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Four challenges in a career in healthcare administration

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Healthcare administration is an expanding field with a major impact on the global economy. Budget analyses of medical providers reflect a growing awareness of the importance of healthcare administrators in the private sector. If you’re thinking of getting started with a career in healthcare administration, here are some important things to keep in mind.

Lack of direction

Medical and surgical hospitals are willing to pay approximately £100,000 per year on average to someone in this position. Although the field can be lucrative, it presents some unique challenges. The person in charge must often create a smoothly running facility without clear directives. Healthcare administrators may have to negotiate their way through a maze of red tape and resistance from subordinates. Establishing authority can be especially challenging. Moreover, every clinic or hospital has different needs. Figuring out where you can best make a difference takes good analytical skills and finesse.

Dependence on the rest of the practice

Healthcare administration can be a high-paying career, but it is a difficult job to perform. Those in charge must make sure everything runs with optimal efficiency. However, this depends on various parts of the hospital performing their functions effectively. If the administration fails to establish authority and credibility, other staff members can undermine it. In addition, rising healthcare costs can adversely affect facility profits. This puts the entire organisation under pressure to present immediate solutions to problems affecting the bottom line. Such responsibility often falls on healthcare administrators. A lack of quick fixes can make it hard for the rest of the hospital or clinic to justify keeping them. In particular, physicians liaisons suffer from this problem.

Declining staff pool

One of the most important tasks of a hospital administrator is to hire well-qualified practitioners. Even as the costs to fund healthcare steadily rise, the number of doctors continues to plummet. The impending retirement of an aging American population impacts both the demand and supply aspects of this dilemma. A third of doctors expect to retire soon and add to the population of people over 65 years old. Conservative estimates project a shortage of 50,000 doctors by 2030. The smaller pool of medical practitioners will require health administrators to implement innovative scheduling and resourceful staffing.

Fallout from the opioid crisis

Patients, lawyers, and local governments hold the healthcare industry more accountable than ever for the narcotics crisis. Medical administrators will see greater roles of drug control measures and alternative pain therapies. An ever-growing number of lawsuits also promises to contribute to higher healthcare costs. As the medical field copes with the effects of decades of rampant opioid use, healthcare administrators will find themselves at the forefront of the public relations challenge. They will need to stay up to date as regulations on controlled substances change.

Juggling in-house politics and understaffing concerns can certainly be challenging, but healthcare administration can also be quite rewarding. Resolving current issues that affect hospitals and transforming a struggling facility into a profitable enterprise brings deep satisfaction.

Do you have any more advice for anyone considering a career in healthcare administration? Let us know in the comments below.

Eileen O'ShanassyFour challenges in a career in healthcare administration

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