6 Tips For Becoming A Good Healthcare Administrator
Being a healthcare administrator goes beyond managing costs and directing business operations. The responsibilities also include understanding the legal laws surrounding medicine, soft skills like communication, critical thinking, and maintaining a role as a leader.
Healthcare administrators occupy several careers, such as chief medical officers, healthcare executives, and health services managers. Therefore, as a healthcare administrator, the entire framework of a smooth, organized, and structured healthcare facility lies on your shoulders.
Your intervention is necessary for ensuring patients connect with the right specialist, medical practitioners show up on time, and there are no errors in medical Billings. Here’s how you morph into a good healthcare administrator:
1. Ensure you’re qualified for the profession
You must be a highly qualified professional before assuming your role as a healthcare administrator. Concepts like marketing, business administration, medical ethics, healthcare policies, and project management are pivotal for your career.
While an undergrad in healthcare administration lets you initiate your profession, it is not enough for you to make a difference in the hospital. At most, a primary degree will let you work in the administrative department under almond else’s mentorship.
A master’s degree prepares you for more c-suite positions and gives you more authority. Therefore, ensure you educate yourself about what is a MHA degree and learn how it gives you more influence in the hospital’s management. You don’t have to go back to school full-time to advance your qualification; you can also study online.
2. Emphasis on communication
Over 80% of serious medical errors occur because of miscommunication. A patient may accidentally get the wrong dosage, charged for a service they never got, or a doctor may discharge a patient earlier than necessary. These mistakes can lead to fatal consequences, and in the healthcare sector, there is no room for error. The hospital you work for will benefit patients with better outcomes. Here are some tools you can implement:
- The SBAR technique. This is a standard communication tool medical practitioners use when transferring information about a patient during a shift transfer or handing off the patient to a new doctor. The SBAR technique uses prompt questions to cover four aspects of a patient’s health- situation, background, assessment, recommendation.
- The Patient teach-back technique. This method ensures patients understand the instructions given to them. A nurse explains the entire treatment process and asks the patient to repeat the information back. It is essential to inform the patient that this technique is not a medical examination. It is a verification technique. It also gives patients a chance to clear ambiguities, ask questions and correct the nurse if they got their symptoms wrong.
- HIPAA compliant text servers. Traditional messaging systems like WhatsApp are not suitable for confidential discussions, including patient data. Even though these messaging applications are encrypted, there is still a margin of them getting hacked. Therefore, you can introduce unique texting servers specifically designed for the healthcare database. For instance, OhMD, TigerConnect, Providers, and Halo Health are all suitable platforms that allow medical practitioners to talk to each other and patients. While texting features vary, medical practitioners can perform essential functions like sending appointment reminders, files, images, and survey forms.
3. Have robust leadership skills
Leadership skills are about delegating tasks, connecting recruits to training programs, and hiring lucrative medical professionals. Ensure doctors and nurses have the right schedule with a suitable workload every day to prevent the staff from burning out. Encourage doctors to attend medical conferences and make it mandatory for practicing doctors. If the team accidentally commits an error while checking on a patient, take immediate action to remedy the situation.
However, if the mistake is far too severe, you may need to inform the ethical board and hold a meeting. Dedicate a portion of your time to making transparent healthcare policies such as sanitation standards, detailing healthcare insurances your hospital gets affiliated with, and patient services like translating facilities. You may even appoint senior practitioners to mentor junior practitioners to facilitate doctors and nurses to do their job perfectly.
4. Have strong accountability
There may be times when you struggle to do your job right. You may have haphazardly delegated the wrong load, made the wrong choice while hiring a medical practitioner, or can’t produce low patient outcomes. In all these circumstances, you must show accountability. It is also equally important you take charge and fix all the loose ends in the healthcare system and create contingency plans to avoid future pitfalls.
You also need to have a good attitude and step in during crises. For instance, setting up vaccination centers and offering free vaccines to patients during a public health crisis. Provide women access to pivotal healthcare facilities such as affordable mammogram scans.
You may also discourage resources from getting misused, like giving medical practitioners access to pharmaceuticals with minimal supervision. This helps you maintain quality, understand the magnitude of your role and prevent the US healthcare sector from getting burdened.
5. Integrate technology
Technology is an umbrella term encompassing databases, software, and machines. Trending topics within the healthcare sector include artificial intelligence, telehealth, smart devices with monitoring systems, and blockchain. As a healthcare administrator, you should incorporate technology into the healthcare system. These can be illustrated by:
- Smart bed technology. Nurses and doctors can use smart bed technology, which can digitally use sensors to track a patient’s movement, pick up fluctuations in weight and monitor their vitals. These beds also come with anti-fall features which prevent patients from rolling over and falling or hurting themselves in bed.
- Automated IV pumps. When a patient gets connected to an IV pump, nurses have to keep a close eye to ensure that the correct dosage gets administered without allowing extra fluids into the patient body. IV pumping takes time, and sometimes it can cause a patient discomfort to stay in position with a needle inside, for too long. Automated IV pumps are a brilliant solution to this ongoing problem.
Through software, nurses can command the pump on the amount to provide a stopping period and allow the patient to rest between each session. This is useful for patients post-surgery since they may frequently need strong medication like morphine. IV pumps can provide a patient with the necessary pain medication in a controlled manner to prevent unintentional addiction.
- Bio stickers. Without manual integration, healthcare professionals can use palm-sized technology to monitor patients’ vital signs such as heart rate, breathing, and skin temperature. So far, the FDA-cleared bio sticker from BioIntelliSense is a trailblazer in this department. This can easily stick to a patient and provide feedback to the hospital staff on the patient’s condition through software.
6. Develop cordial relationships with other healthcare bodies
A hospital is not an isolated entity. It depends on other healthcare bodies like retail clinics, public health departments, and government agencies to build a robust health service system. You can work with public health bodies to educate the population, provide information on illnesses, give public health professionals a platform to conduct research, and allow them to partner with nurses to treat patients who can’t go to the hospital.
Encourage nurses to travel and work with other affiliated hospitals to provide expertise, services, and treatment. If your hospital has a university, it can collaborate with other medical institutes to exchange research, mentors, and facilities.
For example, Harvard Medical School works with the Boston Children’s Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. To develop these cordial relationships, you should provide funds for different departments, attend medical conferences with hospitals you wish to partner with, and allow the exchange of medical professionals.
Hospitals, like any other sector, need top-notch management. This is where you come in as a healthcare administrator. Your primary purpose is to ensure a hospital can look after patients without compromising quality while maintaining a steady reputation in the healthcare industry.
Therefore, you can’t compromise on the education you will need to transform yourself into a professional healthcare administrator. The lack of communication between medical practitioners and patients is one of the leading causes of medical errors which lead to lawsuits. You can fix this by introducing communication techniques and messaging services far more secure than traditional applications.
You also need to show accountability and leadership to balance between delegating tasks and taking responsibility. Technology is another vital resource that a hospital needs to integrate. Don’t hesitate to reach out and build relations with other healthcare bodies working to mainstream and make healthcare more effective.
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