Hospital administration is the management of the hospital as a business. The administration is made up of medical and health services managers -- sometimes called health care executives and health care administrators -- and their assistants. Administrations range in size, and the duties of the administrator vary with the size and complexity of the hospital.
Range of Duties
Administrators are liaisons between hospital boards, other administrators and medical staff. They coordinate hospital activities and formulate its overall politices. Some administrators are in charge of hiring doctors and other staff, performing employee evaluations and directing staff meetings. They may also be responsible for the hospital's public relations and fundraising programs. Because administrators develop programs for teaching and research hospitals, they must keep up with the latest advances in medicine.
Large hospitals have several administrators and assistant administrators managing different departments while one administrator is in charge overall. In smaller hospitals, one administrator may be in charge of several departments, or even of the entire hospital. In this case, for example, the administrator may review the budgets for these departments and give final approval to hiring recommendations.
Types of Administrators
Various types of health services managers have responsibility for different areas in a large hospital. For example, clinical managers direct specific departments and usually have experience in that particular area. Health information managers are specialists in charge of maintaining patient records. Finally, business managers govern the hospital's financial and business concerns.
General vs. Specific
Clinical managers and health information managers have more specific duties than a general overall administrator. A general administrator is typically in charge of all departments, including the budget and business side. On the other hand, clinical and health information managers work within a specific department and have duties such as implementing policies, managing personnel and writing reports for the overall administrator.
Becoming an Administrator
Entry-level jobs in hospital administration generally require at least a bachelor's degree, but many positions require a master's. Suitable master's programs to prepare for the career include health services administration, long-term care administration, health sciences, public health, public administration or business administration. These degree programs should include an internship in a health care center. Graduate programs usually take two to three years. However, if you do not want to get a master's degree, physician's offices usually hire health care administrators with work experience.