What to Know About the Healthcare Administrators Fighting COVID-19

With not much going on in the age of COVID-19, there is no better time than now to take a deeper dive into the roles that make up our healthcare system. The web of intricacies that brings hospitals to life runs deep. A doctor cannot operate without his or her nurses and physician assistants, and a hospital cannot keep the lights on without the administrators appropriately managing a budget. 

healthcare administrators

This deeply embedded network of people selflessly risks their own lives to save strangers. A key role that has been operating a bit “incognito” through this pandemic, but is no less valuable, is the Healthcare and Service Line Administration.

What are healthcare and service line administrators?

As in any business, it is not if something is going to go wrong, it is when; this is where the healthcare and service line administrators thrive. In a well-crafted system where the doctors must focus on the immediate patient task at hand, someone has to run the show behind the curtain, tackling problems head-on as they come. To just barely scratch the surface, this includes ensuring the doctors have no barriers when addressing patient care, coordinating schedules, managing a budget, navigating through all regulatory compliance procedures, handling health insurance and supply chain mishaps, attracting and hiring the best candidates, and ultimately maximizing talent alongside smooth clinic operations.

Healthcare administrators are the “jack of all trades” who are notorious for staying cool, calm, and collected under immense pressures. On top of the daily fire drills they are expected to extinguish, they must fit in long-term strategic planning to ensure their medical group stays relevant in an exceedingly competitive industry. While they may never be holding a scalpel in the operating room, you can bet there was some administrator within the hospital that had a say in how the scalpels were selected, distributed, and stocked; they inevitably will also take the blame if something were to go wrong with the tools.

How are healthcare administrators responding to the pandemic?

Healthcare administrators help hospitals, small practices, and the physicians themselves navigate as a group through tumultuous times, and yes, this includes global pandemics. Anything that doesn’t have a formal job description gets sent to the flexible and nimble-minded administrators – lucky them! 

In all seriousness, they were built for this, and it shows through their quick reactions to COVID-19.  Backstage administrators have spearheaded the conversion of their existing manicured clinics into communicable disease testing centers. They have managed to complete this miracle while lacking sufficient essential resources like masks, gloves, and sanitizers. Others have been tasked to help build makeshift centers that can house advanced stage COVID-19 patients. Administrators have also swiftly implemented telehealth so people can still meet with their providers remotely, and effectively coordinated care between service lines so that all teams have enough clinical expertise to address patient needs. 

Essentially, administrators have a large seat at the table to advocate for their doctors and clinics because their role is so vital to keeping everything sane. They have very much been on the front-lines alongside their staff, making sure the show goes on amidst such a chaotic phase in society. We must give a big THANK YOU to all of our division and service line administrators who are ensuring hospitals can adapt to this ever-changing landscape.

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About Samantha Kane

Samantha’s career was founded in the “healthcare trifecta”: insurance, acute care hospitals, and medical device sectors of the healthcare industry. Through her exposure to mega corporations, clinical operations, and the heroic products breathing life into operating rooms, Samantha has developed a unique insight into both the miraculous successes and alarming gaps populating our healthcare world today. Samantha has always had a fascination for merging science with art, and while “healthcare” and “writing” seemed to mimic an oil and water relationship, Samantha strives to use creative and relatable words as a gateway to help audiences better advocate for themselves within the health and wellness space. Samantha received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Health with a Minor in Psychology from Tulane University in New Orleans, and earned her Master of Science degree in Health Systems Management at Rush University Hospital in Chicago. Samantha is guilty of over-sharing photos of her family’s golden retriever, is a bit obsessed with travel, and is usually in need of some fashion advice. Her greatest strength and weakness is that she can’t sit still for too long, so you can typically find Samantha trying new workout classes and roaming about Chicago when not in her 9 to 5 job.