5 Critical Skills for Healthcare Administration

Whether it be a hospital, dental practice, pharmacy, nursing home, or elsewhere, every healthcare office needs administration services. Healthcare administration jobs positions can be as significant as a hospital CEO or as small as a medical office administrative assistant. Regardless of position, healthcare administration is accompanied by its own unique skillset and any smoothly running operation will have a solid administrative staff. Here are some of the most important hard and soft skills in healthcare administration:

1. Leadership

Leadership is an important skill to have in your toolkit in nearly every industry, and this rings true for healthcare administration professionals as well. Having strong leadership skills will greatly help you not only in day-to-day operations, but also to help you in the long term when advancing your career. Companies will be more likely to promote you if they feel you are a leader. In healthcare administration, you will likely have many staff members looking to you for: 

  • Schedules 
  • Policies Creation 
  • Crises management 
  • Vision to successfully move forward 
  • Building Procedures 
  • Budgets 
  • Hiring 
  • Human Resources 
  • Patient Experience Management 
  • Support Staff 
  • Oversee Regulations 

It’s important that you have solid Leadership skills in healthcare administration. This will help keep the staff happy and make your job role easier in the long run. No matter what environment you’re placed in, your leadership abilities could mean the difference between success and failure.


2. Problem Solving 

Problem-solving is another healthcare administration skill you’ll need in order to be successful. Especially in medical practices, you are going to have new issues arise all the time each and every day. It’s important to not only be able to resolve issues quickly but to prevent them from occurring in the future. The ability to develop strategies for these recurring issues will be crucial. An important aspect of your healthcare administration job role will be managing patient experiences. It may be common that you receive patient feedback that is negative. When that happens, you need good problem-solving skills to resolve any issues. You want to handle situations with ease. Get creative! You never know where you might find that key to success. Problem-solving is a great hard skill for healthcare administration. 

3. Business 

Unlike many other healthcare professionals, the administration staff needs business skills in addition to patient care skills. At the end of the day, healthcare is a business that you need to run. You have products, services, and financial goals. It will be your responsibility to handle the business aspect and thus a good idea to know the technical business side of things. Having business skills could include: 

  • Financial Knowledge 
  • Public Relations 
  • Liaise and Consult 
  • Ordering Products 
  • Understanding Regulatory impact 

4. Technology  

Another essential skill with healthcare administration is being technologically savvy. You likely will be required to use computer systems and programs that other industries don’t use. Make sure you have technical skills for healthcare administration. It is helpful to be adaptable to technology and have a good understanding of systems. You may have to learn new systems quickly so it’s helpful to have a baseline of knowledge. Your job role may depend on your technical skills for healthcare administration.  

5. Communication 

As a healthcare administrator, you will be working with nearly, if not all, departments within your business, so good communication skills are very important to have. You’ll need to master both verbal and written forms of communication skills in order to be successful. Some examples of important communication skills include: 

  • Listening 
  • Nonverbal 
  • Clarity and Concision 
  • Friendliness 
  • Confidence 
  • Empathy 
  • Open-Mindedness 
  • Respect 
  • Picking the Right Medium 

Effective communication skills in healthcare administration can be demonstrated in many ways and will get you a long way. For example, it may be helpful to keep a record of what is said in meetings to help prevent miscommunications, your team will thank you in the future. Additionally, you should have resources available with information regarding upcoming projects and changes. This will help the communication flow between you and the staff.  


Putting Your Skills to Work

Utilizing your skills in the workplace will give you a competitive lead amongst your peers. Working as a healthcare administrator is crucial to any medical healthcare facility. A great way to build the skills needed for healthcare administration is via education. Earning a master’s in healthcare administration will train to provide you with the skills needed for healthcare management needed to build a successful career. Students who take classes tailored for health service administration will be better equipped for a life in the industry. Going to school back to school to earn a master’s degree can help you to develop the necessary healthcare administration skills you’ll need to advance your career and improve your post-graduation opportunities. 

Tips for Advancing Your Career

You’ve spent years of your life receiving an education and likely spent a few dollars along the way, to land in a career that will suit your life. You secured the role got the job, you made it; now what? You know you want to continue to develop your career, but how do you actually progress in your career? It may seem daunting but fear not because with a few tips your career can soar.  

Advancement is what turns a specific role/job into a career. Working hard day after day with no advancement can be draining. To be happy in a career, humans need to feel a sense of completion. It’s important to challenge yourself and to grow in your position. Career advancement can look different for individuals. It may be seen as increasing salary, expanding knowledge, or a promotion to a new position.  

Have Goals 

One of the best ways to advance your career is by setting goals. Goals should be both long-term and short-term and be SMART.   

SMART goals are: 

  • Specific 
  • Measurable 
  • Attainable 
  • Relevant 
  • Time-based.

Indeed, an organization to assist people in finding career paths, suggests SMART goals can be pivotable to building your career path.  

Long Term Goals  

These goals should be larger and may take years to complete. Examples of long-term goals may be to receive an award in your field, become an industry leader, or advance to a specific level in the organization position. It’s important to have long-term goals for your career advancement, but that doesn’t make it clear how to achieve your aspirations.  

The best way to achieve long-term goals is with short-term goals.  

Short Term Goals  

Think of short-term goals as a step-by-step guide to your long-term goals. Having many short-term goals can greatly increase your chances of completing the long-term goals. Short-term goals should be smaller and easier to obtain. It may look like reading industry work 15 minutes a day, working to better relationships with colleagues, or meeting with a mentor weekly.  


Increasing industry knowledge can be one of the most beneficial things you can do to advance your career. Educating yourself can come in many different forms. It can be reading books, professional blogs, or other industry-related resources. Reading is a great way to prepare yourself for new opportunities as they arise. Another way to educate yourself is to network. Networking is a crucial skill to have. Beyond creating connections with other organizations, networking is a great way to share knowledge, advice and explore how others have advanced their careers. Finally, one of the most obvious, and important, forms of education is via classes in school.  


Once you have begun to develop a career, returning to school to further your education and skills may not feel like a viable option. In actuality, the school may be a great path for you. Receiving a master’s while in a career can make you stand out to employers. A master’s not only advances your trade knowledge, but it also increases your credibility making you the ideal candidate. Not to mention it looks great on a resume. It is also may be easier than you think to get a master’s while working on career advancement. Many schools, like the University of Wyoming, advertise that they will work around your schedule and offer online programs to best suit you in balancing work and school. You should also have a conversation with your corporate human resources to see if the company offers programs to cover the costs of higher education. Even if there are no programs in place, your HR representative may still have helpful resources or other services that can assist in education for career advancement.  

Opportunities in the Workplace  

There are also many ways to advance your career within the workplace. Career advancement doesn’t have to require a position or role job change. Forbes suggests career advancement begins within your current position. Developing a strong professional relationship with management can be a key to success. Having a mutual understanding of your intentions to advance your career can create a space where you can ask questions, ask for more responsibility, or simply gain more experience. Demonstrate that your time in the office is valuable and your work matters to the business. If you are working remotely demonstrate how this time is also valuable to the organization. You should also search for ways to take on smaller leadership roles.  

Next Steps in Career Advancement  

Putting in the effort to advance your career can result in many rewards. It can result in a happier workplace, pay increase, or satisfaction in finding your industry niche. As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, You should set both long and short-term SMART goals, educate yourself with reading, networking, and classes, while looking for opportunities in your current position. Investing in yourself and your advancements is one that is sure to pay off. Remember  it iyour career – you have a say by looking forward to opportunities,