Healthcare industry has been evolving dramatically in the last few decades. Population needs and demands are increasing in a way that required more attention and co-efforts of all stakeholders involved in this industry.
Healthcare administration has become a fundamental approach to introduce healthcare professionals to the main responsibilities at a different range of scopes and enable them to manage their healthcare facilities in an effective way. That requires more understanding of the growing and changing healthcare industry, besides building on more critical and analytical thinking and getting in line with all external and internal factors affecting the healthcare facilities.
Healthcare administration is about the future leaders of the twenty first century health challenges, who take into consideration the combination of business knowledge, technical knowledge, hospitality knowledge and healthcare knowledge, to lead and successfully manage their healthcare organization.
Healthcare administration addresses a large scope of settings and services, ranging from a single physician office, to poly clinics, network of hospitals, home care, nursing home, hospice care, continuing or long-term care.
Healthcare administration is about connecting the dots between what has been learned, with applying the acquired knowledge on the job itself. It’s about complying with local, state and federal laws and regulations, creating an ethical dynamics environment, setting standards of care at every diagnostic or therapeutic procedure, and integrating technological enhancements. Moreover, healthcare administration emphasizes on the enhancement of building capacities through professional development of healthcare providers, who are responsible for providing the best quality of care, to ultimately attain efficient and effective healthcare services, by avoiding misuse, overuse and underuse of the resources.
To function any kind of healthcare facility whether it was a solo practice or group practice, small hospital or a big hospital, two groups of personnel are required; the clinical personnel and the administrative one. Clinical personnel are those individuals who were trained to work directly with the care of patients within the healthcare facility, to provide diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic care, such as physicians, nurses, therapists, and technicians. Whereas the administrative personnel are those non- clinical staff who are complementing the provision of healthcare, by providing non- clinical services such as; Admission departments, Medical records department, Marketing Dept, Financial department and other departments functioning the administrative work.
All healthcare administrators should be aware of the current and future challenges facing healthcare industry, to be well prepared to handle wide range of aspects related to the business in healthcare those challenges are determined by; technological innovations, organizational behavior, compliance strategies, healthcare financing, health information management, human resource management, physical environment or facility management.
Since the needs for healthcare services have been expanded over the recent decades, the way the individuals are using the resources available “Utilization” has also changed. For example, the expansion of preventive medicine services and techniques have a dramatically prolonged lifespan of individuals. Early detection of diseases followed by proper and instant interventions helped the individuals avoid the invasive tertiary healthcare and having lots of post complications. This could noticeably impact on health and well -being of all categories of population.
Moreover, the utilization of healthcare services can be increased or decreased affected by diverse scope of factors, such as; demographic changes, public awareness, technology, changes in consumer preferences, new diseases, new discoveries in medicine, introducing non- traditional healthcare services such as ambulatory care, and finally changes in the practice pattern (invasive vs non- invasive procedures).
On conclusion, the role of a healthcare administrator is essential in managing any healthcare facility. Healthcare administrators should structure and execute a cohesive strategic plan by analyzing data and identify the trends of improvements to maintained well-designed process that is easy to follow up and improve. This will ultimately ensure both efficient and effective delivery of healthcare services. The former is related to the best use of resources by minimizing all wastes of time, energy and costs. The latter is related to achieving best-desired outcomes addressed by patient’s improved health status and patient satisfaction.