Like most management jobs, there are several business skills required in healthcare management, or healthcare administration, beyond just knowing about healthcare and medicine. Running a healthcare facility is an important profession and one that needs various important qualities. Healthcare managers and administrators must have knowledge not just of patient care, but must also know the business end of healthcare management. Here are the professional skills required of a healthcare manager.
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Management and Leadership Skills
To be a successful manager, an individual must have good management, leadership and business skills. This is especially important when managing a healthcare facility because healthcare is a vast field that involves many areas, and health managers are often in charge of many departments. Depending on the size of the facility, the healthcare manager could be managing a small clinic or a hospital with hundreds of employees. A healthcare manager is not only responsible for leading subordinates but is also responsible for making decisions that can be life and death situations. The individual must also be able to work well with others.
Critical Thinking and Problem-solving Skills
Healthcare managers can face simple problems as well as unusually complex problems. As a leader, he or she must be able to utilize critical thinking and solve the problems in the best interests of the facility, the patients and the employees. While some of the problem solving skills are learned while earning the degree required for this position, a lot of them will be obtained on the job. To be able to solve problems confidently and correctly, the individual may need to rely on creative and critical thinking.
Must Be Fluent & Knowledgeable of Legal Regulations
Healthcare managers can work in hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, nursing homes and just about any medical setting. Although these are all similar settings, they may have different healthcare polices and legal regulations. Some regulations are determined by counties, states and Federal government, while others may be set by the actual medical setting. An individual working in healthcare administration or management must not only be familiar with the legalese but must also be able to relay it to others. Because regulations seem to change constantly, the manager must be able to easily adapt.
Must be Technology Smart
There is no getting around the fact that technology is all around us in almost all areas of our lives. We can no longer get by in the business world by feigning ignorance of computers and technology, and healthcare is no exception. Healthcare managers may not have to be experts in technology but definitely need to comfortable with computers. The more comfortable they are with computers, the more knowledge they’ll be able to obtain, and the better they’ll be able to do their jobs. Healthcare managers typically spend a great deal of their days accessing and looking at patient files and electronic medical records on healthcare administration software programs.
Running a healthcare facility, whether it’s a small clinic or a large hospital, requires commitment, leadership skills, knowledge of healthcare and excellent business sense. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts healthcare managers can see job growth of 20 percent from 2016-2026. The best way to ensure success when working in a healthcare administration role is by having the right combination of healthcare expertise, administrative experience and the right business or professional skills.