Why the demand for workers in the healthcare industry extends to the broader system

The healthcare industry has always been one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, especially in the last decade. With a growing and aging population, there has been an acute shortage of healthcare professionals. Healthcare offers diverse work opportunities, job security and good benefits. This is one of the reasons why so many people want to pursue opportunities such as nursing. Healthcare jobs help professionals improve their quality of life and achieve professional goals. While most people know about the growing need for professionals such as nurses and physicians, there are many other roles that are crucial in the healthcare industry in business, finance, administration and other areas.

Understanding the nature of healthcare

The healthcare industry combines the human touch with medical technology to diagnose, treat and care for millions of people around the world. This industry includes a wide variety of sizes of establishments, from private physician practices to large hospitals. Hospitals employ a large number of employees, while non-hospital establishments generally employ less than five workers. Here are the top segments in the healthcare industry.


Hospitals offer a comprehensive range of medical care, ranging from nursing care and surgery to diagnostic services. Hospitals may specialize in providing care in a specific niche, such as children or cancer patients. Hospitals may also be outpatient or inpatient. The types of employees needed by hospitals vary depending on the management style, funding, goals, local and size of the institution. Larger hospitals will also always have a need for hospital administrators and professionals in the business and finance industries.

Residential and nursing care facilities

Nursing facilities provide inpatient nursing, care and rehabilitation services to people needing continuous care that do not require hospital services. Direct care is provided by nursing aides. Those who do not need a lot of assistance are referred to convalescent homes. Residential care homes provide continuous personal and social care for the elderly and those who have limited ability. Specially trained workers provide care in group homes, halfway houses, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and assisted-living facilities.

Physician practices 

Physician offices account for a large percentage of healthcare establishments. Surgeons and physicians practice with a group of other practitioners or privately. Group practices are popular because they offer reduced overhead expenses, backup coverage and other benefits. Physician offices require other staff members in administrative and support roles.

Dentist offices

Dentist offices are typically small establishments with few workers. Dentist practices offer emergency, cosmetic and preventative dental care. Many dentists specialize in dentistry fields such as periodontics or orthodontics. Like physicians, dentists also need administrative and support staff members.

Home healthcare services 

In many circumstances, skilled medical and nursing care is provided at home under the supervision of a physician. These services are primarily offered to the elderly. While this segment is quite small, it is quickly growing due to the development of technology, patient preference and cost savings.

Health practitioner offices 

Offices of dietitians, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, podiatrists, optometrists and chiropractors are known as health practitioner offices. Patients who make use of these services are required to pay directly or through insurance. In many cases, nursing facilities and hospitals may also contract out these services. This segment may also include the offices of those practicing alternative medicine, such as naturopaths, hypnotherapists, homeopaths and acupuncturists.

Ambulatory services

The ambulatory services segment includes diagnostic and medical laboratories and outpatient centers. Ambulatory services are quite diverse and include medical labs analyzing blood, clinical tests, diagnostic imaging, organ and blood banks, outpatient substance abuse and mental health centers and kidney dialysis centers. There may be a great demand for employees in roles such as administration, finance, IT and business, based on the size of the establishment.

Healthcare industry occupations

Organizations in the healthcare industry employ many workers in service and professional occupations. A lot of jobs are also available in administrative and office support roles. Financial, business and management roles are important parts of the healthcare industry. Professional occupations, such as physical therapists, social workers, registered nurses, dentists and surgeons, usually require a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specialized field. Registered nurses may be able to enter the workforce through diploma or associate programs. Professional workers in the healthcare industry often have complex duties and a lot of responsibilities. They may also need to conduct research and supervise the work of other team members. Other professional occupations such as health and medical services managers, administrators and those in the finance department usually do not have any direct contact with the patients. To be employed in these roles, candidates would need specialized education, such as an online Executive Master of Health Administration. The master’s program offered by the University of Ottawa trains students in fundamental areas such as policy knowledge, leadership, innovation, technology and data.

