The demand for effective health care administrators continues to increase as the number of hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities grows. In managing their facilities, administrators must balance the financial, political, economic, and social elements of health care. Administrators can be effective leaders in the medical field by promoting and projecting examples of social justice in health care, ensuring equal access and equal treatment for patients. Students aiming for a career in health care administration can develop the necessary skills to implement social justice in health care by pursuing advanced education, such as an online Master of Health Administration.
Defining Social Justice
The definition of social justice revolves around the concept of equality and human rights. It pertains to the opportunities, privileges, and wealth of people around the world. Social justice examines how these rights are manifested in the lives of individuals. It also aims to redress inequalities based on gender, race, religion, age, and other characteristics. While discrimination affects social justice on a global level, many leaders strive for human rights and equality for individuals. Social justice in health care translates to the delivery of high-quality care to all individuals. Achieving social justice is critical in health care to ensure that all individuals can maintain their highest level of health and wellness.
Examples of Social Justice in Health Care
Factors such as education, employment, socioeconomic status, and environment can affect an individual’s access to health care. Health care administrators should be aware of individuals and groups that have been historically marginalized and are currently vulnerable to inequality in health care. Administrators can advocate for these individuals and groups by designing strategic models of social justice in health care. Health care administrators can effectively incorporate the following models for promotion of social justice into their health care strategies.
Training Nurses to Advocate
One example of social justice in health care is training nurses to advocate for patients. The role of nurses revolves around intervening on behalf of patients, providing efficient, compassionate medical care. Nurses carry out the ethics and values of the medical facilities they work for. Administrators can provide training to ensure that nurses are culturally competent, advocating for patient rights, and providing the highest level of medical care to all individuals.
Creating Diverse Care Delivery Models
To reduce disparities of care among different populations, health care administrators can create diverse care delivery models. Racial and ethnic minorities, the poor, and the elderly continue to face inequities in health care. Administrators can create diversity in medical facilities by cultivating a more culturally aware environment in which staff members can speak multiple languages. Another example of social justice in health care is increasing diversity in hiring staff members and administrators.
Deployment of Virtual Care Tactics
As the medical field expands, technology continues to advance. Health care administrators should be aware of changes in technology and how advancements can better serve their facilities. One way of bringing social justice into health care is through virtual care. Health care administrators can provide virtual clinical services through telemedicine. Facilities can provide “store-and-forward medicine,” which allows for patients to communicate and share medical information online with their primary care providers. Another form of telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, enables a primary care provider to remotely monitor a patient’s activities and vital signs. Virtual care can extend beyond traditional health care and can improve the health and well being of diverse groups. Administrators should understand the ways in which they can use technology to enhance access to health care for traditionally underserved populations.
Development of Economic and Budget Strategies
A primary responsibility of health care administrators is managing the finances of their facilities. Administrators should understand the economics of health care and the fiscal health of their institutions. As part of their work, administrators can create a strategic budget that is more inclusive of underserved individuals or groups. Administrators have the ability to incorporate aspects of social justice in health care through the allotment of funds.
The Importance of Leadership in Health Care Administration
Health care administrators should understand examples of social justice in health care and ensure that they play a prominent role in the development of their health care strategies. Effective health care administrators should also exhibit core competencies such as advanced communication skills and an ability to stay abreast of technical innovation that may impact care delivery. To carry out social justice in health care settings, administrators should demonstrate strong leadership skills. Being able to integrate and preserve social justice in a clinical setting is crucial to being an administrative leader.
Students pursuing higher education to become health care administrators can look into the online Master of Health Administration program at Regis College. With courses about financial and technical literacy, the program teaches students important accounting and management knowledge. They learn the business aspects of how to organize and oversee a medical facility. Students also enhance their critical thinking abilities and develop their professional and interpersonal communication skills. The program teaches students about public health issues and prepares them to advance social justice as leaders in their future health care settings. The program’s commitment to social justice, found throughout the curriculum, becomes part of each student’s perspective on leadership.
Advance Your Career in Health Administration
As health care becomes more accessible through technology, more equitable, efficient leaders are needed for hospitals, medical facilities, and clinics. Students interested in becoming health care administrators can learn how to incorporate examples of social justice in health care through higher education. Learn more about how Regis College’s online Master of Health Administration program can help equip students to pursue fulfilling careers as leaders at health care facilities.
What Health Administration Professionals Need to Know About the Future of Health Care
What Is Health Administration? Becoming a Key Leader in Care
What Is Health Literacy? Examining a Crucial Component of Quality Care
American Public Health Association, Social Justice and Health
Boston Public Health Commision, What Is Health Equity and Racial Justice, and How Do We Achieve It?
Inequality.org, Inequality and Health
KFF, Beyond Health Care — The Role of Social Determinants in Promoting Health and Health Equity
Regis College, Online Master of Health Administration
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical and Health Services Managers