What Does a Health Care Manager Do?
A healthcare manager is responsible for managing the daily activities and long-term goals for a healthcare department or facility. Find out more about what medical and health services managers do, how much they make, and how to become one.
Health Care Management Description
A healthcare manager is usually one of the leaders of a healthcare administration team. These managers may also be called medical and health services managers, and there are generally a wide range of specializations and job titles within this field. For example, health unit coordinator, clinical manager, and health information manager are all positions in healthcare administration, but each job focus on a specific area. Here we explore the job duties and career information for a general healthcare manager in more detail.
Healthcare managers oversee the health services provided by a particular department or medical facility. This requires them to plan and coordinate the actions of doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. The overall goal for healthcare managers is to ensure that services are running smoothly and patients are receiving the best quality care possible. Other responsibilities of these professionals may include:
- Finding ways to increase efficiency
- Scheduling work shifts
- Hiring and training staff
- Checking compliance with current health laws and policies
- Maintaining facility records
- Coordinating the efforts and communication of department heads
- Discussing the facility with investors and governing boards
- Overseeing department or facility finances
- Creating goals and implementing policies to meet them
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that medical and health services managers made an average annual salary of $113,730 in 2018. Many these professionals worked in general medical and surgical hospitals, and these workers had an average annual salary of $122,460 the same year. The industries with the highest average salaries were in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing ($221,290) and scientific research and development services ($166,960).
The BLS also reported a much faster than average job outlook for medical and health services managers. They stated that from 2016 to 2026 employment for these managers is expected to grow by 20%. This is mainly expected due to the aging population and the need for an increase in healthcare services.
Healthcare managers typically work full time in an office setting. As mentioned, most of these managers work in hospitals, but they may also work in offices of physicians, nursing and residential care facilities, or outpatient care systems. The type of facility may determine a manager's schedule, such as evenings or weekends, and some managers may need to be on-call outside of standard business hours.
To become a health care administrator or manager, you usually need at least a bachelor's degree. Master's degrees are becoming more common, or preferred, in the field. Degrees may be in health management, business administration, healthcare administration, or other related areas.
It is also beneficial and/or required for healthcare managers to have prior work experience in a healthcare facility. Depending on the job title, some managers may be required to obtain state certification or licensure, such as a license to be a nursing home administrator. There are also optional certifications that can demonstrate professionalism in field, including certification in medical management or health information management.