Health care is a rapidly evolving, complex industry at all levels, but perhaps nowhere as much as at the executive level. The work of health care administrators is a complicated balancing act that involves improving patient outcomes, making operations more efficient, and meeting the often-changing requirements of government regulations.
A peer network of fellow health care administrators proves invaluable to the professionals sitting at the top of a medical operation’s organizational chart. Students typically learn about networking in connection with how it can help their careers. However, another significant benefit of networking for health care administrators is having a group of colleagues offering insight and a broader perspective that leads to better-informed decisions.
Considering everything health care administrators do, focusing on such a network might seem difficult, much less maintain. Nonetheless, doing so is worth the effort.
Why Health Professionals Need to Network
At the heart of every argument for creating a strong peer network is the idea that no one does anything alone, including building a successful career. Networking benefits health care administrators in this area, especially when job changes at the top levels happen frequently.
“No man is an island,” states an article in Forbes, invoking the famous 1624 phrase by poet John Donne. The time-worn aphorism supports the article’s argument that “for many individuals who have succeeded in their career, the causes have largely been attributed to the strong networking channels they have created over time.”
Invoking the famous 1624 phrase “no man is an island” by English poet John Donne, an article in Forbes goes on to say that
But networking for health care administrators also helps leaders better understand external trends that impact health care. This understanding increases their ability to predict the implications of those trends on the operations they oversee, from hospitals and outpatient clinics to adult living facilities and home health care agencies.
Professional networks allow for the trading of ideas and information from trusted peers. The more information a health care administrator has, the better decisions she makes. Everyone’s decision-making ability is only as good as the information they have on hand when they make a decision.
Tips On Networking for Health Care Administrators
Given the benefits of networking, it’s fortunate that administrators have many different ways to foster and support a strong network of colleagues. According to Kirby Bates Associates, a health care executive recruiting agency, busy administrators mustn’t “sideline” their network building in place of more immediate tasks.
Meeting new people or strengthening acquaintances into friendships takes work that many may want to avoid. But there are now more options than ever to make networking for health care administrators as smooth as possible.
Professional Organizations: Organizations such as the American College of Health Care Executives frequently hold events that bring executive-level decision-makers together to meet, learn the latest trends, and exchange ideas.
Social Media. Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter give all professionals, including health care administrators, the chance to follow interesting people in their profession or join with peer groups virtually, expanding their network to every corner of the world.
Meet One-to-One. In a connected world, it’s amazing the impact a face-to-face meeting can have. To make networking part of their monthly routine, health care administrators should build time to meet face-to-face with peers.
Before doing any of the above, health care administrators need to sit down and assess their existing network. Are there people on the list that no longer need to be part of the network? Have they neglected others? It’s also important to cultivate relationships with key people outside of the health care profession who work in leadership roles. They can offer different perspectives on issues that health care leaders face.
Point Park University and Networking
Some of the most enduring professional contacts in any professional network start in a college classroom. In a Point Park University Online Master of Science in Health Care Administration and Management, this can include students from across the nation and worldwide.
At Point Park, another vital part of a student’s network includes faculty with years of experience in the health care industry. Many instructors help students forge strong connections after graduation. These connections can lead to top positions in a career field expected to grow by 32 percent in the next decade.
Networking for health care professionals is an essential aspect of the job, from a career perspective, and making the best job-related decisions. Professionals enjoy a give-and-take relationship with those in their network, providing all involved with better perspectives on modern industry trends and expanded access to critical resources. While it requires time to do well, health care administrators should prioritize networking, starting with their time in college.