The Difference Between Administrative Work in Healthcare vs. Other Industries

What is the Difference Between Health Administration and Other Clerical Work
The difference between healthcare administrative work compared to other industries comes down to one thing: the skills you need.

It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, there are certain skills that you will need to fulfill an administrative support role.

However, those working in healthcare are required to have additional, specialized knowledge on top of those required in other industries. Additional salary and career opportunities can come with these specialized skills.

The healthcare industry in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is booming, and will not be slowing down for some time.

Careers in the healthcare industry go far beyond those of doctors, nurses, and dentists that require years of school and great expense. Healthcare administrative support careers are in such high demand that they can be high paying and come with job security for those who are motivated and ready to put forth the effort to secure them.

Below we will outline the skills required in clerical roles, special requirements for healthcare administration careers, and the resulting wage increases they earn.

Administrative Skills Needed in Most Industries

The following are certain administrative skills you will need, regardless of the industry:

Scheduling

All administrative support positions require you to know how to schedule. Whether it be appointments, travel, events, or meetings, you will need to be able to arrange, book, and maintain calendars and schedules.

Typically administrative assistants manage the schedules of several executives, not simply for one person. This means you will need to have the organizational skills to maintain many calendars and ensure there are no conflicts between them.

Records Management

A big part of any administrative role is dealing with the high level of documentation businesses produce. You will need to understand filing and office organization procedures, both virtual and physical.

Filing processes are different from business to business, so it’s important to be familiar with basic organization processes and procedures so you will be able to quickly learn new techniques in a new office.

Data Entry

Clerical work usually requires a lot of typing. Knowing how to type quickly is a great selling point for any administrative position. You will need attention to detail to ensure the accuracy and quality of the documents you produce including reports, correspondence, financial records, and computer databases.

Computer Skills

To take on administrative roles you should be comfortable around computers, as that’s where the majority of your work will be completed. You should be able to troubleshoot basic technical issues with computers and other office equipment, such as printers and photocopiers.

It is also vital that you are knowledgeable in common administrative software such as Microsoft Office Suite as well as accounting and client database systems. In our technological age, it is also vital you are familiar with internet security. Companies that employ people with no knowledge of online risks are much more likely to become online hacking victims.

Customer Service

If you spend any time dealing with patients, clients, or the general public, you will need to have customers service skills. If you work at the front desk of a large office, regardless of your industry, you will need to put your friendly personality and active listening skills into action to greet visitors, and answer inquiries.

You must also be able to diplomatically receive complaints when they arise and be able to deal with upset clients or patients. While it is not fair, sometimes the administrative assistant gets the lion’s share of customer ire, and you need to be able to calmly handle that situation.

Communications Skills

In administrative roles, you need to be able to write, format, and edit all types of correspondence. Basic knowledge of proper grammar and spelling is important. A superior phone manner is required to deal with answering and transferring calls, using a telephone switchboard, and taking messages.

Financial Skills

A basic understanding of business, payroll, and basic bookkeeping will assist you in any administrative support position. It’s helpful to have money-handling experience, as well as knowledge of basic billing systems.

Attention to detail with financial matters is key, so you should be willing to check and double-check your work.

The Skills Needed for Healthcare Administrative Work

In healthcare administration, you have the additional responsibility of providing quality and confidential care to patients. When there is the potential for fatal consequences if you make a mistake, it is essential that you can ensure all patient records are accurate and up-to-date.

Medical Insurance

You will need to have an understanding of the inner workings of medical insurance. Knowledge of the insurance codes and billing procedures will prove vital when dealing with insurance companies and liaising with patients. Patients do not always understand how their own insurance works, so you’ll need to be able to patiently explain things to them, especially when it comes to what is covered, what is not covered, and why.

Medical Terminology

One of the biggest differences in the skills of those working in healthcare administration is their understanding of medical terminology. You will need specialized knowledge of diagnostic procedures, treatments, anatomy, and physiology to ensure the data you enter into patient records is accurate.

Certifications for this kind of work will make you the most marketable candidate for the positions you are applying for. Previous training and knowledge mean your potential employer will not have to spend as much time or money training you in these important medical terms.

Ethics & Confidentiality

The security of private patient information is a growing concern in healthcare. While confidentiality has always been important for medical work, the storage of data on computer and internet systems has increased the risks of data theft. Knowledge of relevant medical law and ethics is also essential.

