Health Care / Hospital Administrator Skills and Examples

doctor and adminstrator using tablet pc
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Health care administrators manage hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. They also work for public health organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and other organizations. The healthcare administration field also includes managers of specific departments, such as admissions, or supportive roles. People generally join the field directly, rather than moving up from positions involved with patient care.

As public healthcare needs increase, the field is expected to grow.

Becoming a Healthcare Administrator

No certification or license is required, but applicants must generally have completed a degree program specifically in healthcare administration. These exist at the bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD level. A bachelor’s degree is enough to get an entry-level job in the field, but advanced degrees may be required to rise beyond a certain point.

How to Use a Job Skills List

Required skills for health care administrator jobs vary depending on the type of position. Be sure to read the job description carefully before finalizing your application materials. This is a generalized list of skills that many employers in the field look for, and you can use it for initial preparation of template resumes and cover letters, which you can then fine-tune for each position you apply for. You might also want to review our list of skills listed by job and type of skill.

Examples of Health Care Administration Skills

General Administration Skills
Some aspects of healthcare administration are similar to any administrative job in any field. You are likely to have to handle budgeting and scheduling, meaning you must be able to handle software, such as Microsoft Excel, or its equivalent.

You will also need mathematical skills, for while the software does the actual calculations, you must be able to spot errors that result from incorrectly entered numbers, and you must understand the mathematical logic behind the structure of the spreadsheet. You will also likely be involved in some form of marketing and promotion, as well as event planning and negotiation, all of which require excellent communication skills and the use of Microsoft PowerPoint for presentations.

Leadership Skills for a Hospital Administrator
Administration is largely about leadership, especially in relation to policy development, facility management, and strategic planning. You must be able to select goals that are reasonable yet challenging for the people involved, and supervise progress on those goals without micro-managing. You must facilitate meetings, which requires both assertiveness and the ability to fade into the background. You must be able to negotiate buy-in from stakeholders within the organization and you must effectively motivate others. You will likely be involved in recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and training others. Sometimes you will have to discipline or fire people. Effective coaching is important, as is evaluating staff performance.

All of this requires not simply excellent communication, but also empathy, humility, honesty, strong ethical parameters, and good personal boundaries.

Administration Skills and Knowledge Specific to Health Care
While healthcare administration does not involve direct patient care, it is still important to understand healthcare in a basic way. You must be able to analyze the relative costs of treatment alternatives, which requires understanding the ways in which various alternatives are (and are not) effective. To enact quality control, you must have a meaningful understanding of “quality” in a healthcare setting. You cannot control costs without understanding which expensive procedures actually lead to better patient outcomes and when a simple, creative adjustment of procedure can increase efficiency.

To assess outcomes, you need not only data and analytical skill, but also enough knowledge of medical issues to put those data into meaningful context—and even to know which data you need to perform useful analysis.

Personal Qualities
In addition to hard skills and on-the-job experience, certain personal qualities, or soft skills are important for health care administration positions. These skills might not be addressed in training programs and they may or may not show up in job descriptions (some employers know to look for them, others might not), but they are necessary for doing a good job. The good news is they can be learned and improved with practice.

These soft skills include both collaborative and creative thinking, multitasking, and the ability to prioritize. Tact is a big part of effective leadership and teamwork. Time management is critical, especially when multitasking. Problem-solving and critical thinking are important, and you must be personally adaptable because situations change often.

Exemplify all of this, and you can be the one holding the team together that saves people’s lives.

List of Health Care Administration Skills

Administration Skills and Knowledge Specific to Health Care

The more specific your skills are to the job, the better. These skills and knowledge areas show off your experience in the health care industry.

  • Analyzing Costs of Treatment Alternatives
  • Compliance With Healthcare Regulations
  • Conducting Medical Facility Inspections
  • Developing Strong Physician Relationships
  • Ensuring Compliance with Regulations
  • Handling Confidential Information
  • Health Care Issues
  • Health Insurance Processing
  • Hospital and Physician Billing
  • Medicaid and Medicare Management
  • Medical Services Delivery
  • Resolving Patient Grievances
  • Treatment Services

General Administration Skills

Even if your experience is not specific to health care, these skills can be pertinent to health care administration jobs.

