Practice Administrator

Role of the Practice Administrator in the Management of Rheumatic Diseases


The practice administrator oversees the business and operational side of a doctor's office, group practice, multi-specialty medical clinic, hospital department, and other forms of medical offices. They are sometimes called practice managers and healthcare executives.

What Does a Practice Administrator Do?

Although their responsibilities depend on the size of the medical practice, the practice administrator’s role is to ensure that the practice runs smoothly by managing all aspects of daily operations, including:

  • Managing the daily operation of the organization by creating and implementing policies and procedures
  • Helping the chief executive officer develop organizational strategic plans and objectives based upon identified needs of patients
  • Using knowledge of principles and practices of health care planning and management sufficient to manage, direct, and coordinate the operation of a health care organization
  • Using knowledge of the purposes, organization, and policies of the community's health systems sufficient to interact with other health care providers
  • Using knowledge of the policies and procedures of a clinic to direct its operations and to provide effective patient care
  • Hiring, training, and supervising administrative staff
  • Managing finances, including budgets, payrolls, financial reporting, and payer contracts
  • Monitoring inventory and placing orders for supplies
  • Ensuring that the practice complies with all industry regulations, compliance, billing, and IT security
  • Defusing a customer-service problem or handling a dispute with an insurance company

What Kind of Training Does a Practice Administrator Need?

First and foremost, practice administrators need to be strong leaders. They must communicate clearly with patients, office employees, insurance company representatives, and medical staff. They need to be capable of understanding generational differences, personalities, and backgrounds effectively. Conflict resolution and multitasking skills are necessities, as well as attention to detail. Successful practice administrators have the ability to identify trends and motivate the workforce toward changes needed to remain competitive. A thorough understanding of the of the “ins and outs” of medical administration enables them to identify and proactively continue to advocate for improvement and change.

What Qualifications Does a Practice Administrator Need?

The qualifications are set by the medical practice and may vary. Smaller practices may promote an employee who began their career as a medical office staffer and worked their way up to a manager. Other practices require managers to have a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration. Larger practices prefer to hire practice administrators who hold a Master of Business Administration degree in Healthcare Administration or Healthcare Management. Many organizations, such as the National Organization of Rheumatology Managers and the Medical Group Management Association, provide several certifications that practice administrators can pursue to demonstrate and advance their careers. As the only board certification of its kind, the Certified Medical Practice Executive credential is recognized as the professional standard in medical practice management through the American College of Medical Practice Executives.

This information is provided for general education only. Individuals should consult a qualified health care provider for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment of a medical or health condition.

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