Is There a Career Difference Between Healthcare Management and Healthcare Administration?

Healthcare management and healthcare administration – both of the vocations seem quite similar. β€˜β€™Are those even two different vocations?” we may ask ourselves. Since the very terms healthcare management and healthcare administration seem very similar, many people mistake them one for the other, although these two are completely different practices in health industry. Therefore, the aim of this article will be to answer that query and explain what makes healthcare administration different from healthcare management.

The General Difference

To start with, various articles and educational materials use the terms healthcare management and healthcare administration interchangeably without explaining the difference between them. This raises the overall confusion about these terms. Therefore, we will get down to explaining the general difference. Healthcare manager is responsible for running a certain healthcare facility. Compared to that, healthcare administrator is in charge of handling the staff. Sometimes, people tend to assume that the people who run huge medical facilities are healthcare administrators, whereas they are actually healthcare managers. Such mistakes may bring a great confusion when it comes to distinguishing the practice of healthcare management from the practice of healthcare administration. Even the professionals get confused sometimes. Therefore, it may be useful to compare these two vocations and create a list of the main responsibilities and requirements for each of them.

To get the better idea on the general difference between these vocations, visit the following website:

What Do Healthcare Administrators Do?

Firstly, we will determine what being a healthcare administrator includes. Therefore, it will be less complicated to explain what the duty of healthcare managers is and to see the difference between them.

We have already mentioned that the basic duty of a healthcare administrator is to handle the staff, whereas the basic duty of a healthcare manager is to run a healthcare facility. In order to find out what the other responsibilities of a healthcare administrator are, here is a list:

  • Managing and handling the staff
  • Organizing the operational process in a facility on daily basis
  • Planning and supervising the service of doctors, nurses and technicians
  • Being up to date with trends in the ever changing health industry
  • Engaging in various meetings (one-to-one, meetings with the local community representatives, etc.)
  • Balancing the priorities of local health centers, the staff and the patients

It is obvious from the list that a healthcare administrator has numerous duties. When people think about medicine, first working position that comes to mind is the one of a doctor or a nurse. However, from the list above it is obvious that doctors and technicians would not manage to finish their daily tasks unless magnificent healthcare administrators coordinated them.

Therefore, healthcare administration is a responsible position that helps find balance between health centers, doctors and patients in order to make all of them satisfied. Without healthcare administrators, no healthcare facility would be able to function properly on daily basis. Therefore, healthcare administrators must obtain the following skills:

  • Exceptional organizational skills
  • Great planning skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Politeness
  • Willingness to cooperate with various people and organizations

In order to reach these job requirements, the experts in the field of healthcare administration will give you some tricks. For example, a renowned CEO Bryan Ayers who runs a Health Community Program in Massachusetts, claims that the best option is to start volunteering while on your master studies and to work in a small, maybe rural, hospital afterwards. He says that starting from managing the staff in these smaller healthcare facilities will help you get ready for greater challenges in healthcare administration.

To get a more thorough guide on healthcare administration, check the following website:

What Do Healthcare Managers Do?

We have mentioned that the main task in healthcare management is to run a healthcare facility. While healthcare administrators are responsible to manage the operation of a certain medical facility on daily basis, healthcare managers are concerned with the overall operation of the healthcare facility or a clinical network. Here is the list of the numerous duties of healthcare mangers:

  • Overall operation of the facility or network
  • Accounting
  • Being familiar with the policies of the facility or network
  • Management of the facility

This list makes it clear that healthcare management brings many responsibilities that exceed the field of healthcare. Therefore, healthcare mangers often need further education and they must have a broad educational background. That is also one of the main differences between healthcare management and healthcare administration, since the latter does not require such an educational background. For example, in order to become competitive, healthcare managers must specialize in accounting along with healthcare. Here is the list of the skills and qualities that a healthcare manager should have:

  • Exceptional organizational skills
  • Being familiar with accounting, policies and general management
  • Being eager to broaden their knowledge
  • Having leadership skills


To sum up, healthcare management and healthcare administration are two connected, but different practices in health industry. Healthcare managers are responsible for the overall operation of a healthcare facility and need further specialization, such as the specialization in accounting. On the other hand, healthcare administrators are responsible for handling the staff and managing the operation of a healthcare facility on daily basis.