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The Three Biggest Challenges For Hospital Administrators

Jennifer Witting, nurse at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital in Laurium, Michigan

Running a hospital is a complex process. While it is driven by the need to help the ill and the injured, at the same time it must be run as a business. Healthcare costs are on the rise, placing strains on every medical facility. The government’s plan to address the uninsured offers a new set of hurdles to be overcome. Innovations make old methods and equipment obsolete. There is also the need to find and retain excellent staff members. It is a daunting task. Here are three of the biggest challenges that hospital administrators must face.

Provide The Best Care While Managing Costs

It’s the era of technology as new equipment and electronic devices are arriving on the scene at a stunning pace. It is difficult for anyone to keep up and hospital administrators feel the pressure as well to utilize the latest developments in the healthcare field. Electronic record keeping has become one of the most popular changes, eliminating a great deal of paperwork. When doctors, nurses, and other staff members enter all data electronically, it is easier to make information accessible. In addition to data, hospitals are installing new equipment that is enhanced by the latest developments, ensuring better care for patients.At the same time, training and professional development is necessary to keep abreast of all of the changes. While these improvements are welcome, costs are staggering.

Specializing is another way that hosptitals can provide better care and become more competitive, increasing the potential for revenue. Administrators need to highlight their strengths and build up particular programs that will draw more patients. Their facility may become best known for cardiac care or diabetes management, beckoning individuals and giving them confidence that they are in capable hands.

Competing for Staff

While many fields are glutted with potential employees in this strained economy, healthcare is one area that is truly in need of more professionals. Hospital administrators have to be creative in offering incentives that are inviting enough to draw competent candidates to their facility. They can assist themselves in reaching their goal by promoting their facility with a strong reputation, culturing a relationship with local colleges to draw interns and graduates, and making new employees an offer they can’t refuse.

As hospital administrators recruit and hire new staff members, they need to bear in mind that ‘bedside manner’ is extremely important. Healthcare professionals need to be compassionate and have good people skills when it comes to interacting with the public. There will be a better rate of recovery when patients are nurtured by staff and treated with respect.

Taking on Medicare and Medicaid

Hospital administrators are dealing with higher numbers of uninsured patients and individuals with no income. In addition, there have been many changes concerning medicare and medicaid. A large portion of the population, especially the growing number of elderly, relies on medicare and medicaid for their medical care. Hospital administrators need to manage their budgets efficiently, while at the same time their are many individuals who fail to pay their bills. Regardless of the ability to pay, every American has the right to adequate healthcare. Hospital administrators need to provide this care and keep the business afloat.

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Being the administrator of a healthcare facility, no matter the size, is a lot of responsibility. Denise Phillips is happy to share her experiences as an administrator and has contributed to the Hospital Administrator Career Guide for those interested in the administration duties of healthcare.

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