What Does a Hospital Administrator Do?

What does a Hospital Administrator do, and what are the essential skills hospital administrators need to manage the job responsibility? Being a hospital administrator entails countless responsibilities. One could summarize it as ensuring that the hospital services are provided and the internal operations run smoothly.


What is a Hospital Administrator?

Hospital Administrators plan, direct, and also coordinate medical and health services. They may manage an entire hospital, a specific clinical area, or a department. In addition, they must adapt to healthcare laws, regulations, and also technology changes.


5 Necessary Skills for Hospital Administrators

So, what skills should one possess to perform the roles of such a fast-paced career? Below are some of the best skills to become a Hospital Administrator.

  1. Leadership
  2. Management
  3. Technical Expertise
  4. Understanding Technology
  5. Communication

1. Leadership

Organizational skills and leadership skills are critical in a hospital administrator role. After all, hospital administrators are not only in charge of ensuring that the patients get top-notch service, but they must also guide all the employees. That means establishing boundaries and making sure that all the rules are followed.

It also means creating a fruitful relationship with the workers and facilitating a productive environment. Lastly, knowing how to lead involves having the ability to terminate unnecessary projects and decline unprofitable ventures, which can be quite tricky at times.

2. Management

Since hospital administrators have to oversee all the employees, they must possess superior managing skills. These healthcare executives must have a firm understanding of conflict resolution and negotiation. These skills enable them to mitigate issues that arise and come up with compromises.

Additionally, firing and hiring the right individuals is crucial for every manager. And hospital administrators have these duties alongside countless other administrative tasks.

3. Technical Expertise

One of the key differences between hospital administrators and other administrators is the environment in which they operate. As the name states, a hospital administrator is someone whose primary area of operations is based in the healthcare world. They run hospitals, hire doctors, oversee procedures, and handle industry-specific tasks.

To do so well, they must have the necessary technical expertise. This means they should know all the ins and outs of the healthcare market. For example, understanding the basics of insurance, hospital liability, and even medicine is a great start.

4. Understanding Technology

As with nearly every sector, the healthcare industry is not immune to technological advancements. After all, portable scanning machines, state-of-the-art labs, and many other modern inventions are helping promote medical innovation. Although it may seem that someone on the administrative side should not worry about these changes, they are also greatly affected.

For example, signing off on large research projects requires a hospital administrator. Furthermore, comprehending budgets and proposals that will affect the overall well-being of a hospital cannot be done unless one is up to date with the recent technological changes.

5. Communication

Expectedly, hospital administrators must possess excellent communication skills. First, it will help them overcome the anxiety of public speaking, which is quite common for those fulfilling senior management roles. Additionally, communicating ideas effectively will help get projects approved faster and improve the track record of the hospital facility.

According to Forbes, hospital administrators possess one leadership skill: welcoming tough conversations. Returning to the aforementioned point about management, it is practically impossible to oversee employees and give feedback without the necessary communication skills. That means finding the thin line between chastising and glorifying the worker to motivate them to become an even better version of themselves.



Hospital Administrator Job Overview

Hospital Administrators are responsible for managing all aspects of hospital operations. They are accountable for setting hospital policies and procedures, managing budgets and resources, overseeing daily activities, and developing strategies to improve quality and efficiency. They also ensure medical facility compliance with state and federal regulations, establish and maintain relationships with external stakeholders, and ensure personnel receives the necessary training and support.

Furthermore, Hospital Administrators must possess excellent communication and organization skills and knowledge of healthcare industry regulations and trends. The list of necessary skills further includes time management, prioritization, strategizing, and much more.


Day-to-Day Tasks of Hospital Administrators

Below are some of the daily tasks in a hospital administrator job description.

  • Improve efficiency and quality in delivering healthcare services.
  • Develop departmental goals and objectives.
  • Ensure that the facility in which they work is up to date on and compliant with laws and regulations.
  • Recruit, train, and supervise staff members.
  • Manage the finances of the facility, such as patient fees and billing.
  • Create work schedules.
  • Prepare and monitor budgets and spending to ensure departments operate within funding limits.
  • Represent the facility at investor meetings or on governing boards.
  • Keep and organize records of the facility’s services, such as the number of inpatient beds used.
  • Communicate with members of the medical staff and department heads.

What is the Difference Between Healthcare Administration and Hospital Administration?

