductees understand the system and its function without ambiguity. 

Takeaway

Every career pathway requires specific skills and qualifications while offering a position to a candidate. People with a knack for managing and looking after various tasks are best suited for administrative jobs. However, the administration milestones may differ in every organisation. The healthcare industry is diverse, and it entails different managerial skills. You will find a difference even in interdisciplinary administration. Industry knowledge and potential administrative skills can help in smooth transitions within hospitals or outside hospital settings. The demand for healthcare administrators has increased over the past few years as healthcare is constantly expanding to cater to patients seeking medical assistance.




Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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