Top Online Health Administration Schools (Health Services Administration)
Health administrators can be the unsung workers of any hospital or clinical practice. They help direct the ebb-and-flow of medical services to ensure patients receive the health care they need. In some cases, the administrator keeps the buildings up-to-date and makes sure they meet state and federal health care codes. In large hospitals, an administrator can be responsible for an entire department or ward.
As a result of this management focus of the profession, much of the education for a health administrator can be completed online. However, as with all health care-related professions, onsite training and hands-on experience may be necessary to complete a degree. Those who are dedicated to earning an health administration degree online may find they have a broad selection of programs to choose from. Online degrees in health administration can range from associate to master’s degree and offer various concentrations.
U.S. News and World Report publishes an annual ranking of colleges and universities on various subjects such as alumni size and student enrollment test scores. The following were listed as the 2011 top graduate schools in health care management.
1. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
2. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
3. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
4. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
5. University of Alabama, Birmingham
Below are some of the health administration focuses available from online schools and colleges through SchoolsGalore.com
Nursing home administration
Nursing home administrators can supervise registered nurses and direct staff and other medical assistants at adult nursing homes or assisted care facilities. They are knowledgeable about human resource management, health care services, state licensures and state-approved training. Courses might focus on health care financial management, gerontology, personnel management, and laws pertaining to medical consent.
According to the BLS (BLS.gov, 2012), all states require licensure for employment as a nursing home administrator. That often means an administrator needs to have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution before taking the licensing exam. However, there are exceptions. For example, in the state of New York, three years of relevant work experience can substitute for the state’s education requirements for licensure.
Annual pay can depend on a number of factors including experience in the field. The BLS (BLS.gov, 2012) reported an annual national wage of $86,400 for medical and health services managers in 2011. The top 10 percent earned up to $147,890 nationally and the lowest 10 percent earned up to $52,730 nationally. The BLS predicts nationwide employment growth in the field of up to 22 percent from 2010 to 2020 as the baby-boomer generation ages and places more demands on the healthcare industry.
Hospital administrators direct the day-to-day tasks of a department and work with other health care administrators and clerks to processes patient billing and equipment storage. They also work with administrative assistants to schedule patient check-ups. Hospital managers in large facilities can be responsible for entire wards or departments, such as nursing, surgery or physical therapy.
According to the BLS, clinical managers are usually required to have a bachelor’s degree, although some may have extensive work experience as nurses, physical therapists, surgical technicians or medical coders in addition to experience in a management position. The education for an assistant manager can include courses in hospital organization, medical coding and billing, and law pertaining to patient rights.
Certifications such as the Certified Healthcare Facility Manager (CHFM), Certified Materials & Resource Professional (CMRP) and Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM) are available from the American Hospital Association. These may be helpful to those seeking advancement in their field.
The BLS (BLS.gov, 2012) reported an annual national wage of $86,400 median for medical and health services manager in 2011. The top 10 percent earned up to $147,890 nationally and the lowest 10 percent earned up to $52,730 nationally. According to the BLS (BLS.gov, 2012), the employment of health care administrators is expected to grow up to 22 percent from 2010 to 2020 as the health care industry sees increased demand due to pressure from an aging population.
Health information management
Health information managers are both the health care provider’s information technology department and also the physical record keepers of patient data. They design and implement the network architecture of a clinic or hospital, establish information security protocols to protect private records and manage the client information database. As technology moves forward, so does the need to digitize physical records and to become a fully paperless system. Because of this, hospitals and clinics are increasingly relying upon health information managers for daily operations.
According to the BLS (BLS.gov, 2012), courses for health information managers may focus on health information management systems and specific programs in addition to computer science and data analysis. Courses may also focus on the management side of the profession with classes in organization, human resource management and business administration. Much of the course material required for a degree could be found through online degree programs However, specific training in document scanning and network architecture may require hands-on training. Check with your school for information about on-site requirements.
Credentials are available in the form of Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) and Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security (CHPS) certifications by the American Health Information Management Association for experienced health information managers.
No salary or education information was provided by the BLS or O*Net Online specifically for health information managers. However, the BLS includes health information managers with other medical and health service managers. As noted above, the BLS reported an annual national wage of $86,400 median for medical and health services manager in 2011. The top 10 percent made up to $147,890 nationally and the lowest 10 percent made up to $52,730 nationally. According to the BLS (BLS.gov, 2012), opportunities in the health care administration field could increase by up to 22 percent 2010 to 2020 as increased demands occur in health care.
Learn more about accredited health administration programs from online schools and colleges through SchoolsGalore.com
When searching for online education in health administration, it is important to verify the school’s accreditation was granted by an accrediting organization approved by The U.S. Department of Education or The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or both. The Distance Education and Training Council is one such organization and provides a searchable list of accredited programs as does the CHEA. The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education accredits health information management programs and provides a searchable list of all the accredited programs.
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