With all the economic gloom and doom being preached in the media in recent years, if there is one field that seems to be constantly on the hunt for people, it's healthcare. Whatever the economic situation there is a constant need for the myriad of people who are needed to get and keep people healthy. That's good news for the countless doctors, nurses, technicians and other support staff, but little thought is given to others, the nonmedical people who are responsible for operating the business side of healthcare. It so happens that in most cases these folks who are in healthcare administration, or HCA for short, are hit with a brick wall when they start investigating a career in the field. The problem is that HCA is an umbrella term that hides the many specialties in the field. This article will serve to break down that wall and give you a clearer picture of what might end up being your bright future in the industry.
It might sound like another nebulous term to be sure, but mention the program director to a medical person and they will instantly tell you that this person is responsible for making sure that one or sometimes many programs run efficiently. This person might be responsible, for example, for the hospital or clinic's outpatient program or oncology program.
A finance specialist is who comes to call whenever medicine and money collide. Hospitals need to make money for the services they provide, and that money comes from patients and/or their insurance companies. A finance specialist makes sure that insurance companies are reimbursing payments as treatment is rendered.
If there is one problem that many people in need of health care have it's the inability to communicate effectively with those who are trying to help them. A patient advocate is the person on the hospital or clinic's staff who works with the patient and his or her loved ones and friends in order that they can be the voice of the patient to the healthcare system. A patient advocate knows how to determine what a patient needs in terms of care, financial assistance, and other matters and they work to deliver all of these things to the care givers.
If the healthcare system is a circus, the administrative manager might be best thought of as the juggling act. Administrative managers know how to keep all of the functions needed to keep an institution running effectively. People need to be trained, fed, procedures followed, and much more. An administrative manager makes sure that all of these systems run effectively and the work of a healthcare institution runs like a charm.
It's hard to compare the modern healthcare institution to practically any organization on earth, but it's possible to use the government in a pinch. The practice manager might be seen as the President in that the buck really does stop with him or her. On the other hand, he works for everyone below him and makes sure everyone is following their particular script within the system.
These are just a few of the many specialties that are needed to keep the modern healthcare system working effectively, efficiently, and profitably. It's little doubt that with the institution of more government regulations and swelling patient populations, the demand for all of these workers will increase as well.