The position of patient administration closely resembles the occupation of an office administrator. The difference is the patient administrator works in a hospital setting and is responsible for records management of patient data and information. Hospitals, hospice organizations, private practice doctors and medical groups can employ patient administrators. The overall goal of the patient administrator is to plan, develop, administer and coordinate health information systems according to regulatory statues governing health care systems and patient information.
The patient administrator typically works in the records section or branch of a medical operation. The administrator develops and implements policies and procedures for the handling of patient information, processing medical documents, providing information on benefits and insurance data, medical finance information and correspondence with federal, state and local statues. The patient administrator is also responsible for developing an in-house audit program to ensure proper handling of patient records.
A patient administrator must be able to communicate with patients and use customer service skills. Most patients will have a concern about their medical information and may ask questions about how their medical information is processed. The patient administrator has the responsibility to ensure that all data is confidential. The patient administrator must also have a good rapport with other medical personnel concerning compliance policies concerning patient care and data. The administrator also coordinates medical care evaluations and surveys based on general care of patients.
According to PayScale.com, the pay information for a patient administrator is similar to that of an office administrator. The annual median salary for a patient administrator with 10 to 19 years' experience is $35,207 to $56,998 as of July 2010. In most organizations, the starting pay may be higher because of overtime, shift pay and on-call duty pay.
According to the Bureau of Labor, Occupation Outlook Handbook for 2010-2011, the “employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow 16 percent from 2008 to 2018, faster than the average for all occupations." An individual with the right qualifications for a patient administrator is likely to have no trouble obtaining employment because of market demand.
A patient administrator position requires a Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science, Business Administration or Master of Business Administration (MBA). Many employers encourage continuing education once a patient administrator is hired.