Earning a Master of Health Administration (MHA) is a great step to starting your career as a healthcare administrator, but you'll also have to sharpen certain practical skills, too. Healthcare administrators are senior-level management professionals who must be highly trained to plan, direct, and oversee the daily operations of medical centers. Most healthcare managers slowly climb up the administrative ladder to fine-tune their skill sets for juggling the job's many major responsibilities. Making certain high-quality patient treatments are being delivered in a timely, efficient manner requires many different qualifications. Below are the skills healthcare leaders need to stand out in today's evolving industry.
Strong Leadership Capacity
Healthcare managers are given the hefty task of supervising a large medical team, whether for one clinical department or the entire facility. Therefore, healthcare administrators need to possess a solid leadership capacity for keeping all staff members on track. Having the managerial skill set to quickly resolve personnel issues and conflicts will help keep clinical operations running smoothly. Being a skilled communicator is essential for healthcare administrators to establish rapport with staff, collaborate with physicians, negotiate with insurance companies, and interact in regular board meetings.
In the 21st century, the healthcare industry is becoming increasingly digital thanks to the recent switch to electronic health records (EHR). Healthcare administrators need to be comfortable working with the latest medical technology and software. Technical expertise will be critical in managing information data systems that monitor budgeting, billing, and bookkeeping. Having technological finesse will also ensure that healthcare administrators can stay organized in maintaining meticulous records and filing comprehensive reports.
When it comes to healthcare delivery, there's plenty of room for emergency situations to occur that must be handled quickly with effective problem-solving. Whether it's a clinical issue or administrative conflict, it's important that healthcare administrators have the critical thinking skills to devise a creative solution that works. Healthcare managers should also have the positive attitude necessary to keep the facility's workplace morale up even when faced with problems. Possessing the confidence to implement solutions on the fly is a must.
Business and Legal Savvy
Even in the private sector, healthcare is a business that requires its administrators to hold a high level of business acumen. Administrators need to develop the strategic planning abilities needed to keep their organization competitive in a thriving market. Healthcare administrators must be business-oriented to meet financial and productivity goals. With increased state and federal regulations looming over healthcare facilities, having a strong legal savvy is also essential. Most of a healthcare manager's job revolves around knowing clinical policies and how to effectively adapt them in their facility accordingly.
Overall, healthcare administrators play a prominent role behind the scenes in directing our nation's medical facilities and making decisions that improve patient care. In exchange for their upper-level management role, administrators bring home a handsome six-figure average salary of $103,680 annually. Whether they're leading hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory care centers, pharmaceutical companies, physician offices, medical laboratories, or any other settings, healthcare administrators usually need a master's degree and several key characteristics. Now that you know the skills needed to become a healthcare administrator, you can work on developing them and enhancing your resume.