Electronic Health Records

While all administrative support professionals need to understand electronic records systems, healthcare-specific software is more complex. There are medical repercussions if the data is not up-to-date and accurate. Therefore, you will be required to understand and use electronic health records on a daily basis.

HIPPA certifications are crucial to those in the healthcare industry. Medical offices and facilities are held to very high standards when it comes to patient privacy. They can be subject to high fines and hard hits to their reputation if they have HIPPA violations. Therefore, not only doctors and nurses but the entire staff must understand fully the ins and outs of the HIPPA rules and regulations.

Medical Training Can Result in Higher Pay

More specialized skill sets come with higher pay, and this is no different for healthcare administrative work.

Texas employs the largest number of Medical Administrative Assistants in the country The median annual salary for Medical Administrative Assistants in the Dallas area is $41,000, and in Fort Worth, it is $40, 200.

Another skill desperately needed in Texas—or any border state— is to be bilingual. Those who fluently speak Spanish can significantly increase not only their pay but their ability to get the position they desire. Medical offices and facilities are constantly looking for employees in any position that can help them to communicate with those patients who speak little to no English.

Job Prospects for Those with Healthcare Administrative Training

Medical Assistant

medical office healthcare administrative assistant

As physicians seek to devote more time to the diagnosis and treatment of their patients, Medical Assistants will be called on to undertake both clerical and clinical tasks in their place.

Medical Assistants fulfill many vital positions in health care, including:

Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA): Serves in a clinical role to support nurses and physicians

Specialized Medical Assistant: Takes the general role of a CCMA further by working in a Specialist Physician’s office focusing on a specific condition or issue. In a day surgery environment, a Medical Assistant is likely to assist with pre-surgery preparation and post-operation room surgery setups.

Administrative Medical Assistant: Performs medical office tasks, such as scheduling appointments, completing histories and physicals, and submitting claims to insurance companies.

Clinical Coordinator: Performs office functions to manage the schedules of employees and patients.

Pharmacy Technician

pharmacy technician at work

Pharmacy Technician training prepares you to work in a variety of entry-level positions at:

Retail Pharmacies: Located within big box stores or smaller pharmacy store chain locations, often with a medical clinic attached.

Compounding Pharmacies: Pharmacies that make custom medications. These pharmacies are often community-based and independently owned.

Hospitals: Many hospitals have internal pharmacies that maintain records and distribute medications to patients.

Medical Offices & Clinics: The skills, education, and additional certification preparations gained by attending a trusted pharmacy technician school are valuable in obtaining an entry-level position at medical offices and clinics.

Pharmaceutical Companies: Knowledge of industry terminology, ways to compound, and proper handling of medications could also help you pursue a successful career in research, marketing, or pharmaceutical sales.

Medical Billing and Coding Specialist

Medical Billing & Coding Specialists are hired by organizations that provide direct patient-centered health care or that service the healthcare industry.  Training in medical billing and coding prepares you for a variety of entry-level positions at: 

Physician’s Offices: Individuals may perform administrative services in physicians’ offices too. A candidate with blended skills in both medical billing and coding and medical assisting will thrive here – consider pursuing certifications in both areas for the greatest success! 

Outpatient Care Centers: Like outpatient surgical centers and laboratories, outpatient care centers can be the most lucrative path for Medical Records and Billing and Coding Technicians. Surgery centers often offer higher pay than hospitals or doctors’ offices.

Hospitals and Nursing Homes: In these environments, medical billers and coders may perform administrative and billing tasks, as well as clerical support for back-office activities. Often, having experience in a hospital environment can lead to positions with higher salaries.

Retail Health Clinics: One of the most exciting positions students may find is in retail healthcare clinics. And, depending on their experience, prospective students may even be able to gain employment before completing the Billing and Coding Specialist Program.

Why Choose CCI Training Center?

healthcare training class at CCI

CCI Training Center has the resources you need to quickly train to take the certification exams for the healthcare industry. With flexible schedules and top-notch instructors who have worked or are still working in the healthcare industry, you will be able to start your career in less than a year.

Traditional universities are aimed at young adults and adolescents whose primary responsibility is attending school, but CCI Training Center provides another path to career fulfillment and continued education.

Instructors at CCI Training Center are real-world healthcare professionals including Nurses, Billing and Coding Technicians, and Laboratory Specialists with extensive real-world experience Many of these instructors have held the certifications and professions students want to pursue upon completing the program. 


Carey Maceira Allied Health Program Manager CCI Training Center