Effective Health Care Leadership Skills

Today's dynamic healthcare landscape calls for highly educated and motivated administrators who maintain cutting-edge information system skills and managerial expertise as they oversee huge healthcare operations. A strong business orientation, paired with sharp leadership and communication skills are critical for today's healthcare administrator.

Staying Ahead of the Competition


Today's healthcare landscape is a dynamic, unpredictable sea of legislative and economic transformation. Healthcare leaders, namely those in administrative and management roles, need a wide range of operational, relational, and analytical skills to effectively carry out their responsibilities. Healthcare administrators' abilities to do their jobs well, directly affect the quality and availability of affordable healthcare.

Traits of highly successful general and specialized healthcare industry leaders include:

  • ::  Having a strong business orientation - Private healthcare is more than a calling, it's also a business that needs to accomplish financial goals and stay out of the red.
  • ::  Maintaining a positive attitude - This keeps workplace morale up. Leaders have dreams and goals for their staff, and spreading positivity helps create an environment where these visions can come to pass.
  • ::  Varying work hours acceptance - Nurses and doctors work the floor 24-7; emergency situations that call on the insurance and medical financing expertise of healthcare administrators don't may occur at any point in the day.
  • ::  Willingness to out-market the competition - Other healthcare facilities and vying for patients' business. Administrators with a proactive approach to marketing will ensure success of the organization.
  • ::  Approaching work proactively - Managers lead by example, and a proactive attitude is contagious in the workplace. Staying motivated and encouraging others to perform at their best is crucial for reaching goals and maintaining quality patient care.
  • ::  Having strong leadership skills - Leaders have to focus on how well employees are performing and evaluate healthcare processes. Possessing the confidence to independently direct the organization and make important decisions to benefit overall patient care.
  • ::  Making strong employment decisions - In the name of good time management, managers task employees with the jobs they are most capable of handling efficiently.
  • ::  Understanding priorities and staying organized - Overseeing use of information data systems, computer programs and healthcare machines requires extensive organizational habits and ruthless prioritization.
  • ::  Improving themselves and their staff consistently - Leaders should continuously push for improved hospital procedures and strive for higher quality patient care. Implementing and working to accomplish set goals can increase team collaboration and build relationships.
  • ::  Being available to, professional and honest with their staff - Being an accessible and efficient leader who fulfills his or her duties while assisting others will create bonds of trust between administrators and staff.
  • ::  Continuing an education - Professionals never stop learning, and a voracious appetite for up-to-the-minute information and research about modern healthcare issues in technology, economics, finance, management, or legal and ethical issues will keep an administrator relevant to the industry.

A Healthcare Leader's Effectiveness

Healthcare service managers have a variety of tasks, skills, knowledge and expertise required to fulfill day-to-day responsibilities.

Certain operational skills are crucial to an effective leader. Healthcare administrators are often required to maintain and develop professional standards, procedures, and policies for various institutional activities. These healthcare leaders are also responsible for developing and expanding programs for scientific research, preventive medicine, medical and vocational rehabilitation, and community health and welfare.

Excellent, assertive communication skills, both verbal and written, are paramount to a leader's ability to carry out an effective healthcare operation. Current computer skills and technology-based training are also essential as healthcare machinery and information systems continue to evolve.

Some other operational skills necessary to the Healthcare leader's job include:

  • ::  Information systems management and troubleshooting
  • ::  Maintain awareness of advances in data processing technology, medicine, computerized diagnostic and treatment equipment, financing options, and health insurance changes
  • ::  Logistics and research
  • ::  Patient administration
  • ::  Maintain quality of service offered to patients
  • ::  Team performance measurement and motivation
  • ::  Facilities development and enhancement
  • ::  Project and operations management

A large part of a healthcare administration is financially and managerially focused, as most of healthcare administrators work in an office environment. They are in charge of managing hospitals, community health centers, clinics, private medical group practices, managed care organizations, nursing homes, and other health care facilities. Analytical skills necessary to responsibly manage the business side of a clinic, hospital, or other healthcare-based companies include:

  • ::  Fiscal operations, which can span from accounting, planning budgets, planning and authorizing to expenditures, establishing rates for services, and coordinating financial reporting
  • ::  Economic knowledge and insight
  • ::  Consultation
  • ::  Supply ordering and inventory management
  • ::  Human resources management
  • ::  Direction, supervision and evaluation of medical, technical, nursing, service, clerical, maintenance and other personnel
  • ::  Education and training management
  • ::  Public relations and Marketing
  • ::  Knowledge of current government regulations, legal and ethical practices, policies and standards
  • ::  Strategic planning
  • ::  Development and execution of organizational procedures

Successful healthcare administrators also have strong interpersonal skills to fulfill their relational responsibilities:

  • ::  Internal communication management
  • ::  Develop interviewing processes
  • ::  Direct and conduct recruitment, hiring and training of personnel
  • ::  Develop coaching strategies
  • ::  Limit conflict and encouraging workplace unity
  • ::  Overcome barriers in communication with staff and outside healthcare administrators

Healthcare managers of all levels and specializations are critical to guarantee a hospital functions on a competitive, effective, profitable, and satisfactory basis. The Utica College online Master of Science in Health Care Administration degree is a leadership-oriented program that prepares students for a career in this field. So in an effort to grab employers' attention and jumpstart your successful healthcare administration career, enroll in the online Health Care Administration Master's degree from Utica College. You can enjoy the flexibility and convenience of online courses while earning a high quality, respected degree from Utica College.