An effective healthcare delivery system can not only improve the health of individuals, but also the health of the country. However, according to data from the Integrated Benefits Institute, the cost of poor health in the United States is rising in 2018 due to employee absenteeism due to illness, and employers spent $530 billion on this.

The medical industry is responding by turning to a value-based delivery system instead of a pay-for-service model. With their leadership, collaboration and problem-solving skills, healthcare administrators can lead the transition to a value-based model in all types of healthcare organizations.

What are the different types of health care facilities?
The US healthcare infrastructure is a complex system composed of facilities, insurance plans, professionals, and technology. Health care administrators are responsible for the following core facility types: hospitals, outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, clinical laboratories, and shelters. These facilities cooperate to provide high-quality medical care to patients and the community.

The hospital mainly provides diagnosis and treatment services for patients who need severe or immediate care. Most hospitals are inpatient facilities, requiring patients to be on standby under the supervision of professional healthcare professionals until they are discharged.

Hospitals are usually categorized by ownership type, treatment, facility size, and length of stay of patients. Most of them are non-profit organizations, usually managed by the district health bureau.

Most people are familiar with general hospitals, which allow patients to receive all types of medical conditions. Based on the patient’s diagnosis, a general hospital can refer him to an emergency hospital, such as a cancer treatment hospital, a children’s hospital or a maternity hospital, or a member of the hospital’s outpatient facility network.

Outpatient clinics or facilities are usually suitable for patients who need short-term care and can recover at home. The hospital transfers discharged patients to a network of outpatient clinics, which specializes in providing services for ongoing conditions, such as weight loss, drug or alcohol rehabilitation, and physical therapy.

Outpatient clinics are also generally more patient-friendly and more affordable. Day surgery centers, urgent care clinics and specialist clinics are usually located near the patient’s home, making it easier to obtain high-quality non-urgent care.

Long-term care facility
Long-term care facilities provide support for people with short-term recovery, ongoing health conditions or disabilities. They are designed to help patients complete daily activities as safely and independently as possible.

According to a recent survey conducted by Genworth, seven out of ten people will need long-term care in their lifetime. According to the patient’s health status, the patient can get home care through housewife services or home health assistants. Community and assisted living facilities take care of the elderly who are still relatively independent, while nursing home facilities take care of patients who require full-time care.

Clinical laboratory
Clinical laboratories or laboratories complete diagnostic tests ordered by physicians and primary care providers. Medical technicians use biological specimens such as blood, urine or saliva to perform tests to help diagnose, treat and monitor the health of patients.

Clinical laboratory facilities can be organized by function or testing specialty. General clinical laboratories run routine tests, while other laboratories (such as cancer clinics) run tests for specific diseases. Specialized testing facilities run diagnostic tests for specific fields, such as public health or hematology.

Hospice care
Hospice care is another type of health care facility. A hospice care agency takes care of people who are about to be terminally ill or who are about to retire. Generally, hospice care is for patients who are not older than six months. A professional team composed of doctors, nurses, spiritual counselors and counselors provides support to patients and their families during the transition period.

Depending on the required care and cost, hospice services can be used in hospice care facilities, patients’ homes, long-term facilities or hospitals.

How do health care administrators adapt to different facility types
Healthcare administrators are responsible for leading and managing the business of healthcare organizations. They guide the strategy, ensuring that facilities, budgets, and personnel can meet the health needs of the community. Health care managers also act as liaisons between institutional stakeholders (such as the board of directors and regulatory agencies) and occasionally mediate disputes between patients and medical staff.

The responsibilities of health care administrators vary depending on the type of health care facility. In a large hospital that can accommodate hundreds of beds, health care managers work with the leadership team to oversee the daily operations of each department. In this case, they will review the budget for recruiting new employees, but they usually do not play an active role in recruitment and training.

The type of care provided in the facility also affects the responsibilities of the healthcare administrator. Due to the unique care needs of the patient population, a license for nursing home administrators needs to be issued in their state. They also oversee entertainment programs, work with third-party care consultants, and coordinate end-of-life services.

Health care administrator skills
The tasks of health care administrators vary from day to day. They may focus on one day’s budget and write a new facility policy the next day. Health care administrators can prepare for this dynamic role by enhancing their leadership, organization, critical thinking, and technical skills.

The health care administrator sets the workplace culture of the organization. Through their leadership, they can motivate employees to implement facility strategies and achieve goals. Health care administrators demonstrate their leadership skills through critical thinking and effective communication. They must make reasonable decisions in line with the facility strategy based on research and reasons. Administrators use technology and data analysis to support their decision-making and improve the delivery of healthcare.

The rationale behind institutional decisions should be transparent to stakeholders, and healthcare managers should maintain an open attitude to obtain feedback in order to gain trust and confidence from the institutional community.

Leading the healthcare facilities of tomorrow
Professionals acquire the basic skills to become health care administrators through experience and education. Many aspiring healthcare managers pursue higher degrees to enhance their understanding of business, leadership, and healthcare policy.

All types of healthcare organizations need administrators who are ready to lead their transition to value-based healthcare. Learn more about the online Master of Health Management at Regis College and how its courses in health care economics, leadership, and management help individuals prepare for successful senior health care management positions.

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