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Healthcare Administrators

Whether they work in a hospital, private medical practice, a nursing home, or a corporation, healthcare administrators play a crucial role. Healthcare administrators deal with the business side of the healthcare industry, providing the necessary support that the facilities and organizations need in order to be able to provide the best standards of healthcare. Some of the main responsibilities that a healthcare administrator is tasked with include:

Operations Management

A plan and an efficient organizational structure will be required in order for a healthcare practice to operate as efficiently and as smoothly as possible. Healthcare administrators are responsible for both of these things. They spend their time formulating, monitoring, and making any necessary adjustments to the overall business plan. They are tasked with overseeing the organization and the management of both employees and facilities. Some operational duties that are the responsibility of the healthcare administrator include strategic planning, formulating a budget, creating a high-quality and safe work environment, identifying and managing outsourced experts and business services, and managing any necessary technological updates such as electronic records systems and software.

Human Resources Management

Employees are often the most important resources in any healthcare practice. Healthcare administrators are required to manage this resource in a number of ways, such as making sure that the most qualified administrative employees are hired or putting strategies in place to motivate and retain the best talent. The healthcare administrator will often be responsible for making sure that administrative and clinical employees have everything that they need to perform well in their job and creating a culture of employee engagement in the workplace. They are often in charge of providing training and career advancement opportunities to employees, offering assistance, and providing incentives. The healthcare administrator will often be responsible for going over medical resumes, performing checks, and arranging interviews for healthcare professionals.

Financial Management

It goes without saying that the financial health of any organization is necessary to its success and survival. However, financial management will often account for just a quarter of the major responsibilities of a healthcare administrator. A healthcare administrator should be familiar with reimbursement policies, know the codes that are used for billing purposes, and stay ahead of the billing cycle. They may also be responsible for overseeing accounts payable, managing cash flow, administering payroll, supervising audits, and reviewing and approving departmental budgets.

Communications

Healthcare administrators are typically put in charge of internal communications, community relations, and information management. They will often serve as a liaison between trustee boards, departments, medical personnel, and business staff. Because of this, healthcare administrators are often responsible for developing and maintaining open lines of communication that enable the system to function as efficiently and as smoothly as possible. Healthcare administrators are often human resources managers who are responsible for providing streamlined channels to gather feedback and suggestions for employees. They need to be able to clearly communicate the vision and mission for the practice and improve community relations by travelling to professional conventions and attending local events such as fundraisers.

Legal Responsibilities

In the healthcare industry, there are often lots of potential legal issues, which is why it is so important for a healthcare administrator to be able to stay abreast of laws and regulations in relation to healthcare. Along with managing risk to ensure that the working environment is as safe as possible, healthcare administrators will also need to design and maintain compliance programs for laws and regulations, come up with procedures and strategies to deal with adverse situations and events with action plans that can be put in place when necessary, and familiarise themselves with licensing and accreditation requirements.

Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration Worth It?

If you want to pursue a career in healthcare but are considering working behind the scenes rather than at the bedside, a career as a healthcare administrator might be ideal for you. As is detailed above, the healthcare administrator takes on a large range of roles and responsibilities that are vital for making sure that a hospital or other healthcare facility is able to run smoothly and as efficiently as possible. If this is the career that you want, you may be considering whether or not gaining an advanced degree in healthcare administration may be necessary to get a good job in this field. What benefits and advantages are there to getting a master’s degree in healthcare administration?

Whether or not you get a master’s degree such as the Executive Master of Health Administration from uOttawa will largely depend on where you want your career to go. Although a bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum requirement to get into a healthcare administration career, you may find that having an advanced qualification helps you to stand out from other candidates along with providing you with access to more highly-paid roles with a greater level of responsibility in this field. If you want to invest more time upfront into maximising your earning potential and getting the best possible career opportunities, then a master’s degree is certainly worth having.

On the other hand, if you would be satisfied to earn less income over your career and simply want to start working in healthcare administration as soon as possible, a master’s degree might not always be the best choice. Whether or not you decide to get an advanced degree in healthcare administration, this role is generally very rewarding with generous salaries on offer.

How Long Does Getting a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration Take?

