In this weekly feature, the editors of SpringBoard highlight one career in the health care professions–including a basic description, educational requirements, core competencies/key skills needed, and related web sites and professional organizations where you can find more information!
A hospital’s Director of Patient Admissions is responsible for overseeing many of the critical front-end processes the hospital’s patients encounter when entering the hospital. He/she will lead many of the hospital’s staff members in performing these functions, including front desk registration, emergency department registration, insurance verification, information desk greeters, central scheduling, and the cashier areas. The Director of Patient Admissions is responsible for planning and implementing procedures and policies for these areas, and must ensure high customer service, quality, and productivity.
Education and Experience
A bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum expectation for most Directors of Patient Admissions. In some cases, a high school degree or equivalent will be accepted. In these cases, an associate’s degree in business or some other related medical field is preferred. In general, educational background should be in business or health administration, or another related field. Prior experience in a managerial role is important, usually at least for 2 to 5 years.
Core Competencies and Skills
- Excellent interpersonal skills are critical
- Proficient in use of computer software, including Microsoft Word and Excel
- Strong organizational and analytical capabilities
- Knowledge of and ability to interpret Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) standards
- Demonstrated ability to teach, mentor, and manage a team of employees
- Understanding of medical terminology
- Strong written and oral communication skills
- Proven ability to work under stress and make effective decisions without being given directions
The majority of Directors of Patient Admissions make between $50,000 and $90,000 annually. They can make as little as $30,000 or as much as $110,000. Directors with broader responsibilities at larger hospitals will likely earn a higher salary. Similarly, those working in a busier, urban area stand to make more than someone in a rural setting.
As the number of hospitals in the United States decreases slightly over the next several years, the demand for Directors of Patient Admissions will decrease slightly as well. However, the outlook for these jobs remains high as the healthcare market, in general, in the United States continues to remain strong.
For Further Information
- American College of Healthcare Executives (http://www.ache.org)