The Hybridization of Health Care Administrators
Today’s healthcare field has diverse needs, in terms of future professionals. Hospitals and long-term care facilities will need people widely versed in a number of patient care issues such as:
For example, it used to be that healthcare administrators were focused solely on the management of hospital staff and departments. Now, however, they need to be well-versed in data storage programs, record accessibility and security, and management best practices.
Because of changing technology, healthcare administrators will need to be especially well-versed in what constitutes best practices, in terms of patient records—along with medical devices, as well. Regis College cites the U.S. government-issued warning, in 2015, that hackers are able to instruct infusion pumps to deliver lethal medication doses. This security concern—along with the need for more streamlined and universally accessible patient data, more efficient payment methods, and more publicly sustainable pharmaceutical drug pricing—are among the factors under consideration.
The diversity of concerns on the table points to a need for administrative professionals who are cross-trained in a number of different areas, from legislation to management to healthcare informatics systems. Knowledgeability in this last factor is especially crucial because, in addition to care becoming more data-driven, healthcare professionals are becoming more specialized. Therefore, a single patient may see five or more specialists during a single hospital stay. All of the specialists working on the same case need to have access to the same information in the most streamlined, accessible form possible.
However, according to Dr. Tom Giannulli, “It took government incentives to get physicians to widely adopt electronic health records (EHRs), and it looks like it will take incentives and penalties to drive interoperability.” Part of the difficulty and slowness to integrate comes from bureaucratic roadblocks, but part of this slowness may stem from the lack of leadership at the hospital administrative level. This is why it’s all the more important for professionals new to healthcare management and administration to learn about various database systems—some of which may be cloud-based—that are easily accessible from anywhere, regardless of whether the different departments are housed within the same facility or not. The increased continuity is likely to decrease administrative costs, time, and miscommunication.