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What Skills Do I Need for a Career in Healthcare Administration?

Healthcare administrators need leadership skills, business competencies and interpersonal expertise to guide their organization successfully. Effective healthcare leaders combine their medical and business skills to make decisions that shape the medical system and inspire their team members. Healthcare administrators also manage the daily operations of the facility, supervise teams, incorporate policy implementation and handle finances.

An online Master of Science (M.S.) in Health Administration program from Northern Kentucky University (NKU) can help students develop the needed skills for upper-level healthcare administration positions through rigorous studies that bridge business fundamentals, managerial and leadership skills and the unique needs of healthcare industry organizations. This 100% online degree program can prepare students with integrated business expertise through a healthcare lens, empowering them to address the unique challenges of this highly regulated industry.

Important Characteristics of Effective Healthcare Administrators

Healthcare administration is a growing field that employs professionals in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes or health information settings. Tasked with guiding their organization efficiently and effectively, healthcare administrators need a plethora of must-have skills to make impactful decisions regarding the medical facility. Accomplished healthcare leaders combine business and medical competencies to reach goals and ensure organizational success. Below are some essential characteristics and traits of valuable leaders in healthcare.

  • Technological knowledge. Successful healthcare administrators understand that technology can assist with decision-making, improve patient outcomes, process large data sets, enhance staff member productivity, streamline operations, facilitate patient access to information and utilize recent advancements. Keeping up to date with the latest billing and coding software, electronic health records (EHR) and implementing long-term plans to facilitate technological advancement can improve caregiving and promote successful policies.
  • Powerful communication skills. Healthcare administrators can connect with their team members through clear spoken and written communication. When leaders express ideas, feelings and concepts effectively, it is easier to understand their perspectives and goals. Collaborative leadership involves effective communication, active listening and working together to meet the organization’s objectives.
  • Ability to problem-solve. Healthcare administrators often deal with situations that require problem-solving skills. Making sound decisions under pressure, remaining calm during crises and devising creative solutions to healthcare issues are traits of a constructive leader. Healthcare administration professionals often must manage a budget, analyze data, assess challenges and develop solutions.
  • Legal knowledge. Healthcare leaders need to have a solid foundation of medical policies and regulations. It is crucial to know how to successfully adapt their facility to comply with new or changed laws.
  • Empathy. The ability to show compassion and empathy for others is vital to emotional intelligence. Leading with empathy can help healthcare administrators connect with and meet the needs of their team members and patients. By developing meaningful relationships with others, healthcare leaders can be supportive and actively accomplish goals.

Next Steps

This online M.S. in Health Administration program from NKU will teach students to write and execute strategic business plans, successfully lead in various health services and medical settings in both the public and private sector, manage the finances and budget of a healthcare business and understand and apply health informatics in the care of patients. The integrated online curriculum prepares students for leadership roles by equipping them with advanced knowledge in law, data analytics, finance, strategy and management of a healthcare organization. As part of the degree, students will study business administration and the legal, financial and management aspects of running a successful business that focuses on healthcare and well-being. With courses such as Finance and Budgeting in Health Care, Strategic Planning and Marketing for Health Services, and Health Care Quality and Project Management, graduates will be qualified to take on any upper-level administration position.

Learn more about Northern Kentucky University’s online M.S. in Health Administration program.

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