If you want to work in a management role in the fast-growing healthcare administration field, you might be wondering how long it will take you to earn an advanced degree in healthcare administration either on campus, online, or with a blended or hybrid program that combines traditional and digital learning. Today there are various healthcare administration programs available to choose from including campus-based programs and online programs depending on which is the most suitable option for you. In general, getting a master’s degree in healthcare administration should take around two years, although there are opportunities to study part-time that will expand the total length of the course.

What to Consider When Choosing a Master’s of Healthcare Administration Degree

If you have decided that earning a master’s degree in healthcare administration is the best choice for you when it comes to boosting your healthcare career, there are several things that are worth considering when choosing the right program for you. The specific degree course, type of learning, and the university that you get your degree at can all play a part in your future career direction.

How to Study

When it comes to getting your master’s degree in healthcare administration, students have the option to study either on-campus, online, or through a blended program that offers both online and campus-based learning. Which one you choose is entirely up to you and it’s worth bearing in mind that the degree qualification is worth the same no matter how you decide to get it. Studying on-campus might be the best option for you if you have a free schedule and want to get the full experience of getting a master’s degree with in-person lectures, classes, and seminars along with access to all the campus facilities and the chance to meet your professors and fellow students in person. On the other hand, if you are working full time and have other commitments that you will need to uphold while studying, then an online degree may be a more flexible option that might be better suited to your needs.

Accreditation

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a university and a degree program to get your masters in healthcare administration degree is the accreditation. It’s important to pick an accredited program in order to ensure that your degree qualification is accepted by employers and useful when it comes to helping you get your desired career after graduation. This is an even more important step to consider if you are planning to study online as, sadly, not all online universities and colleges are reputable, and some will offer programs that are not accredited, which risks rendering them useless once you graduate and want to use the degree to get into a healthcare administration role. Before applying to a program and enrolling, it’s a good idea to check the relevant accrediting body’s websites to make sure that the school and program you want to enrol in is recognized.

Flexibility

How flexible your degree program is might be a concern for you if you are considering studying for a master’s in healthcare administration. This is especially true if you are planning to study online since many online programs are either fully or partly flexible to give students the opportunity to easily fit studying around their work and other commitments. If you have decided to study online, then make sure to consider the flexibility offered by the program. Some online programs offer some flexibility by offering students the option to log in and use the educational materials on offer when it is most convenient to them, but still require students to be online at certain days and times to attend online lectures and classes. On the other hand, other online programs are even more flexible, offering students the option to go online and access pre-recorded classes at any time that is most suitable for them with no set availability required.

Experience

If you have decided to get your master’s of healthcare administration online, then another major factor to consider is how much experience the university has when it comes to delivering online programs and distance learning. With the move to online learning due to COVID19 over the past couple of years, more and more universities, colleges, and other educational organisations have been adding online degrees and online learning courses to their prospectus. However, it’s important to note that some of these might be brand new to online learning and as one of the first students, you may not be getting as good an experience compared to when studying at a university that has been offering online learning for some time. Wherever possible, it is a good idea to study at an established online learning institution whether that’s a college that is online-only, or a university that’s been offering online and distance learning options for many years.

Student Support

Whether you are studying on-campus or online, one of the main things to consider when you decide to get a master’s degree in healthcare administration is the level of student support on offer. For online students, student support is often an even more important consideration to make when it comes to choosing a university and program since these students will not have the same level of access to the campus facilities and support staff compared to students on campus. Before applying to and enrolling on a program, it is worth finding out as much as you can about the level of student support available including how you can get support when you need it academically, financially, and with mental health if necessary.

Finances

Finally, it’s always important to consider how you are going to pay for your master’s degree. Getting a university degree does not come cheap, particularly at this advanced level. If you are already working in healthcare and getting an advanced degree is likely to benefit both you and your employer, then it might be worth speaking to your employer to find out more about any programs that they may offer to help with paying for a master’s degree. It’s also worth exploring any support options that you may be able to obtain through the school itself such as scholarships or financial aid packages that are designed to help certain students.

A role as a healthcare administrator involves a wide range of key responsibilities. If you are interested in working in this career, you may be considering getting a master’s degree. While a master’s in healthcare administration is not always necessary, it can help you land better career opportunities and increased rates of pay.

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