With Canada’s aging population and increased focus on preventative care, there is a growing need for health administrators to manage medical facilities and health information. According to the Government of Canada, employment for medical administrative assistants and healthcare managers is expected to grow by over 15% in 2024. This presents excellent job opportunities for those completing a health office administrator diploma.
What Does a Health Office Administrator Do?
Health office administrators have diverse critical responsibilities related to managing health information, administration, billing services, and general clinic/hospital office operations. Typical duties of a health administrator may include:
- Maintaining electronic and physical patient medical records
- Scheduling patient appointments and managing physician schedules
- Processing insurance and billing claims for visits and procedures
- Coordinating patient admissions and discharges from facilities
- Managing referrals to other health specialists and external labs/services
- Ordering supplies and equipment for clinics and hospital departments
- Applying policies related to health legislation, patient privacy, and medical ethics
- Providing administrative assistance to nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals
Health office administrators keep healthcare facilities running efficiently behind the scenes so that doctors, nurses, and other medical staff can focus on delivering optimal patient care.
Health Office Administrator Diploma Program Overview
Colleges across Canada offer two-year health office administrator diploma programs to equip students with the knowledge and training necessary for this rewarding career. The curriculum provides a balanced foundation of theoretical instruction and practical learning experiences focused on healthcare administration and management skills.
Typical courses include:
- Medical Terminology – Builds familiarity with medical vocabulary to communicate effectively in healthcare environments
- Anatomy, Physiology, and Pharmacology Fundamentals – Develops understanding of human body systems and disease pathways
- Electronic Medical Records Management – Trains students on digital charting methods and private healthcare data standards
- Health Office Procedures – Teaches administrative office operations, information management systems, and policies applied in clinics/hospitals
- Healthcare Billing and Coding – Provides instruction on insurance claim preparation, diagnosis/procedure coding protocols, and billing workflow
- Communications and Interpersonal Skills – Cultivates abilities for sensitive and effective communication with diverse patients and medical staff
- Healthcare Law and Ethics – Examines legal practices and ethical issues relevant to health information administrators
- MS Office Applications – Develops practical abilities to leverage word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, and databases for medical administration
Additionally, most programs incorporate a 150+ hour practicum placement so students obtain first-hand administrative experience in a live healthcare organization under a professional mentor.
Students also complete a practicum placement to gain hands-on experience in a real healthcare administration environment.
The curriculum combines theoretical instruction with practical learning, ensuring graduates have the blend of medical knowledge and administrative abilities today’s healthcare employers seek when hiring health office administrators.
Career Outlook for Graduates
The comprehensive curriculum and practical focus equip graduates with versatile skills for diverse health administration roles. Former students attain positions with job titles like:
- Medical Office Assistant
- Health Information Management Clerk
- Insurance Claims Processor
- Patient Coordinator
- Medical Administrative Assistant
- Ward Clerk
These professionals have vital responsibilities like managing patient files, scheduling appointments, organizing patient admissions, and supporting other medical staff.
With over 100,000 job openings expected for related roles in the coming years, this diploma provides excellent job prospects for graduates. Those who complete the health office administrator program can enjoy bright career opportunities in the growing Canadian healthcare sector.