What Is Health Care Administration?

Pascale Lee: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, Health Care Administration Program

male health care administrator speaking with employees

What does a typical day look like in the field of healthcare administration?

An individual with a background in health care administration is not going to focus on the clinical aspects of health care. While our clinical staff is providing direct patient care our administrators are behind the scenes focusing on the same goals but from a different viewpoint using a systems-based approach. The focus will be on the infrastructure of an organization looking at areas such as policy, procedure, safety, regulation, accreditation, budgeting, staffing and overall management within the organization. A professional in health care administration looks to make the best possible patient experience and outcomes by ensuring that the organization runs smoothly, meet requirements and is prepared for all possible events.

What role are those in healthcare administration focused on when issues such as COVID-19 arise?

With any outbreak, it requires all health care professionals to jump in and get to work. While clinical professionals are providing the front-line care, those in health care administration are focused on planning and preparation for the organization. Planning is critical and we need to have new safety and infection control protocols put into place and these can change as often as daily. Aspects such as guidelines for reuse of N95 respirators, what occurs when respiratory protection is unavailable and when a health care professional diagnosed with COVID-19 can return to work are all being reviewed.

In addition, those in the health care administration field are focused on coordination of regulatory activities. These could include creating visitor policies for organizations, determining alternate care systems/locations in conjunction with our public health department. They are also looking at how federal action plans will be managed internally, how access to pharmaceuticals will be maintained and managed, and developing tracking procedures regarding cost and lost revenue as we need to fully understand this to prepare for the future.

The COVID-19 Healthcare Planning Checklist is an 11-page document developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which looks at all areas and aspects that those in the field of health care administration are currently evaluating, planning and preparing for during this epidemic.1

What are the career outlook and job opportunities?

Medical and health care management positions are projected to increase by 18 percent from 2018-2028.2

The field of health care administration is one of the fastest growing fields in health care today. Here are some examples of jobs in healthcare administration:

  • Nursing Home Administrator or Assistant Administrator
  • Admissions Director
  • Manager of Home Health Agency
  • Medical Sales Rep
  • Human Resources within Health Care
  • Health Care Finance
  • Government Policy
  • Hospital Management
  • Unit coordinators

Who is a good fit for this career field?

Those who have an interest in health care and making a difference but do not want to take on a direct patient care role would be a strong fit for this degree program. Health care administration field is focused on the business side of health care and day to day job functions are planning, management and systems based.

What are the academic requirements?

A bachelor’s degree is seen as a requirement for entry level positions at most organizations. Internships are recommended at the bachelor level but are not required. Many management positions in health care administration would require a master’s degree in health care administration or a related field. In this field an equal level of experience and education is important to move up and advance.

If you are ready to take the next step toward a career in a public health care administration career, consider enrolling in Grand Canyon University’s Master of Science in Health Administration degree program. This program will prepare you to take on important roles in your field with a rigorous curriculum. To learn more about this and other programs offered by the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, visit our website or click on the Request Info button on this page.

Retrieved from:

1 https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/COVID19/Documents/COVID-19%20Healthcare%20Planning%20Checklist.pdf

2 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-5

3 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-6

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