If you’re involved in the medical field, you know that there are many jobs within the healthcare industry. Not only do clinicians provide patient care and services, but administrative roles like clinical administrator exist to ensure patients receive the best care possible.
Since physicians are increasingly required to operate leaner and more efficiently, the role of the clinical administrator has become more critical than ever before. These professionals work behind the scenes to ensure everything goes smoothly in their hospitals or medical practices.
For instance, they oversee billing, scheduling, staffing, patient accounts, and record-keeping to ensure their facility runs efficiently. To be an effective clinical administrator, you should know how every department in your facility operates and how each interacts with all the others.
An overview of clinic administrators
A clinical administrator is the administrative head of a medical clinic. They are responsible for running the day-to-day operations and ensuring everything runs smoothly.
This role includes hiring and supervising staff, monitoring inventory, and billing patients. They set up team schedules, track the number of staff needed for each shift and ensure that the appropriate supplies are on hand.
Clinical admins also monitor budgets and purchase equipment to improve patient care. Some may also have to work with insurance companies to get approval for treatment before being administered.
Clinical administrators typically hold at least a bachelor’s degree in health administration or a related field from an accredited university or college. If you wish to advance your nursing skills for the role, you can enroll in an MSN/MBA in nursing program at Spring Arbor University.
As the name suggests, the program allows you to earn two degrees simultaneously: a Master of Science in Nursing and a Master of Business Administration. The MBA portion equips you with leadership and managerial skills for success in any healthcare environment.
Additionally, the MSN portion prepares you for various nursing specialties such as hospital management, business development, quality assurance, marketing, and communications. You will gain hands-on experience managing facilities and resources under supervision from experts in these fields.
How to become a Clinical Administrator
Becoming the admin of your clinic can be a fantastic opportunity, but getting it isn’t always easy. There are many skills you’ll need to develop to make it happen.
It requires both education and experience in healthcare management, as well as personal characteristics that make this career rewarding but stressful. Here are some steps you can take to become a clinical administrator.
Get a degree
In today’s job market, you can obtain many different degrees to become an administrator for a clinic. There is no set degree for this position, but it will most likely be related to medicine or healthcare.
A degree in business management, health care administration, or a related field is a requirement for most positions. Such a degree covers general education classes and administrative skills such as accounting and marketing.
The general education classes will provide knowledge in other areas by making you more knowledgeable about finance, economics, and global issues. The administrative skills learned through the program could also be applied to other professions outside of the medical world if needed.
Develop technological skills
As the world evolves, technology is used increasingly in all aspects of life. To become an effective clinic administrator, you must acquire technical skills in at least one or two areas.
Some of these skills include computer programming and statistical data management. The skill you want to focus on should mirror your strengths and what you are most interested in.
To become a clinic administrator, you will need experience in the medical field. You can start as an office or administrative assistant in a clinic setting.
These roles will give you hands-on knowledge of the workplace and also allow you to build relationships with your superiors. Other ways to gain experience include taking classes at community colleges or technical schools, volunteering at clinics, or interning at open positions.
Gain soft skills
Gaining soft skills is difficult because it’s not something you can learn in the traditional sense. Instead, you need to develop your skills by participating in extracurricular activities and working in different areas. The more places you work and the experience you gain, the better your chance of developing these skills.
Create a resume and cover letter
A resume and cover letter will go a long way in securing the interview. In your cover letter, explain why you would like to be an administrator in this clinic. The summary should highlight the skills and experience that make you an ideal candidate.
Your cover letter should introduce yourself and explain why you are applying for this specific role. Additionally, your resume should list any administrative work experience, such as working in an administrative assistant position or volunteering at the clinic before becoming an independent entity.
What does a Clinical Administrator do?
While clinical and business operations are necessary to make any healthcare facility work, the clinical administrator acts as the bridge between both sides of the house.
As an administrator, your main goal is to ensure that the hospital staff and physicians have everything they need to perform their duties. Some of the primary responsibilities of this role include the following.
Developing policies and procedures
Establishing policies and procedures for the clinical environment is necessary to maintain order and ensure that employees follow the organization’s best practices. Policies should cover privacy, confidentiality, safety, and security, among others.
To develop appropriate policies and procedures for your facility, consult with department heads and supervisors to get their input on the type of documentation needed in their area. When writing procedures, keep them simple and brief by addressing only one task at a time.
Oversight of staff schedules
One of the most important roles you can play as a clinical administrator is overseeing and approving staff schedules. This role includes determining work hours, overtime pay, vacation, and personal time off.
You should be aware that your employees have rights regarding their schedules. As a result, you must listen to their input and make changes where necessary.
It’s also essential to know how long an employee has been on the schedule before approving a request to change it because this determines whether they qualify for overtime pay.
We are maintaining compliance with regulatory standards.
The clinical administrator must ensure that all testing and procedures comply with FDA, CLIA, and other regulatory standards. The clinical administrator needs to be knowledgeable about federal regulations, such as HIPAA and OSHA.
They must also be aware of state or local laws about their area. The clinical administrator will often work closely with legal counsel who can guide the organization’s operations, including medical liability coverage, privacy issues, contracts, and business relationships.
Budgeting and financial management
In the daily operations of a healthcare facility, clinical administrators are responsible for budgeting and financial management. They are tasked with understanding how much money is coming in and going out.
These professionals must know which costs can be cut or outsourced to lower costs and which ones can’t be. Clinical Administrators need to understand all the details behind finances because they will have to report back to management about their findings.
This role requires solid analytical skills and knowledge of accounting practices. You must have experience running budgets and are good at predicting future trends to make changes before things go too far.
Maintaining medical supplies
A clinical administrator is responsible for overseeing and managing the medical supplies that keep the hospital running. It includes keeping track of inventory, ensuring adequate amounts are on hand, and ensuring staff members have access to them when needed.
The clinical administrator must also be knowledgeable about all types of medical equipment used in the hospital, from surgical to laboratory. They should know how each piece of equipment works and where it will be most efficient.
The person in charge of this role should always stay up-to-date with technological advances so they can determine which tools will work best for their hospital’s needs. Knowing which technology is best saves time and money and makes life easier for other team members.
Interprets policy and procedures for staff members
A clinical administrator also analyzes the organization’s policies and procedures to staff members to ensure they adhere to them.
As an administrative professional, the clinical administrator is often responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the department, as well as its budget.
This role includes delegating tasks and overseeing progress made on assigned tasks. They may also be required to manage clerical duties such as filing, copying, and other paperwork assignments.
As a clinical administrator, you are the clinicians and administration team liaison. It can be an advantageous position if you’re someone who thrives on balancing seemingly opposite needs to find harmony.
You’ll need to be organized, strategic, and able to think quickly on your feet when problems arise. You must have a good understanding of the business side of healthcare.
From insurance reimbursement to coding and billing practices, you must know how all aspects of this industry work together to run a successful course.