Healthcare Administration is a broad field encompassing the management and oversight of healthcare services and organizations. It includes operations, human resources, marketing, and facility finances.

Hospital Administration is more specifically focused on managing and operating a hospital facility or other similar medical facility. It includes budgeting, staffing, operations, and quality management.


What Master’s Degree Do You Need to be a Hospital Administrator?

Some of these health care professionals have a bachelor’s degree. But, most employers prefer applicants with a health administration master’s degree. Students can also complete one of many Doctoral programs. But a PhD is not required for most roles. Below are some typical degrees a hospital administrator may have.

  • Master of Health Administration (MHA)
  • MBA in Health Administration (Master of Business Administration)
  • Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA)
  • Master of Public Health (MPH) with a Public Health Administration focus
  • Master of Health Systems Management (MHSM)
  • Master of Health Informatics (MHI)

How Long Does it take to Complete a Master’s in Hospital Administration?

Most master’s programs in healthcare administration are 30 to 36 credits and take one to two years to complete if you attend full-time. Working professionals can complete a part-time hospital administration program in two to three years.


Hospital Administrator Specializations

What are some different specializations in the Hospital Administration field?

Health Care Informatics

A Health Care Informatics specialization for a hospital administrator is a program that focuses on using technology in healthcare management and administration. It covers healthcare data analysis, healthcare data security, healthcare technology management, and healthcare information systems. The program typically provides the administrator with the knowledge and skills to effectively use data and technology to improve patient care and efficiency and reduce costs.

Health Care Management

A Health Care Management specialization for a hospital administrator focuses on managing healthcare organizations and systems. This may include healthcare finance, economics, health management, human resources, strategic planning, marketing, operations, and quality management courses. Additionally, courses in health law, health policy, and ethical issues may be included.

Health Care Financial Management

A Health Care Financial Management specialization for a hospital administrator focuses on the financial management of a healthcare facility. This includes understanding healthcare reimbursement systems, financial forecasting and budgeting, financial reporting, and other financial management principles. In addition, the specialization might include topics such as healthcare ethics, legal compliance, and managing the day-to-day financial operations of the hospital.

Health Care Law and Policy

A Health Care Law and Policy specialization for a hospital administrator would focus on the legal and policy aspects of managing a hospital. It would include courses in health care regulations, health care law, health policy, organizational ethics, and risk management. Additionally, the specialization would provide an understanding of the complexities of the health care system and the implications of state and federal regulations on delivering health care services.

Health Care Administration

A Health Care Administration specialization for a hospital administrator typically includes courses in hospital operations and management, healthcare law and ethics, healthcare finance, healthcare information systems, quality management, and health policy.


Where Do Hospital Administrators Work?

Many of these professionals work for a hospital medical facility. But there are many other healthcare facilities where these health care professionals work. Below are other places in the health care industry where these healthcare administrators find employment.

  • home health agencies or home health centers
  • long-term care facilities and nursing homes
  • outpatient clinics
  • health insurance companies
  • mental health organizations
  • public health organizations
  • managed care organizations
  • private medical practices

Who are the Largest Employers of Hospital Administrators?

Medical and health services managers held about 480,700 jobs in 2021. Below are the largest employers of medical and health services managers.

Employer or IndustryEmployment
Hospitals30%
Offices of Physicians12%
Nursing and Residential Care Facilities 9%
Government 8%
Outpatient Care Centers 7%
Top Industries for Hospital Administrators.

What is the Job Outlook for a Hospital Administrator?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies hospital administrators as medical and health services managers. The organization reports jobs in this field to grow 28 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.

This growth translates into 136,200 new positions nationally in the next decade. This increase comes mainly from the increased demand for healthcare from the aging baby boomer population.


Healthcare administration careers are growing faster than average!

What is the Salary of a Hospital Administrator?

The salary for a healthcare administrator varies by education level, job duties, employer, and also geographic location. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS reports the median annual wage for medical and health services managers is over $100,000. Salaries range from $60,780 to more than $205,620. The industries that pay the highest salaries are listed below, along with their annual wages.

Employer or IndustrySalary
Hospitals$119,450
Government$117,000
Outpatient Care Centers $99,540
Offices of Physicians $98,230
Nursing and Residential Care Facilities $83,550
Top Salaries for Hospital Administrators.

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