2 biblical integrations
Week 1 Discussion – Gabe
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As we begin to discuss the health care industry and the increased demand for health care administrators/managers, it is important to decipher what types of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) are needed for these managers to possess in order to be successful within the organization. First, let us take a look at the growth of the health care industry. According to our text, “Healthcare management is one of the fastest growing fields in the United States. Opportunities for employment and a satisfying career are expected to be above average for the next two decades”. (Buchbinder & Thompson, 2010, p. 13) We see a similar statement made by Yeganeh in 2019, “because of a combination of demographic and social factors, the demand for health care services is expected to surge in the next decades”. (p. 178) However, on the opposite side of this increase in demand on the health care industry, it has been estimated that there will be a worldwide shortage of actual health care workers to fill these positions. The World Health Organization conducted a study which discovered that “…in 2013, out of 186 countries 118 suffered from a significant shortage of 7.2m skilled health professionals”. (Yeganeh, 2019, p. 174) This logically leads me to think that if we are going to be short on health care professionals, then the professionals that we do have, need to be high functioning/high performing individuals to help mitigate the lack of number of actual professionals.
So, what types of KSAs contribute to a high performing health care administrator? I believe that these knowledge, skills and abilities can be separated into different categories. To begin with, we will discuss education. Within the scope of education we find that there are different levels of degrees, that once accomplished, lead to different levels of health care administrator positions. These degree levels consist of the Associates, Bachelors, and Masters resulting in entry level positions, increasing to managerial positions, all the way up to positions such as department chairs and vice presidents. (Shanholtzer & Ozanich, 2016) The curriculum’s of these educational programs should cover topics such as organizational behavior, computer literacy, and human resources. (Buchbinder & Thompson, 2010) Keep in mind that, like me, an individual pursuing a Master’s degree in the health care administration field does not necessarily have to have a coinciding Associates and Bachelors; meaning that you could have an individual with 6 years of health care education or have an individual with an undergrad in Finance and only a couple of years of health care training. In addition to actual degrees, there are also different certifications that can be achieved like the American College of Healthcare Executives “board certification as a Fellow”. (Buchbinder & Thompson, 2010, p. 11) By pursuing continuing education, health care managers are increasing their foundational knowledge and proving that they are interested in bettering themselves and ultimately the organization they are a part of.
In addition to the education of a successful health care manager these individuals should also be competent with different types of managerial and people skills. Skills such as a professional attitude, communication, prioritization, strategic thinking, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, performance management, and the ability to work inter-departmentally are all important characteristics of a good health care manager. In one particular study conducted on the health care managers’ perceptions of poor performance multiple themes were found to be contributing factors to this perception of poor performance, but the one that stood out the most to me was the first one: “Lack of Clarity Regarding Role Expectations”. (Hill., et al., 2018, p. 420) If a health care manager is unable to clearly state expectations, and/or prioritize tasks for those around them, then that is a fail on them. As we all know, many times every task or every email is the top priority which leads to frustration and lack of guidance. This leads us back to take a closer look at those skills such as communication and prioritization. Spiritually speaking, I believe there are so many verses that show us the way, but for this discussion I think Titus 2:7 sums it up beautifully. “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity”. Health care administrators need to be the leaders that walk in integrity, dignity, and with a pure heart.
In my current career I am considered a Health care Administrator at the mid-manager level. I have been working in this career field for five years and have had the unique opportunity to rotate through a few different sections within an ambulatory setting being able to focus on areas such as medical logistics, practice management, emergency management, and a little bit of training. Each year that goes by and each new experience in a different focus area has provided me with an increased awareness and appreciation for the complexities of the role of a health care administrator/manager. From experience I have learned that open and honest communication is the best policy. I have also learned that relationship management should not be ignored. As I stepped into my role of practice management I heard many times from the providers how my predecessor only focused on the numbers and how they did not appreciate that. I learned quickly that in order to get the “numbers” where leadership wanted them I had to be able to cultivate relationships with the clinics/providers. One other significant skill I have picked up over the years (not already mentioned) is the necessity to be open to change. Change is so hard sometimes, but change is usually necessary.
As a health care administrator we may not physically take care of the patient, but as a highly qualified and irreplaceable contributing member to the overall success of the health care organization we still play an important role. Care and compassion can be shown in many ways and as 3 John 1:2 states “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” This seems like a pretty good motto for a health care administrator-praying not only over those individuals within their organization but also over the patients seeking care.
Buchbinder, S. B., & Thompson, J. M. (2010). Career Opportunities in Health Care Management Perspectives from the Field. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Hill, M., Gluyas, H., Martinique, S., & Wingate, A. (2018). Healthcare Managers’ Perceptions of Managing Poor Performance. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 32(3), 416-427. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/docview/2039862122/fulltextPDF/C199EFBC1F7D4105PQ/1?accountid=12085
Shanholtzer, M. B., & Ozanich, G. W. (2016). Health Information Management and Technology. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
Yeganeh, H. (2019). An Analysis of Emerging Trends and Transformations in Global Healthcare. International Journal of Health Governance, 24(2), 169-180. Retrieved from https://www-emerald-com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/insight/content/doi/10.1108/IJHG-02-2019-0012/full/pdf?title=an-analysis-of-emerging-trends-and-transformations-in-global-healthcare
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Growth and Opportunities for Healthcare Administrators
I currently work for a privately owned personal care company and have for the past 10 years. While I hold a healthcare managerial position and have since I was hired, the administrator of our company is the owner. There is no room for growth within our company because of this. I do possess some of the knowledge, skills, and abilities studied this first week, but some are only on an administrative level within our company.
