Health administration encompasses numerous specializations, including public health, disease prevention, long-term care and health informatics. Healthcare administrators plan and coordinate operations in hospitals, federal research facilities, insurance firms, clinics and home healthcare companies.
In medical groups and clinics, administrators make financial decisions, manage staff and purchase supplies and equipment. Clinic administrators may also direct policies and marketing strategies to promote a medical group and ensure compliance with government regulations. In hospital settings, administrators oversee all aspects of patient care, from the allocation of resources to the duties of doctors and nurses.
Due to legislative changes regarding the storage and security of patient records, health informatics or information systems for healthcare applications has become the fastest growing field in health administration.
Technological advances, such as systems to manage medication dosages, have enabled the automation of in-patient care and streamlined data analysis to improve treatments. As regulation of services becomes increasingly complex, employment projections are positive for health administrators who can help providers comply with legislation.
Many universities offer programs in health administration that meet the evolving needs of the public and private sectors. All degree programs teach the principles, concepts and processes of administrating effective healthcare services.
The curriculum provides an overview of the financial and marketing aspects of healthcare, issues and trends in the field and policy interpretation. You can also study accounting, human resources and healthcare law. The use of information systems in health administration figures prominently in some programs. In addition, some courses of study require you to complete a practicum of supervised administration work.
Recent changes in the healthcare field have led to the development of new program types and degree specializations for health administration. For example, government initiatives on patient education and advocacy have created a need for administrators who can explain policy to the public.
In addition, the trend of shifting responsibility for care from hospitals to more cost-effective outpatient clinics has prompted schools to diversify course offerings to train administrators for employment in outpatient settings.
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