As healthcare continues to grow more complicated, there is an increasing demand for leaders who understand how to navigate those complexities. The online Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Administration online program from Lamar University prepares students to be effective leaders in healthcare organizations. Studies help students develop advanced leadership skills and business knowledge while examining specialized healthcare administration topics in depth.
This integrated exploration of healthcare leadership is geared towards 21st-century healthcare administration roles, be it facility management or care-related business entrepreneurship. Subjects like information systems and strategic management may seem somewhat detached from healthcare services’ central purpose: Caring for patients. But all these complex aspects of contemporary healthcare leadership enable administrators to improve the quality of patient care.
What Are the Responsibilities of Healthcare Administrators?
Healthcare administration responsibilities vary according to the organization an administrator works for, be it a hospital, neighborhood clinic, nursing home or health department. Healthcare administrators may also work in the private sector for businesses like pharmaceutical companies or medical equipment manufacturers.
An organization’s size and goals will shape administrative roles like operations and facility management, human resources management, budgeting and financial planning, strategy and decision-making. Yet healthcare administrators are generally responsible for overseeing and delegating such functions, regardless of organizational setting.
While these professionals generally do not work directly with patients, they impact quality of care and the patient experience in many ways. Administrators play a role in setting and shaping policies surrounding everything from staffing and patient care management to information system technology integration. Even administrative duties surrounding public relations (PR), marketing and community outreach can greatly affect patient engagement and quality of care.
How Can Public Relations, Outreach and Marketing Impact Quality of Care?
Healthcare administrators largely support those who play the role of spokesperson, or the public face of a healthcare organization. Through PR and community outreach efforts, administrators help develop important partnerships with other community health services, providers and health departments. In turn, these partnerships can connect patients with needed services and resources, improving overall access to care.
Through outreach and collaboration with community services, healthcare administrators can also be instrumental in community health education initiatives. These administrators work closely with other healthcare professionals to inform the public on mental health and preventative health practices that foster patient engagement and improve long-term health outcomes.
Developing holistic public health efforts can also alleviate stress on the overall system and address disparities among various groups. More targeted care reduces costs for the public health system, providers and patients. Integrating community outreach and marketing efforts can also be an important part of eliminating disparities. Through outreach, healthcare organizations can identify barriers to care, whether geographic, linguistic, cultural or financial.
Deconstructing these barriers should be a central goal of policymaking regarding staffing diversity, services, pricing and community education initiatives. Similarly, outreach and marketing efforts should target underserved populations and strive for equitable systems. These efforts can foster a more positive relationship between community members and the healthcare system, improving patient engagement, access and widespread health outcomes.
How Do Other Aspects of Healthcare Administration Affect Quality of Care?
Quality of care is a multifaceted concept, impacted by many factors in the healthcare industry. Healthcare administrators often have an influence on many of these factors.
For instance, healthcare administrators work with information technology staff to select and integrate complex healthcare information systems. The technologies these systems incorporate can help optimize numerous managerial functions and organizational operations, including managing and analyzing patient health and treatment data.
Ensuring patient data is secure, accurate, constantly updated and readily accessible to all healthcare workers involved is essential for privacy, consistency and continuity of treatment. Advanced data analytics systems can also offer predictive insight into likely outcomes of treatment plans. This information is invaluable when establishing a course of treatment for each patient.
Administrators also work with human resources to set staffing policy, establish staff-to-patient ratios, outline staff education requirements and other details. These factors have been shown to impact patient health outcomes and experiences in healthcare settings significantly.
Even the financial management of organizations directly impacts patients. Well-managed finances can lower operational costs. In turn, this can significantly reduce costs for patients, increasing their financial ability to access quality care.
Through their many responsibilities, duties and initiatives, healthcare administrators work to increase efficiency and optimize their organization’s operations. Yet, by improving strategic policy and essential functions like information system management, staffing, finance and community outreach, healthcare leaders maximize more than their organization’s success. They systematically improve the quality of care their patients receive while supporting the health and well-being of the public at large.