The Biggest Challenges And Changes Hospital Administrators are Facing
Hospital administrators across the country are faced with many demands during the course of their work. Today, some of the most significant challenges arise from the nature of medical practice. Just consider four complex issues that impinge upon the daily professional lives of a typical hospital administrator.
The cost of practicing high quality medicine today necessitates a considerable investment in disposable supplies, sophisticated technology and, increasingly, well-remunerated professional salaries. Additionally, hospitals typically maintain a more substantial overhead than some other types of facilities: they must hire staff to clean, wash and disinfect the premises on an ongoing basis in order to meet cleanliness standards for medical establishments. Administrators face a delicate task enforcing budgeting priorities set forth by hospital Boards of Directors. If significant cost overruns occur, they must alert the Board or institute selective cutbacks. Controlling expenditures and monitoring budgets remains one of the most challenging aspects of hospital administration.
Tracking Infectious Disease Issues
From antibiotic-resistant infections to emerging contagious diseases, such as the Ebola Virus or the Zika Virus, hospital administrators need to remain aware of medical concerns that can impact the daily operation of the facility. While many hospitals appoint separate Medical Director positions specifically to supervise medical-related operations, the overall Hospital Administrator must remain cognizant of the impact of infection control procedures, since these sometimes significantly affect daily operations.
Meeting Standards of Affordable Care
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, many hospitals have faced intense scrutiny from insurance companies and federal and state regulators concerned about high medical costs. Medical facilities today work closely with physicians' offices and billing departments, and furnishing efficient services at reasonable rates remains an important goal. Administrators need to help keep meet standards for patient care in order to enable reimbursement for important expenditures from the government and institutional entities frequently responsible for paying patient bills.
Legal Risk Management
Just as physicians sometimes receive malpractice lawsuits, medical facilities today face a heightened exposure to litigation. According to a hospital compliance specialist with an online master's degree in law, allowing an allegedly incompetent physician to enjoy practice privileges at a hospital can result in costly lawsuits. In addition to legal cases filed by patients, hospitals sometimes encounter risk from visitors who sustain accidents on the premises, staff members who suffer problems on the job, and vendors concerned about unpaid bills or contractual disputes.
By carefully monitoring budgets and patient care, tracking medical issues and managing risks, administrators help hospitals prosper. Their valuable work enables medical facilities to remain in business.