Why the Future of Healthcare Is in the Hands of Business Administrators

Maggie Hammond | Updated: 14-01-2022 10:36 IST | Created: 14-01-2022 10:36 IST
Why the Future of Healthcare Is in the Hands of Business Administrators
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When you are on the outside looking in, perhaps you think that hospitals are determined by the quality of the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals on staff. While that is true, none of those people would be there if it weren't for hospital business administrators, past and present.

There is so much that a healthcare administrator is responsible for and as the highest rung in the ladder under the Board of Directors, they are responsible for everything that happens within and to the institution.

That, however, is a simplistic view of all that business administrators do. Let's look at just a few of the things healthcare business administrators are qualified to do, and actually do, on a daily basis.

Qualifications of a Healthcare Business Administrator

The minimum education for a business administrator within a hospital or healthcare setting would be a master's or doctorate in business administration. While some hospitals won't require post-secondary education in healthcare, it is advisable to have a strong background in various aspects of current healthcare practices and technology.

To get an idea of what a master's in healthcare business administration involves, check out the EMHA degree established at uOttawa's Telfer program. This triple award-winning graduate school sets the standards for healthcare business administration and is a good example of what a business administrator does on a daily basis.

The Importance of Weighing Patient Care Against Institutional Costs

One of the most challenging tasks a business administrator will be charged with is seeking ways to provide quality patient care that is cost-effective for the hospital. Although most people don't like to see it as such, a hospital is a business, albeit a business that seeks to save lives and provide quality of life for their patients.

There is no denying that the cost of healthcare and modern medicine is beyond what the majority of people can pay out-of-pocket, but those services are necessary. Even the co-pay on some insurance policies is beyond what the average person can afford. It falls to the hospital business administrator to seek innovative ways to provide that quality care with cost-effective products and services.

Keeping up with Trends in Technology

Technology has become an integral part of literally every industry and so it is within healthcare. From medical diagnostics to telehealth to data analysis software, there isn't a department that doesn't employ some sort of technology.

As a result, the hospital administrator is responsible for keeping up with the latest trends in healthcare technology. Some of the newer medical diagnostic machines cost millions of dollars and if the budget isn't there, it is up to the administrator to take the need to the Board.

This is why so many healthcare business administration graduate programs have entire modules on technology as it relates to the field. Current technology is also on the cutting edge of patient safety. There is no mistaking the fact that technology is our future, and so it is with healthcare as well.

Establishing Trust within the Community

For many years now, consumers have been expressing a great deal of distrust in the institutional organisation of hospitals and large medical clinics. Consumers have expressed anger at the rising cost of healthcare and the lack of providing services in a timely manner.

Many consumers aren't aware of the overall shortage of doctors and nurses. Even if they were, when people are sick, they need treatment today, not at some point in the future. Many hospitals around the globe are setting elective surgeries months down the road and clinics have serious scheduling problems as well due to lack of staff.

The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem and so a growing discontent within the community needs to be tamed. A good hospital administrator can be a liaison between the hospital and the community. Often, they will speak at civic groups and local schools but there is much more they can do to quell the discontent. Some have even become active on social media to interact with followers and personally address any concerns they may have.

One Who Sets the Wheel in Motion

A good analogy of a hospital business administrator would be likening them to the gears in a well-oiled machine. They are quite literally the ultimate cause for setting things in motion. Whether acting as that liaison between the Board and staff or interacting as an intermediary between the hospital and the community, the administrator gets things moving.

However, once the wheel starts turning, the business administrator is responsible for making sure there are no obstructions in its path. Whether it's construction on a new wing of the hospital stalled because of delays in the supply chain or staffing issues caused by the pandemic, it all falls on the shoulders of the person in charge. That would be the business administrator.

The Final Word on Healthcare Business Administration

It goes without saying that in any industry, the administration is virtually left as the 'last man standing.' Or to use another analogy, it's like a chain of dominoes. When they are set into motion falling, they all end up on the first in line, and so it is with healthcare business administrators.

Not only are they responsible for seeing that everything runs smoothly when it doesn't, they are ultimately responsible for faults in the system. It takes a special kind of person to do the job effectively but just as importantly, it is the quality of education that can prepare an administrator for what follows.

As a final thought, this is one career that is in great demand for so many reasons. Not only has there been a shortage of qualified healthcare professionals, but the pandemic has also landed the world of medicine in dire straits. With a solid graduate education in business, technology and healthcare, your future is all but guaranteed.

There is no time like the present to prepare for a future in healthcare business administration. It's a demanding career but it's even more rewarding at the end of the day.

(Devdiscourse's journalists were not involved in the production of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)

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