  • Budgeting, Developing Budgets, Controlling Expenses
  • Conducting Surveys
  • Computer, Such as Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint
  • Customer Service
  • Data Analysis, Assessing Outcomes
  • Event Planning
  • Facilitating Meeting Discussions
  • Marketing, Promoting
  • Operations
  • Quality Control
  • Scheduling
  • Research, Investigating, Reporting, Presenting
  • Negotiating Contracts
  • Purchasing
  • Supervising Billing

Leadership Skills for a Hospital Administrator

Leadership positions require proven ability to lead and direct others, and the following skills are especially important for such positions in the health care industry.

  • Coaching
  • Developing Policies and Procedures
  • Evaluating Staff
  • Facility Management
  • Financial Management, Managing Budgets
  • Fundraising
  • Human Resources Management, Recruiting, Interviewing, Hiring, Training, Terminating
  • Manage Performance and Service Goals
  • Increasing Productivity
  • Operations Management
  • Project Management
  • Service Program Development, Management, Planning
  • Strategic Planning

Personal Qualities

In addition to skills and experience, certain personal qualities are important for health care administration positions. Emphasize your own personal strengths from this list and how those strengths will make you the best candidate for the job.

Hospital / Healthcare Administration Keywords

Here's an A to Z list of keywords and keyword phrases you can use when writing resumes and cover letters for hospital and healthcare administration jobs. Include the words or phrases that are relevant to the position you are applying for to help ensure your application gets noticed by hiring managers.

A - C

  • Advanced Excel User
  • Advanced User of Access
  • Adverse Events per 1000 Patient Days
  • Alleviated Shortage of Personnel in Key Areas
  • Attentive to Detail
  • Automating Processes
  • Average Cost of Discharge
  • Average Length of Stay
  • Bed Turnover
  • Capturing New Clinical Care Data
  • Claims Denial Rate
  • Clinical Quality Measures
  • Coaching Physician Executives
  • Conducting Comprehensive Evaluation of Options for Medical Records Systems
  • Conducting Departmental Operating Reviews
  • Consistently Positive Feedback Regarding Presentations
  • Cost Cutting Initiatives
  • Creating Compelling Presentation Visuals
  • Creating Financial Reports

D - K

  • Deployed Ambulatory Intensive Care Unit
  • Drawing Consensus
  • Establishing Technology Driven Home Monitoring Systems
  • Expanding Services for Chronic Care
  • Facilitating Meetings
  • Facilitating the Development of a Strategic Plan
  • Finesse With People
  • Implementing Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)
  • Implementing Administrative Skill Development Programs for Leadership Team
  • Implementing New Processes for Infection Control
  • Inpatient Mortality Rate
  • Instituted New Quality Control Program
  • Instituting Incentives for High Value Care
  • Insurance Coding
  • Integrated New Employees After a Merger

L - O

  • Leadership
  • Lowered Level of Liability Claims
  • Managing Physicians
  • Mapping Spending Projections
  • Minimized Waste of Supplies
  • Modifying Medical Records System
  • Negotiated Cost Saving Deal with New Vendor
  • Negotiated Union Contracts
  • Occupancy Rate
  • Operating Margin
  • Outsourced Emergency Medical Services Staffing
  • Overseeing the Implementation of a new Medical Records System

P - Z

  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Process Improvements
  • Project Management
  • Providing Physician Leaders with Critical Data
  • Readmission Rate
  • Recruiting Top Talent
  • Reduced Number of OSHA Violations
  • Restructuring Compensation Programs
  • Retaining High Level Performers
  • Serious Safety Events Per 10,000 Adjusted Patient Days
  • Solution Oriented
  • Terminated Underperforming Employees
  • Thwarted Unionization
  • Well Organized

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