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If you would like to work as a health care administrator, then the MHA (Master of Heath Administration) degree may be right for you. During an MHA program you will be trained to become a strong and inspiring leader who has the skills and ability to provide effective responses to the way the health care field is changing and evolving. This type of degree will equip you with the necessary skills, knowledge, and values to guide the health care facility into delivering the highest possible quality of care.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a predicted 17% increase in jobs for medical and health services managers from 2014 to 2024. There are many different jobs available for MHA degree holders, and the exact job title will vary depending on which facility you work for and where in the country you are employed, such as:
#1 Nursing Home Administrator
Nursing home administrators are responsible for the management of admissions, staff, building maintenance, and finances of a nursing home, as well as for the overall care of patients. To qualify for this position, you must be licensed. However, the specific licensure requirements are dependent on the specific state.
In a nursing home, elderly people may need to receive around the clock care. The nursing home administrator will be responsible for making sure the facility functions properly. Duties include supervision of staff, as well as managing appropriate systems, such as nursing-specific procedures, the general maintenance and upkeep of the building, and more. This administrator is also responsible for making sure financial stability is maintained, so that patients can receive the highest quality care at the lowest possible cost.
Typical job duties of a licensed nursing home administrator:
- To develop and maintain relationships with patients and their family members
- To be responsible for the inventory of the facility, processing orders, and ensuring goods and services are distributed to the right place
- To manage administrative and clinical staff while focusing on consistent, high quality patient care
- To ensure the nursing home is fully compliant with all the relevant standards for professional boarding homes, set at state and federal levels
According to Payscale.com, a nursing home administrator earns an average annual salary of $83,421.
#2 Clinical Manager
Clinical managers are responsible for a particular department within a health care organization. This could be physical therapy, nursing, or pediatrics. Their responsibilities will vary depending on which department they manage. However, their goal is to create and implement policies, procedures, and goals; ensure that staff members deliver high quality work; monitor budgets; and to report to the board. They are highly specialized managers involved in medical or clinical offices in which primary care is provided. Sometimes, they work for a smaller organization and they may be authorized to also manage the different treatment strategies that clinicians have prescribed to patients. They must ensure that all care is delivered in an effective, organized, and compassionate manner.
Other clinical managers are found in large health care organizations, where they manage a specific department. Here, they do not provide any clinical work, but manage the non-specialist, non-physician personnel instead. They are responsible for making sure the department functions in an efficient manner, while at the same time coordinating with physicians and understanding the needs of patients.
Regardless of where they work, clinical managers usually have close links with the medical offices to make sure all supplies and equipment required to deliver treatment are available. Although most health care facilities are open 24/7, they will usually work during office hours only. They do spend a lot of time on their feet, coordinating between different sections of their department.
Common daily duties of a clinical manager include:
- To provide staff supervision and direct them so that they can deliver consistent, high quality patient care
- To manage staff recruitment, training, and development
- To manage the budget and make sure operational resources are used appropriately
- To help develop care plans
- To oversee the daily activities of the department or facility
- To ensure all professional standards, laws, and regulations are being adhered to
Payscale.com reports that a clinical manager earns a median annual salary of $69,000.
#3 Health Information Manager
Health information managers make sure all patient data and records are maintained properly and securely. They must be committed to continuous professional development in order to stay abreast of changes in the field of information technology. They must also follow developments in the laws that affect health information systems, and they must be able to manage big data. Their role is to ensure all databases are maintained properly, that they are accurate, and that only the right people can access certain data. They are often responsible for the supervision of health information technicians as well.
The role of health information managers is closely linked to collecting information and to make sure rules and regulations are in place in terms of how records are kept. They make sure any data is stored safely, legally, and ethically. Usually, data is stored electronically, although health information managers must also understand paper record-keeping. Furthermore, they write policies on how information systems can be used within their organization.
Common tasks performed by a health information manager include:
- To provide assistance in various fiscal operations, such as financial reporting and planning budgets
- To monitor all the functions of the department to ensure they are fully compliant with federal, state, and local regulations and that they meet the relevant professional standards
- To supervise how information is released to individuals and agencies, ensuring compliance with data protection laws
- To supervise and oversee the activities of staff dealing with medical records.
- To recruit, train, and development new health information employees.
A Payscale.com report indicated that the average annual salary for health information managers is $55,000.
#4 Assistant Administrator
The position for assistant administrators is considered as entry-level for someone with an MHA degree. They work alongside hospital administrators in larger health care facilities, holding responsibility for making daily decisions. They often direct staff in clinical areas, such as health information, medical records, therapy, surgery, and/or nursing. Additionally, they deal with various administrative tasks, including inventory control. They also ensure that equipment and supplies that are available are up to date and fully operational.
They often work within nursing homes, where they hold responsibilities for managing the office. They must have adequate computer skills as they have to write reports and manage spreadsheets and data. Additionally, they have to have excellent coordination skills, as they often hold responsibility for the smooth running of their department. Assistant administrators spend most of their days at a desk behind a computer.
Common daily tasks for an assistant administrator include:
- To help in directing and planning the administration of the health care program for which they work
- To be a liaison when conflicts arise between physicians, family members, patients, and/or staff
- To make sure all professional standards are adhered to and that the facility is fully compliant with relevant laws and regulations
- To hold responsibility for overall inventory, including the ordering process
- To work alongside the administrator in monitoring and supervision staff, planning the business, and managing the budget.
According to Payscale.com, nursing home assistant administrators earn an average annual salary of $50,636.
When you hold an MHA degree, a wealth of administrative career options become available to you. These options also attract relatively high salaries and they are also personally rewarding. Obtaining an MHA is also a great way to fast track your career into more senior positions.
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- Medical and Health Services Managers. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm
- Health Care Operations Specialization – Master of Health Administration. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.capella.edu/online-degrees/mha-health-care-operations/