Health care administration is an important part of the daily operations of any health care facility or practice. And to become a health care administrator, one will need a formal education in the field to secure a job in the industry. Depending on the position, a master’s degree may also be required.

(Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Donovan)

(Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Donovan)

Stephanie Donovan works both sides of the fence as an Registered Health Information Administrator and an Assistant Professor at Peirce College in Philadelphia. Donovan shares with us the role a health care administrator plays and discusses the importance education plays in this field.

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Can you describe your duties as a health care administrator?

“Health care administrators focus on the planning and delivery of health care services rather than administering or providing those services. While the delivery of care focuses on prevention and achieving positive health outcomes, supporting and managing the delivery of this care is the primary work of the health care administrator.”

“In my role as faculty chair of health programs at Peirce College, I focus on the quality, accreditation and currency of our degree and certificate programs and the development of new health care programs that meet both industry and employer demands. I also work to support the advancement of our graduates.”

Where did you get your degree?

“I earned my bachelor of science degree in health information administration from Gwynedd-Mercy College and my master of business administration from LaSalle University.”

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How has education prepared you for your career as a health care administrator?

“As an undergraduate, I completed a two-plus-two program where I first earned my associate’s degree, secured the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential and then immediately continued on for my bachelor’s degree and earned the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credential. These undergraduate degrees establish the technical and managerial foundation required in this field.”

What continuing education is required for your role?

“Personally, my graduate degree helped me further develop my management skills and appreciate the bigger picture. It is important to note that careers in these disciplines are expected to grow and the graduate degree is quickly becoming the entry-level degree for health care administrators.”

“Health care administrators who opt for specialized certifications or credentials should expect and be prepared to commit to ongoing professional development as required for credential maintenance. As a Registered Health Information Administrator, I am required to earn 30 continuing education units every two years in the following areas: performance improvement, technology, privacy and security, management, clinical data management, clinical foundations, ICD-10 and external forces.”

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Christina Thompson is a freelance travel writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at