Updated: Aug 21
Greetings Health Scholars!
In this week's blog, I am sharing some insight into the differences between clinical administration and healthcare administration jobs.
One of the most frequently asked questions I receive on the For Health Scholars Podcast is, "It possible to transition into a healthcare administration career as a clinical professional?"
I understand why this is a commonly asked question.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services "Healthy Worker Burn Out" report, healthy worker burnout is at an all-time high. From dealing with the daily demands of delivering quality patient care services to working through a three-year pandemic, many healthcare workers are experiencing extreme levels of stress, fatigue, and burnout. Furthermore, healthy care workers are leaving the industry earlier than what c-suite executives expected.
"Is It possible to transition into a healthcare administration career as a clinical professional?"
My answer to the question is Yes!
If you have the proper training and skillsets, pivoting into a healthcare administration position is possible.
However, before you transition into the healthcare administration, I want to ensure you are privy to the current state of the healthcare administration industry and alternative options that can make your career transition easily attainable.
What is the current state of the healthcare administration industry?
Similar to the clinical side of the industry, the healthcare administration sector is experiencing its own nuances and challenges related to sustaining a viable non-clinical workforce.
Columbia Southern University stated that the healthcare administration industry is constantly changing due to the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, it has been difficult for trained healthcare administrators to secure and sustain permanent employment within the industry.
As a clinical professional entering the healthcare administration workforce, you must know that the competition is high.
Additionally, because of your clinical background, you may be required to gain more education to secure a healthcare administration role successfully.
Professionals who work in healthcare administration roles have in-depth knowledge of the following:
Facility Management- Healthcare administrators oversee the day-to-day operations of healthcare facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and medical practices. They ensure that resources are allocated efficiently and that the facility meets regulatory standards.
Financial Management-Healthcare administrators handle the organization's budgeting, billing, and financial planning. They monitor expenses, manage insurance claims, and optimize revenue streams.
Human Resources- Hiring, training, and managing staff members fall under the purview of healthcare administrators. They ensure that the organization is adequately staffed with qualified professionals.
Regulatory Compliance- Staying up-to-date with healthcare regulations and compliance requirements is crucial for healthcare administrators. They ensure that the facility operates within legal and ethical boundaries.
Strategic Planning- Healthcare administrators contribute to developing and implementing long-term strategies for the organization. They analyze market trends, identify growth opportunities, and decide to enhance the facility's services.
Furthermore, many healthcare administration job postings require professionals to have a minimum of a Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration, management, or health services.
As a clinical professional looking to transition from the bedside immediately, the standard requirements expected of the healthcare administration workforce may seem out of reach.
But have no fears as today I bring good news.
I'm here to share that there is a more accessible alternative for clinical professionals to pivot from direct patient care delivery roles.
The alternative solution is clinical administration.
What is Clinical Administration?
Clinical administration refers to the specialized field within the healthcare industry that focuses on effectively facilitating patient care processes, medical operations, and administrative tasks in clinical settings.
What are Clinical Administration Roles?
Based on my experience working within the inpatient setting, clinical administration roles revolve around the delivery of direct patient care services. Professionals working in clinical administration roles are responsible for ensuring the seamless functioning of clinical operations.
Below are some additional key points that characterize clinical administration jobs:
Patient Interaction: Clinical administrators often have direct contact with patients. They may schedule appointments, manage patient records, and facilitate communication between healthcare providers and patients.
Medical Knowledge: Individuals in clinical administration roles need a solid understanding of medical terminology, procedures, and treatment protocols. This knowledge is crucial for accurately documenting patient information and assisting medical professionals.
Patient Documentation: Clinical administrators are responsible for maintaining accurate and up-to-date patient records. Patient documentation opportunities include recording medical histories, treatment plans, test results, and other relevant information.
Coordination with Medical Staff: Collaborating with doctors, nurses, and other medical staff is a significant aspect of clinical administration. Ensuring patient information is communicated effectively among the team is essential for delivering comprehensive care.
Scheduling and Logistics: Clinical administrators often manage appointment scheduling, surgery bookings, and the coordination of patient flow within the medical facility.
What are the Types of Clinical Administration Jobs?
Clinical administration jobs place immense value on professionals with a clinical education background due to the unique insights and understanding they bring to the table.
Below are a list of clinical administrations jobs:
Clinical Research Coordinator: Coordinates clinical trials and research studies, ensuring protocol compliance, managing participant recruitment, and collecting data.
Laboratory Manager: Oversees the administrative aspects of laboratory operations, including scheduling tests, managing equipment, and ensuring compliance with safety regulations.
Clinical Nurse Educator: Clinical nurse educators are responsible for training and educating nursing staff on clinical practices, new procedures, and evidence-based practices. They contribute to the professional development of nurses and ensure ongoing competency.
Nurse Informatics Specialist: Nurse informatics specialists bridge the gap between nursing practice and technology. They work to optimize the use of electronic health records (EHRs) and other healthcare technologies, ensuring that nursing workflows are efficient and patient data is accurately managed.
Medical Compliance Officer: Medical compliance officers ensure that healthcare facilities adhere to regulatory standards and compliance requirements. They oversee policies, procedures, and training to maintain legal and ethical practices.
Medical Executive Coach: Medical executive coaches provide mentoring and coaching to fellow medical professionals looking to transition into leadership roles. They offer guidance on leadership skills, strategic thinking, and career development.
Pharmacy Informatics Specialist: Pharmacy informatics specialists bridge the gap between pharmacy practice and technology. They optimize pharmacy information systems, electronic prescribing, and data analytics to improve patient care.
Pharmacy Compliance Officer: Pharmacy compliance officers ensure that pharmacy operations adhere to regulations and standards. They develop and implement policies, procedures, and training to maintain legal and ethical practices.
Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM): PBMs manage prescription drug benefits for health plans, employers, and government programs. They negotiate drug prices, develop formularies, and monitor drug utilization.
Pharmacy Business Manager: Pharmacy business managers oversee the financial aspects of pharmacy operations. They manage budgets, analyze financial data, and make strategic decisions to optimize profitability.
Pharmacy Clinical Manager: Pharmacy clinical managers focus on the clinical services offered by a pharmacy. They develop and implement clinical programs, educate staff, and ensure the highest quality of patient care.
Although this is not an exhaustive list, this is a good start.
Should you be a clinical professional interested in pivoting from the bedside, I recommend that you first understand the differences between clinical and healthcare administration roles before transitioning.
Once you are clear on the differences, it makes it easier for you to decide on which administration sector (clinical or healthcare) is right for your next career move!
Happy Job Hunting!
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