Hospital Administration Certification and Courses
If you are interested in a career as a hospital administrator, you may wish to consider gaining voluntary certification to prove your competence. Credentials for healthcare administrators are as varied as the job responsibilities you will face, and it is important to be aware of how your educational background and professional experience may prepare you for certification.
What You Need to Know
Most health service administrators have at least a graduate degree in the field. Earning a graduate degree in health services administration or healthcare management can help you meet the educational requirements for certification.
|Program Options||Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Healthcare Administration, Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management, Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Administration, Master of Health Administration|
|Courses||Long-term care, quality of healthcare, reimbursing healthcare providers, hospital accounting systems, healthcare organization, purchasing management, sociology of health|
|Certification||Optional certification available from organizations like the American Hospital Association|
What Professional Skills Will I Need?
As a hospital administrator, you will develop skills that encompass many areas of healthcare delivery and facility management. Your background may be in medicine or in business, and your duties will include several aspects of running a hospital, including facility design, equipment and facility maintenance, record-keeping, staffing, billing and financial accounting.
What Credentials Can I Obtain?
Certain organizations offer certification credentials for professional healthcare administrators, including the Certified Patient Account Manager and Certified Clinic Manager credentials issued by the American Association of Healthcare Administration Management (AAHAM). For executives, the American College of Healthcare Executives offers a fellowship credential and various webinars and course clusters for professional enrichment. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offers certification for specialists in medical coding and record-keeping.
What Other Options Might I Have?
You may also obtain the Certified Healthcare Facility Manager (CHFM) credential issued by the American Hospital Association. The CHFM and similar credentials entail minimum education requirements and professional experience and the successful completion of a comprehensive exam. You may also be asked to renew your certification every three years through continuing education or repeating the examination with passing results. The certification examination will cover the disparate aspects of hospital administration, including the following areas:
- Hospital maintenance
- Hospital operations
- Code compliance
- Design and construction
- Finance management
What Type of Programs and Courses Will Prepare Me for Certification?
In order to fulfill certification requirements, you will need a combination of academic accomplishment and relevant professional experience. Certain certificate programs in healthcare management are designed to augment a bachelor's or master's degree in a business-related field. For licensed caregivers, certificate programs can introduce them to the administrative aspects of hospital operations. You may also choose an online certificate program that includes internship or residency opportunities. Courses in hospital administration might focus on community health issues. Your coursework may also involve some of the following areas:
- Human resource management
- Health informatics
- Electronic database record-keeping
- Legal employment issues
- Low-cost delivery
- Ethics of patient care
- Financial budgeting
- Health insurance reimbursement procedures