There are so many skills and abilities needed to be a successful healthcare administrator and of course possessing the needed knowledge for the position is must. Everyone may not possess each of the qualities and/or skills but as Buchbinder & Thompson (2010) state “fear not, these skills can be learned” (P. 7). One of the most important qualities of a healthcare administrator is the desire to continue to learn throughout your entire career. There are new state and federal regulations that are constantly being revised, new policy and procedures that are being implemented on a regular basis and the need to learn and be able to interpret this new criterion is paramount. Not to mention technology in the healthcare field changes rapidly and the need for administrators to learn and adapt to the new technology, the new systems, and can relay this to others as well. Popejoy (2016) states that “Healthcare is a dynamic series of complex systems requiring administrators to be flexible, adaptive, and possess specific skills sets” (P. 2). In his article he mentions many skills that are needed to be successful within a healthcare administrative position the first one is stamina. While reading that, the first thing that came to my mind was this past year during the pandemic how the healthcare professionals including administrators their stamina was tested, repeatedly for over 12 months. “Maintaining good physical and mental health is essential to maintaining the stamina required of a healthcare administrator” (Popejoy, 2016, P. 3).
All research consistently states that there is a magnitude of skills that need to be present for an administrator to successfully do their job, some of the skills differ according to the specific scope or domain in which they are currently managing in. Some skills are learned over time with experience, and some skills are learned from their education and the drive to learn new skills. In the research conducted by McGinty, et al, (2017) out of the 30 knowledge, skills, and abilities that they provided in their study they found that; “the ability to orally communicate ideas and information in a way that different audiences can understand, gather reliable information to answer questions, communicate ideas and information in writing in a way that different audiences can understand, and addressing the needs of diverse populations in a culturally sensitive way, ranked at the top of their skill set lists of essential qualities for their staff’s daily work” (P. 2). The ability to communicate with your staff, your team, your employees, your patients, your patient’s families, and all of others that you come in contact is important. The ability to listen and empathize with them is essential as well. I am a very empathetic person and I have thought at times over the years in different situations how being an empathetic person can hinder the ability to productively manage at times. There are also times when that is a huge asset, it allows you to connect to that person and you are for moment “putting yourself in their shoes”. “It has been proven that health professionals with high levels of empathy operate more efficiently as to the fulfillment of their role in eliciting therapeutic change” (Moudatsou, et al., 2020, P. 1).
As an administrator you should also have self-confidence, be honest and have courage to do the job even when difficult decisions arise, and they will. “Employees are more likely to perform their duties with integrity when integrity is valued and displayed by upper-level leaders and management” (Popejoy, 2016, P. 3). As David says in Psalms 25:21 “May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you” (New Living Translation). With any job or career that we pursue if we will always but our hope in Our Father and work with the highest of integrity and remain honest in our choices and decisions, we will not be led wrong. Having the self-confidence in this field is necessary to earn others trust and to problem solve effectively. If an administrator exhibits self-doubt that will trickle down to their staff and hinder their ability to quickly make important decisions. This is a skill that is strengthened through a combination of experience, knowledge, and training/education. When first starting a new position, a person may not initially be self-confident in the all the decisions being made but this will come in time.
Teamwork is also one of the most important qualities that an administrator or manager can have.
“In healthcare management, from the day you enter the door of your first job, you will be part of an interdisciplinary team. Teamwork requires leadership, strategic thinking, diverse groups of people with different perspectives and disciplines, excellent organizational and interpersonal skills, and a good sense of humor” (Buchbinder & Thompson, 2010, P. 11).
The ability to work with others should be a skill that is present in a great deal of careers and jobs, but this is especially true to the healthcare industry and the administrator positions. I have previously worked for a nursing home as the discharge planner and now the personal care company and the ability to work well with others has existed in both settings and I desired to be a team player. Philippians 2:2 says, “Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose” (New Living Translation). In the healthcare field we have a common goal and that is to provide quality care to patients, if we keep this at the forefront of our intentions daily then we should be able to succeed at working as a team.
As stated earlier there is a lot of knowledge, skills, and abilities that one needs to possess to be a successful healthcare administrator and this discussion only focused on a few of those. Research shows that some are needed more predominantly than others, but they all work together to produce a qualified and proficient administrator within the rapidly changing healthcare system.
Buchbinder, S. B. and Thompson, J. M. (2010). Career Opportunities in Health Care Management: Perspective from the Field.
McGinty, M. D., Castrucci, B. C., and Rios, D. M. (2018). Assessing the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities of Public Health Professionals in Big City Governmental Health Departments. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Moudatsou, M., Stavropoulou, A., Philalithis, A., and Koukouli, S. (2020). The Role of Empathy in Health and Social Care Professionals. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
New Living Translation. (2006). YouVersion Bible App. www.YouVersion.com
Popejoy, M. W. (2016). Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Inventory for Healthcare Administrators. https://merpa.scholasticahq.com
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