What is Healthcare Administration?
Health, or healthcare, administration is the management profession that provides direction and support to the many institutions that oversee the delivery of health services to individuals, and the various services, units, and divisions that make up these institutes. As such, healthcare administrators and managers can be found at work in hospitals, urgent care clinics, private medical practices, hospices, and other medical organizations, as well as at medical equipment and pharmaceutical companies. They can be found at every level of these health services institutions, from senior- to lower-level management. No matter the level they serve at, health administrators are tasked with making important decisions that affect the organization and its ability to work efficiently and provide quality healthcare to its patients. This may be through the introduction of new technology, raising financial resources, the hiring of new doctors and nurses, deciding which services will be maintained, added, or removed, and so on. Many times these decisions are based on how the organization or unit as a whole measures up to performance targets that healthcare managers have set for those under their supervision.
As in any profession, health administrators plan by setting targets and priorities, organize their areas and the hierarchy of reporting, staff and maintain their workforces, control staff performance and activities, direct action through effective communication and leadership, and make decisions based on careful consideration of the possible benefits and disadvantages of taking particular action. In addition to these general aspects of administration, healthcare managers must also keep in mind the quality and efficiency of patient care, the needs of their immediate and extended communities, changes in government plans and laws regarding healthcare, and reimbursement by and availability of various insurance companies. The level of complexity at which hospitals and other medical care centers operate ensures the need for competent healthcare administrators who can oversee day-to-day operations and allow doctors and nurses to focus on their own areas of expertise.
Healthcare Administrator Courses
Healthcare administrators perform many functions and must be informed and up-to-date on a number of subjects related to the medical profession. Study.com has hundreds of lessons available that cover the many areas of medicine involved in treatment and healthcare management. College-credit awarding courses and study resources will prepare the student of medicine or future administrator for success in their chosen field.
Health 301: Ethical & Legal Issues in Healthcare
Students pursuing a career in medicine should consider this course in the legal and ethical issues of the discipline. College-level lessons assess accreditation and licensure, HIPAA compliance, informed consent, and various cases of liability.
Health 302: Health Services Policy
This college course discusses the intersection of US public policy and the field of healthcare. Chapters address the history and organization of the healthcare system and services, providers, and policy influences on how medicine is financed and delivered.
Health 303: Healthcare Organization & Management
This is an introductory college-level course on management in the medical field for aspiring hospital administrators. It covers the ethical and legal issues involved, theories of organization and behavior, and the specific functions managers perform.
Health 307: Healthcare Delivery Systems
Those looking to work in healthcare administration will find the details of the healthcare system integral to their education. This college course discusses the types of health care institutions, the professionals who work there, and the technology involved.
Health 308: Healthcare Quality & Outcome Measurement
This course provides a college-level discussion of best practices and quality of care for students of medicine. Lessons cover institutional standards of quality, basic statistical analysis, and how to measure patient care, safety, and satisfaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of healthcare administration?
Healthcare administration fulfills the role of day-to-day management within various health services organizations. Healthcare managers create performance targets, organize their divisions and medical personnel, assess, improve, and replace services on offer, and much more.
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