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Health Care Department Managers are responsible for making sure the hospital or other healthcare facility stays organized, on budget, and efficient.

Healthcare department manager

Job Tasks:

  • Direct, supervise and evaluate work activities of medical, nursing, technical, clerical, service, maintenance, and/or other personnel.

  • Direct or conduct recruitment, hiring and training of personnel. 

  • Develop and implement organizational policies and procedures for the facility or medical unit. 

  • Conduct and administer fiscal operations including accounting, planning budgets, authorizing expenditures, establishing rates for services and coordinating financial reporting. 

  • Maintain awareness of advances in medicine, computerized diagnostic and treatment equipment, data processing technology, government regulations, health insurance changes and financing options.

  • Prepare activity reports to inform senior management of the status and implementation plans of programs, services and quality initiatives. 

  • Establish work schedules and assignments for staff, according to workload, pace and equipment availability. 

  • Maintain communication between governing boards, medical staff and department heads by attending relevant meetings and coordinating interdepartmental functioning.

Skills and Abilities Needed to Perform Job:

  • Knowledge of multiple computer software use in business administration including accounting, analytical or scientific, business intelligence and data analysis, document management, enterprise resource planning and project management.

  • Knowledge of data base user interface and query software.

  • Knowledge of medical software – Epic Systems, MedFORCE Technologies WorkFlow, MEDITECH and Medical procedure coding software.

  • Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods and coordination of people and resources.

  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar. 

  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. 

  • Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor statistics and negotiation and personnel information systems.  

  • Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules and the democratic political process. 

  • Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases and deformities. 

  • Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups and the measurement of training effects.

  • Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data. 

  • Critical Thinking – Ability to use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

  • Oral Expression – Ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. 

  • Oral Comprehension – Ability to listen and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. 

  • Judgement and Decision Making – Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

  • Inductive Reasoning – Ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions. 

  • Deductive Reasoning – Ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that makes sense. 

  • Written Comprehension – Ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. 

  • Problem Sensitivity – Ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. 

  • Time Management – Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

  • Coordination – Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

  • Active Learning – Understanding the implications of additional information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Desired Work Style Attributes:

  • Attention to details

  • Integrity – Honest and ethical

  • Dependability – Reliable and responsible

  • Cooperation – Pleasant with others

  • Leadership – Willingness to lead, take charge and offer opinions and directions

  • Adaptability/Flexibility – Open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace

  • Self-Control – Maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations

  • Stress Tolerance – Accepting criticism and dealing calmly in stressful situations

  • Analytical Thinking – Analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems

  • Initiative – Willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges

Education Requirements:

There are multiple paths to becoming a Healthcare Department Manager, but it generally takes several years of post-high school education and training. It is a rewarding career path for high school students preparing to choose a career or for a seasoned health care employee looking to advance their career.

As with most careers it helps to begin building your resume early:

High School Students

  • If you have a chance to enroll in a magnet high school that focuses on health care careers, seize the opportunity! You may be able to enroll in a certificate program while still in high school.

  • Do some career exploration and take advantage of opportunities to volunteer in health or community service organizations. Job shadow professionals to learn about Allied Health Careers (Allied Health is a term used to describe the broad range of health professionals who are not doctors, dentists or nurses.)

  • After high school graduation, you will need to enroll into a healthcare degree program. Many degree programs titled allied health are for individuals who have already completed a certificate or associate program in a health field. If you prefer a business focus, you may want to enroll in a health care administration program. These programs are academically rigorous, and you will need to take your education to the master's level to compete for the best jobs.

  • Build your communication, leadership and administrative skills.

  • Keep your college grades up with English, math and science courses, even consider taking psychology.

  • Research programs, apply for work experience internships.

  • Join professional organizations.

Healthcare Workers

Health care employees will need education and experience before assuming managerial roles. You will need a degree in health services administration, health sciences, public administration, public health or business administration. It is important to choose a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Management Education.

A bachelor's degree is often adequate for some entry-level management positions in smaller facilities, at the departmental level within health care organizations and in health information management. Physicians' offices and some other facilities may sometimes substitute on-the-job experience for formal education. You will find a wide array of schools offering Health Care Administration degrees online and on campus.

An MBA in Health Care Management prepares individuals for mid-level and executive level health care management positions in hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, manage care organizations and other related health care organizations.

Licensing and Certification

As an allied health manager, chances are good that you will be both licensed and certified. However, your licensing probably won't be in allied health management. Allied health administrators may be licensed in any of many health professions. Employers determine which licensure is needed for specific departments.

The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management offers two credentials, one for managers who work in hospital settings, the other for those who work in a medical office.

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