Functions of Healthcare Administrator


By definition, a healthcare administrator is healthcare professional who overlooks all the activities in a healthcare organization (Begun, White & Mosser, 2011). Therefore, these professionals depending on their specialization can manage a health facility of different sizes. For example, they can be in charge of a department or a whole hospital. Especially depending on the level of education, the level of authority increases with the advancement in education. However, the basic entry education level to this profession is a bachelor’s degree. When it comes to planning, coordinating, and directing health activities in a healthcare, a health administrator is in charge (Begun, White & Mosser, 2011).

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A healthcare administrator is made up of a number of components and each of the components has unique leadership traits to ensure that they perform their functions adequately. However, in this context only six components have been addressed (Buchbinder, Shanks & Kite, 2019). The first component is decision making, planning, staffing, organizing, directing, and controlling. As indicated earlier, healthcare administrators are in charge of planning and coordinating all the healthcare activities in a healthcare facility of different magnitudes (Figueroa et al., 2019). Therefore, in this profession, healthcare administrators are faced with a variety of challenges. Most of these challenges are related to the healthcare are associated with implementing the various roles assigned to them. For better analysis of these challenges, they are divided into the context of three main levels that is macro, micro, and meso (Figueroa et al., 2019).

Due to the healthcare industry changing over different periods of time, healthcare administrators are required to equip themselves with various skill sets to continue delivering the different functions. These skills include; technical skills, conceptual skills, and interpersonal skills.

Functions of a healthcare administrator

Health administrators are generally managers put in charge of a certain sector in a healthcare facility. More so, the role can range from being in charge of a single department in a healthcare organization to being in charge of a whole hospital facility. Due to this wide range of responsibilities and levels, health administrators have been referred by many names including but not limited to a health services manager, a hospital admin, a healthcare manager, and also a healthcare executive (Begun, White & Mosser, 2011). Therefore, their specific roles tend to differ due to the difference in magnitude. However, a healthcare administrator is in charge of making the necessary changes in the organization they manage to ensure that all activities under are efficient and of high quality (Begun, White & Mosser, 2011).

In addition, a healthcare administrator is also in charge of formulating goals and objectives in the organization, and develop strategies on how to achieve them specifically about delivering healthcare services. Besides, a healthcare administrator manages the allocated sector, therefore, they represent that sector on behalf of everyone else under them (Begun, White & Mosser, 2011). A healthcare is also in charge of training those practitioners that require further training. To ensure that all the healthcare professionals working under them are well proficient in their area of work. When it comes to the healthcare industry, abiding by the set healthcare statutes is vital to ensure that all the activities run smoothly. Therefore, under this sector, a healthcare administrator is in charge of ensuring that all these rules are regulations are adopted and employed.


Healthcare administrators are allocated a number of responsibilities for which they deliver in their respective areas. These are also known as the components. In this paper, only six components have been addressed and they include the following; decision making, planning, staffing, controlling, organizing, and directing (Buchbinder, Shanks & Kite, 2019). These specific components are accompanied by various traits to enable the healthcare administrators to achieve these functions.  Decision making involves a vital function of a healthcare administrator because all organization irrespective of their sizes require decisions to be made. Therefore, under this component, a healthcare administrator is required to make sound and wise decisions. This is achieved through the implementation of conceptual skills which entail careful analysis of the situation, the available options and the consequences of each decision made. Since all the decisions made are to improve the efficiency of the organization, therefore, the critical analysis has to be done for it also helps in tackling and dealing with complex situations.

Planning is the second component and it involves the formulation of goals and objectives and strategies to achieve them. All organizations strive to achieve certain goals, similarly, a healthcare facility also seeks to achieve certain goals (Figueroa et al., 2019). Therefore, a healthcare administrator is required to formulate sound and achievable goals to steer the organization in a certain direction and the methods to be implemented to achieve them. Communication is vital in an organization for giving directions, therefore, in a healthcare organization, a healthcare administrator is in charge of the directing their subordinates through effective communication and motivation.

Organization is important to ensure that there is order in the healthcare facility. Therefore, this is another component of a healthcare administrator for they are expected to design the unit they head. This is achieved through the designation of roles to the different heads of the units under the healthcare administrator. This will ensure that all the activities are delivered following a certain order. The other component is staffing which is vital since for a healthcare facility to be operational, there is the need to have qualified personnel who are carefully vetted by healthcare administrators (Buchbinder, Shanks & Kite, 2019). More so, the administrator also ensure that they maintain a powerful workforce. Lastly, there is the controlling whereby once all the units under the healthcare administrator are operational, there is the need to ensure that all these activities involved are following the required and expected process. If there is a wrong deviation, then mitigation measures are implemented.


Healthcare administration professionals are faced with different challenges at different magnitudes. There is the different magnitude because of their variety functions that they are assigned to implement (Figueroa et al., 2019). As indicated earlier, these challenges have been divided into three major levels for easier analysis and proposal of mitigation measures. Specifically, under the macro level, all these challenges are related to society, culture, history, and also technology. A good example is the changing demography that is population growth and the increase in the ageing population. In most cases, this results to new diseases which may be communicable or uncommunicable, but require solutions. This poses a challenge to the administrators for they require effective solutions to be implemented.

The second challenge is under the meso context which affects the organizational structure that is the governance, infrastructure, patients, resources among others. A good example of such challenges includes a dominant organizational culture that would end up affecting the performance of the healthcare services delivered. Lastly, the micro context which covers all challenges associated with individual functioning. A good example is lack of clarity on the boundaries of the different employees. This is a problem that most healthcare administrators face which later affects the quality of work delivered.

Knowledge and skills necessary

The healthcare industry is a dynamic industry in the sense that its operations are actively changing over time. Therefore, in the next few years there will be changes that will call for professionals in the industry to change too (Buchbinder, Shanks & Kite, 2019). Therefore, healthcare administrators have to be flexible in order to adopt new traits when need be to deliver high quality healthcare services. Looking at the healthcare industry in the next ten years, there will many developments especially in the technological sector. Therefore, as a healthcare administrator, there is the need to be well proficient in computer applications and any new software developing in the industry. Besides, in future, more challenging diseases and infections are bound to develop. Therefore, as healthcare administrator there is the need to possess conceptual skills in order to be able to approach and solve challenging problems (Buchbinder, Shanks & Kite, 2019). Additional skills needed include technical skills to aid in performing their functions efficiently and interpersonal skills to effect communication between the healthcare administrator and the personnel under their supervision.







Begun, J. W., White, K. R., & Mosser, G. (2011). Interprofessional care teams: the role of the healthcare administrator. Journal of interprofessional care25(2), 119-123.

Buchbinder, S. B., Shanks, N. H., & Kite, B. J. (2019). Introduction to health care management. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Figueroa, C. A., Harrison, R., Chauhan, A., & Meyer, L. (2019). Priorities and challenges for health leadership and workforce management globally: a rapid review. BMC health services research19(1), 239.

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