Working in healthcare office management traditionally requires extensive formal training. A hospital coordinator, for instance, may need a bachelor's or even a master's degree in health services administration, health science, public health, or business administration. Coursework in these fields may include accounting, budgeting, hospital organization and management, marketing, strategic planning, health information systems, law and ethics, and more.
To work in office management at a healthcare facility, however, is a different field entirely. The primary skill you need in that situation is knowledge of the organization's computer systems and a strong attention to detail. You can take a 1- or 2-year program in office administration and other office skills such as typing, data entry, operating office technologies (such as scanners or software packages), and information storage systems.
Healthcare Office Management: Career Possibilities
You might want to start as a medical secretary. This career involves transcribing dictation, recording medical histories, and ordering supplies. You need to know insurance rules, billing practices, and have a familiarity with basic medical terminology. Above average employment growth is predicted, and medical secretaries earned a median salary of $30,800 as of May 2008.
To become a health care executive or administrator, you typically need additional education or extensive on-the-job experience beyond what you can acquire at any trade schools, although that initial education can be an important first step. Medical and health service managers typically need a master's degree, but a bachelor's degree could prepare you for entry-level positions.
Finally, you could become an office manager at a hospital or physician's office, earning median annual wage of $50,170 or $47,060 respectively, but this generally requires starting as an administrative assistant and working your way up to management.