What are health care manager responsibilities? (Plus FAQs)

Updated 27 April 2023

Health care managers support the daily operations of health care facilities. If you're interested in a career in health care management, understanding the role and the responsibilities that come with it's helpful. These professionals benefit from being excellent multitaskers with a passion for health care and a strong understanding of administration. In this article, we discuss the role of a health care manager, their responsibilities and the requirements to become one and look at other related roles in the field.

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What is health care management?

Health care management is the management and leadership of public and private health care organisations. The primary aim of managers is to ensure that the services the organisation provides are effective and efficient. The health care industry incorporates businesses and organisations that offer services to patients. This includes GP surgeries, hospitals, nursing homes and hospices. Companies that exist in the industry work to provide services for sick and injured individuals to prevent, cure, rehabilitate and provide end-of-life care. Health care managers ensure that the framework and daily operations for these businesses are as efficient as possible.

Related: How much does a health care manager make? (Plus skills)

What are the main health care manager responsibilities?

Health care manager responsibilities can encompass an entire facility, which means that the list of their duties is extensive. They're responsible for the oversight of daily operations in a health care facility, although, in larger facilities, they might focus on a specific department or service area. The industry is constantly adapting to new technology and medical innovation, so health care managers stay up-to-date on the latest changes in the field to keep their facilities running optimally. Their main responsibilities include:

  • planning and coordinating non-clinical, administrative activities for the facility they manage

  • creating plans and strategies aimed at improving service delivery

  • implementing IT systems and supporting them to ensure an efficient and up-to-date service

  • oversight, management and supervision of all staff including clinicians, care providers and administrative staff

  • managing staff, patient and financial information digitally to analyse it and monitor performance

  • performing various quality assurance and risk assessment duties, including the assessment of patient care, well being and satisfaction

  • scheduling staff and hiring new employees to handle the facility's workload

  • oversight of departments throughout the facility to provide support and ensure smooth and efficient operation

  • managing the budget and financial health of the facility to ensure resources are available for clinicians and administrative staff

  • requesting funding and determining how the facility allocates those funds

  • purchasing new equipment, supplies and resources for clinicians and staff to optimise the technology that the facility uses

  • negotiating prices with vendors and suppliers to ensure they meet budget constraints

  • managing contracts and service delivery agreements

  • compiling and analysing data to plan and manage staff, health care systems and projects

  • implementing policies, guidelines and rules to meet government standards

Related: How to become a health services manager

What is the difference between health care management and health care administration?

Although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, health care management and health care administration are two distinct roles in the industry. They're closely aligned and many of the responsibilities are the same. The biggest difference between these roles is that health care administrators tend to focus on staff management more than health care managers. Health care managers are more likely to take responsibility for the overall facility and its organisation.

Related: The importance of project management in health care

What are important skills for health care managers to have?

Health care managers manage and lead staff in a health care facility. As such, many of the most useful skills for these professionals involve leadership or communication. Below are some of the important skills for health care managers to develop and demonstrate:

  • Interpersonal skills: As much of the work involves managing people, interpersonal skills are vital for the role. Health care managers work with multiple levels of staff, including receptionists, clinicians and key stakeholders, so having a versatile communication style allows them to convey information and get results most effectively.

  • Managerial skills: Management of staff, resources and the facility are integral to the role, so strong managerial acumen makes the role much easier. Managers lead teams and individuals to ensure that daily operations match governmental guidelines and that patients receive the best possible care.

  • Communication skills: Alongside face to face communication, managers are in frequent contact with many different parties via digital platforms. They set up and present meetings, communicate with staff and relay information through calls, emails and messaging software and influence communication with the public.

  • Organisational skills: Health care managers have a lot of responsibility and resources to manage, many of which conflict with one another. They monitor patient and facility data, manage medications and adhere to industry regulations while trying to appease all parties involved.

Related: What is a health service manager and how do you become one?

What qualifications does a health care manager require?

A health care manager is a senior role that requires at least a bachelor's degree for entry, though employers prefer individuals with master's degrees due to the high competition for roles. Obtaining a Master of Business Administration with Healthcare Management is an ideal degree to consider as it provides relevant education and skills for this career path. There are other degree subjects that are also suited to this position, such as:

  • Business

  • Psychology

  • Health care administration

  • General management

As these degrees are loosely related rather than focusing on the role of health care manager, it's beneficial to undertake some work experience. This shows employers that you understand the environment and the role, which improves your chances of gaining employment. You might be able to volunteer at a hospital or undertake an internship to gain experience.

Related: Health care assistant interview questions (with answers)

How much does a health care manager make?

The national average salary of a health care manager is £35,865 per year. The amount that they make can vary depending on the location of the facility they work in, their experience and their qualifications. Private facilities may also offer higher salaries than public facilities.

What other jobs are there in health care management?

A health care manager is one of many career opportunities that fall under the category of health care management. You may want to consider the jobs outlined below:

1. Health coordinator

National average salary: £25,128 per year

Primary duties: A health coordinator typically works in hospitals and nursing homes, with responsibilities that include the monitoring and evaluation of care quality in these facilities. Health coordinators develop care plans tailored to individual patients, outline the care provided in documents and handle the ordering of medical supplies for facilities. Their work also involves bringing specialists into facilities to help with specific patient conditions.

2. Clinical director

National average salary: £70,221 per year

Primary duties: A clinical director works across all types of health care facilities including hospitals, research centres and GP clinics. It's a leadership role with responsibilities that focus on guiding and leading clinicians and administrative staff towards a facility's overall goals. Much of their work involves developing these goals, setting targets and budgets, creating protocols for employees and helping with the recruitment process for new staff.

3. Hospital manager

National average salary: £43,301 per year

Primary duties: A hospital manager predominantly works in a hospital environment, although they also work in clinical departments and private medical practices. Hospital managers are responsible for the entire health care facility that they work in, and as a result, have a wide and varied workload. A lot of effort goes towards the oversight of finances for the facility, ensuring that funding goes to the right areas to ensure the facility is operating optimally. They also work to ensure the facility is fully compliant with regulatory bodies and the law.

4. Health supervisor

National average salary: £26,378 per year

Primary duties: A health supervisor works in care facilities, hospital settings and other health care environments. It's a role that blends administrative duties with management and they work to support staff so that their work can go ahead safely and to a high standard. Responsibilities include developing care plans for individuals to determine the level of care required and providing support for managers to ensure the facility runs efficiently.

Should you become a health care manager?

Working in the health care industry is a rewarding experience, but it's worth noting that health care managers are more focused on the management aspect of the role rather than health care. It's mainly a leadership role where you work to ensure a seamless experience for patients by effectively managing the facility. Although it's less hands-on than clinicians, health care managers still have a vital role to play in providing care to patients by ensuring they can effectively receive health care.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.


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