Healthcare administration is the management of non-clinical services in a health institution, like budgeting, finance, quality assurance, data management, HR, etc. Skills demand in the field is high, and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that its employment rate will increase by 32 percent from 2019 to 2029.
Healthcare administration has the hard and soft skills necessary to fulfill the operational demands of a medical facility. The professionals in the sector rarely interact with patients but need skills to direct the operation of healthcare institutions and support the medical staff in their roles.
To succeed in healthcare management, you must possess specific skills that enable a seamless flow of services in a health center. The top ten in-demand skills to have in healthcare administration include the following:
- Ability To Set up Digital Appointments
The healthcare sector has experienced tremendous digitization in the past decade, transforming from manual to automated systems. Many medical institutions have digitized their operations, e.g., booking appointments, queue management, and pharmacy, among other services. Hence, having skills in setting up digital appointments is vital to work in health centers.
- Knowledge of Electronic Medical Records
An electronic medical record (EMR) system consists of information on the medical history of patients. The data includes diagnoses, treatment protocols, past tests, immunizations, and allergies, among other clinical information. This is used in numerous areas of medical practises, for example, doctors can use emr for plastic surgery to reduce any errors that may occur whilst the patient is having their operation. Having skills in the EMR systems enhances your ability to provide quality healthcare outcomes for patients.
Aspects of medical records management include accuracy, easy retrieval, and information safety. A healthcare administrator must know how to access, handle, and safeguard the data. Mishaps in handling patient records are costly and can lead to a reputational loss for a health institution.
- Data Entry
The duties of a medical data entry specialist include entering data into a health information system. The officers collect raw data from various units and departments, feeding into the system using the required formats.
The process is part of automating institutional data and ensuring it is accessible to staff who need them. Sometimes, the job combines with other duties like receptionist, filing, running reports, etc.
- Revenue cycle management
The revenue healthcare revenue management cycle involves tracking coding, billing, accounts receivable, and revenue activities. The intricate process requires having visibility of all the receivables and payables and ensuring no loopholes in the system that could result in losses or unexplained transactions in a healthcare center.
Every healthcare institution needs such a specialist for sound financial management practice. The expert will ensure efficiency in payment processes and avoid the need for reviewing erroneous claims in a hospital. You eventually cut costs associated with reworks or handling tedious stand-alone processes.
- Leadership Skills
Leadership skills are a critical success ingredient for any sector. In the health sector, you need the skills to manage the diverse professionals at the institution. Leading a healthcare institution means guiding medical and non-medical aspects of the business.
lModel leaders have to ensure all team members work in cohesion to meet the needs of the patients. Failure to have cohesive leadership in a healthcare center leads to a chaotic work environment. With time, there will be a compromise in service delivery, and the institution will not meet its mandate.
- Communication Skills
Institutions with seamless communication flow do not struggle to meet the needs of their customers. Good communication among staff provides a conducive environment for healthy work relationships and reduces discrepancies about intentions and actions. Many health institutions are a buzz of activity, and administrators need good communication skills to synchronize work.
- Patient Care
Healthcare administrators do not handle the clinical needs of patients but interact with them at other touchpoints, e.g., reception, cashier, pharmacy, visitor’s desk, etc. Many of the interactions involve distressed people who come from different social/cultural backgrounds.
Staff need learned skills in patient care like a sympathetic attitude, people-handling, optimism, etc., to avoid degenerating situations. In addition, when patients feel welcome and safe, it enhances the reputation of the healthcare center.
- Business Administration
Business administration is a composite of skills needed to manage an institution. The expertise involves organization, problem-solving, attention to detail, customer service, and interpersonal skills, among other competencies. Such skills are essential in a healthcare center because of the many crises that typically occur. You require someone able to make decisions on their feet for the smooth running of the institution.
Budgeting is an essential skill for prudent resource management in an institution. A healthcare center has several cost components, e.g., medical supplies, sanitary, stationery, equipment, etc. The revenue is generated through incoming patients who may pay out-of-pocket or through insurance. Budgeting skills enable an administrator to estimate income and expenses over a particular time frame to plan better.
- Legal Knowledge
Legal knowledge is vital for specific staff in a health institution to ensure that it operates within the confines of the law. Pertinent legal matters in a hospital include informed consent for patients, the confidentiality of patient data, medical negligence, etc. The team members need legal knowledge to avoid unintended breaches of the law that can be a reputational risk for the clinic.
Equip Your Healthcare Center with Top Skills
The ten top healthcare skills enhance the institutional capacity to deliver quality outcomes. Assess your team members to determine the availability of the competencies in the hospital. In case of capacity gaps, you can train the existing team members or recruit others who possess the core competencies.