Health technicians and technologists work in occupations that are growing very quickly, such as dental hygienists, radiologic technicians, diagnostic sonographers and health information and medical records technicians. These workers assist in diagnosing and treating patients and operating medical equipment. These workers typically require graduate degrees in postsecondary programs with specialized training. Other roles available include home care aides, medical assistants, dental assistants and nursing aides. Nursing home aides offer health-related care and services for the elderly, infirm, disabled and injured individuals in their homes or in institutions. The services they provide often help disabled, ill and elderly individuals to continue to live in their homes.

Understanding healthcare administration

Healthcare administration is a role with a wide variety of scopes that enable healthcare professionals to manage facilities effectively. This is a specialized role that requires a deep understanding of the changing and growing healthcare industry. Professionals in this role also need to focus on building analytical and critical thinking. Training programs targeted toward healthcare administration provide skills to create future leaders that combine their knowledge of healthcare, hospitality, technical and business knowledge to successfully manage healthcare organizations. The duties and responsibilities of healthcare administrators and managers can vary based on the individual goals, policies, organization size and requirements of the healthcare facility.

The role and duties of healthcare administrators

Professionals specializing in healthcare administration are responsible for supporting patient care. These professionals are responsible for directing, coordinating and planning services, so that medical facilities, insurance providers, patients and doctors work effectively together to provide treatment to patients. They need to interpret regulations and laws as they relate to patient profiles. There are several different job titles within the healthcare administration segment. Each job title includes its own specific duties. Some of the most common daily activities of a healthcare administrator are:

  • Managing patient billing and facility finances
  • Developing objectives and goals for departments
  • Researching and implementing procedures to improve patient care and operational efficiency
  • Ensuring that facilities are complying with applicable regulations
  • Attending interdepartmental meetings
  • Creating and organizing records to track different aspects of the functions of a facility
  • Creating work schedules for other workers
  • Recruiting, evaluating, supervising and training department staff

Healthcare administrators and managers work with the public, insurance agents, medical technicians, nurses, doctors and patients to facilitate communications between all the involved parties.

Scope of healthcare administration jobs 

Professionals in healthcare administration connect the dots between the knowledge they acquire during their education and applying it to their job. Healthcare administrators can work in a wide variety of services and settings, such as long-term care, hospice care, nursing homes, home care, hospital networks and physician offices. They comply with federal, state and local regulations, set standards of patient care and treatment, integrate technological advancements and create an ethical environment in the facility that they work for. They also support the professional development of other healthcare providers to build the capacity to provide high-quality care to patients. This ultimately helps facilities to provide effective and efficient services by making use of resources in the most effective way.

For any healthcare facility to function in an effective way, they need two types of personnel: administrative and clinical personnel. Clinical personnel includes individuals trained to provide care to patients in the healthcare facility through therapeutic, preventative and diagnostic services. These individuals include technicians, therapists, nurses and physicians. Administrative personnel includes staff members in non-clinical roles that complement healthcare services. They provide services in financial, marketing, medical records, admissions and other administrative departments.

For healthcare administrators to be successful in their roles, they must be aware of the challenges faced by the healthcare industry. They need to keep up with trends and be prepared to deal with a variety of challenges related to conducting business in the healthcare sector. Many of these challenges may be posed by facility management, the physical environment, human resource management, health and medical information management, healthcare financing, compliance strategies, organizational behavior and technological innovations.

In the last few decades, the demand for healthcare services has grown exponentially. The way the available resources are used has also changed over the years. Advancements in preventative techniques and services have prolonged patient lifespans. It is possible today to detect diseases earlier, and instant and effective interventions can be provided. This has helped patients avoid invasive treatments and complications.

Demand for healthcare administrators and managers

According to the Census Bureau, children will be outnumbered by adults over the age of 65 in the US by 2030. The advancement of medicine and technology has improved the quality of life of people. Individuals are now living longer than ever before and will need healthcare services longer. In the US, healthcare spending is estimated to be worth $6.2tn by the year 2028. This phenomenal growth has led to a huge demand for professionals in the healthcare industry. Healthcare jobs provide job stability, lucrative pay and good benefits, and are very appealing to professionals. More students are choosing to enroll themselves in healthcare courses than ever before.

