If you've been thinking of a medical career that involves leadership, but not necessarily clinical work, you may have wondered what a director of a healthcare facility does. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health services managers and directors have a number of duties that involve the oversight and smooth operations of a healthcare facility such as a hospital, nursing home, skilled living center or long-term care facility. These professionals go by different titles including healthcare facility director, health services manager and healthcare administrator, among others, depending on the kind of facility they work for and the specifics of their job description. Here is an overview of what leaders in this field can expect to do throughout their workday.
In many cases, healthcare managers act as the official spokesperson for their facility when it comes to media relations. Large hospitals or healthcare networks may have separate public relations departments, but the face and voice of a facility is often the manager or director, who is responsible for fielding media questions, organizing press conferences and disseminating press releases.
What a director of a healthcare facility does, as well, is to handle the business decisions and strategic planning of the organization. He or she is responsible for ensuring that the goals of the practitioners, the facility vision, patient needs and budgetary constraints are all in alignment.
Managers of healthcare networks are also expected to collaborate with a number of key stakeholders. Working with leaders of the medical staff is of high priority in order to coordinate the daily activities of the facility. In addition, it is imperative that the administrator work with all departments to ensure that they are all working within budgetary constraints. Other duties may be to determine supply and equipment needs with physicians and to deal with all of the key details involved in the smooth operations of the facility. The ability to collaborate with a wide variety of people at various levels of responsibility within the organization is the mark of a competent leader and will take you far in the healthcare management field.
While there may be a human resources department at the facility, the ultimate responsibility for personnel issues lies with the administrator. The healthcare manager oversees the daily operations of the facility, including the actions and professionalism of the staff. This aspect of administration requires diplomacy, communication, interpersonal skills and other related leadership skills. It can be one of the most challenging aspects of running a facility and puts an administrator's critical thinking and leadership skills to the test. He or she must be aware of all aspects of job duties and expectations regarding each department and plays a part in evaluating overall staff performance.
Related Resource: Healthcare Management
These are simply a few of the primary duties of a healthcare administrator. There are numerous others. However, this should give you an idea of what a director of a healthcare facility does and let you know whether it seems as if this is a career field that makes sense for or appeals to you.