Employment opportunities for healthcare administrators are going to rise substantially over the next few years. This rise will also occur across some of the most coveted positions in the industry. For those who are interested in entering into a healthcare administration role, there is a lot of room for advancement to lucrative senior-level roles. Some of the best roles in healthcare management and administration jobs are human resources manager, health information and medical records specialist, facilities and administrative services manager and health and medical services manager. All these roles will increase greatly in demand over the next decade.

Those interested in these positions will not only need to graduate from a specialized program but will also have to develop the abilities and skills needed in the real world. Considering that the demand for healthcare managers and administrators is going to rise sharply, building a career in this area is a very attractive option. This rising demand is an indicator that this is the time to enter the industry as more roles continue to grow at all levels, from entry-level roles to management roles.

Reasons for the high demand for healthcare professionals 

The healthcare industry is continuously growing and evolving. More than ever before, the industry requires professionals who not only provide medical care but are also equipped to manage administration problems and lead healthcare teams. Below are four major reasons for the high demand for healthcare professionals:

  1. In the US, healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries. It employs millions of people and is expected to continue to grow at a rapid pace. By the end of the decade, this demand for professionals is only expected to grow. Employers in the industry are looking to fill jobs with new workers. They also continue to need administrators, marketers and finance professionals that can supervise and manage increasingly diversified and growing teams.
  2. The aging population is the driving force for the growth of the healthcare industry. This has subsequently led to increased demand for professionals in the healthcare industry. Those in the baby-boomer generation will be over 65 years old by 2030. This means that one in every five individuals will reach retirement age. The population in the US is also growing by 2.3 million per year. The growing and aging population will lead to more people needing healthcare and a higher demand for administrators as well as healthcare providers.
  3. The healthcare industry constantly faces regulation and law changes, such as the emphasis on value-based care and the Affordable Care Act. Medical facilities and healthcare organizations need professionals who are equipped to navigate the continuously evolving system. Administrators and managers play an important part in ensuring that hospitals stay compliant while delivering quality care to patients.
  4. Professionals with knowledge and skills in informatics are in high demand in the healthcare industry as the use and application of technology continue to expand. With the shift towards digital health and electronic health records, there is an increasing demand for managers with knowledge and training in informatics and information technology systems. Health and medical services managers will be required to integrate, manage and organize records in many areas of the facility.

Jobs available for healthcare administrators and managers

Graduates in health administration will have a lot of job opportunities other than hospital management. This field also offers opportunities in non-profit, pharmaceutical, government, insurance companies and consulting organizations. For the right candidate, there are many career paths to choose from. Below are some of the major benefits of choosing a career in healthcare administration.

Rewarding work

Working to improve the health and lives of others is a very rewarding experience. Healthcare administrators and managers play an important role in implementing and creating policies that result in a more fair and efficient healthcare system for patients. These professionals contribute directly to providing quality care and equal access for all.

Stimulating and varied work

Unlike many other professions, healthcare administrators never have to worry about mindless routines or ruts. The healthcare sector is dynamic, and there are always new challenges and problems to solve for healthcare administrators and managers. Professionals in these roles will have to think quickly and come up with efficient solutions. They will be able to develop deep expertise and skills in the industry.

Healthcare managers and administrators play a critical role 

Healthcare administrators and managers are responsible for ensuring that hospitals continue to work from the healthcare and business standpoint. They play a very important role in all healthcare organizations. They are often responsible for making important decisions behind the scenes, regardless of the type of healthcare facility. The tasks and responsibilities of healthcare administrators are critical as they perform important duties such as:

  • Managing clinics, departments and practices
  • Helping organizations adapt to changing policies and regulations
  • Ensuring that delivery standards for healthcare are met
  • Hiring, training, supervising and managing department staff
  • Creating, supervising and implementing plans for the delivery of healthcare services

For any medical organization or facility to maintain the quality of its services, effectiveness and profitability, it needs the guidance and skills of healthcare professionals in administrative, business, information technology and finance roles. Without these capable professionals, being successful in today’s changing world is impossible.

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