What Does a Health System Specialist Do?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A health system specialist assists with the administration of health care delivery. Hospitals, clinics, and other care facilities can employ health system specialists to support their work, and these allied health professionals can also work for administration programs. These programs may not deliver health care directly, but they set policies, establish facilities, and perform other tasks that are intended to benefit patients. Qualifications and requirements for this position can depend on the employer, but usually include a college degree and experience in the field.

A health system specialist evaluates the quality of care and delivery methods within a hospital.
A health system specialist evaluates the quality of care and delivery methods within a hospital.

One aspect of the job can involve the development of new plans to deliver health care effectively and appropriately. A health system specialist might, for example, determine that low income mothers are at risk of particular health problems in a community. The specialist could work on an outreach program to provide education and preventative care targeted at this population. After approval of the proposal, the specialist might administer it and perform periodic audits to determine if it is meeting the goals set at the outset.

Hospitals, clinics, and other care facilities can employ health system specialists to support their work.
Hospitals, clinics, and other care facilities can employ health system specialists to support their work.

Officials at a facility or agency can contact a health system specialist for advice on planned policies and proposals. These can include new facilities, changes to standards of care, or the adoption of new medical records systems. In consultation, specialists may perform research to determine the options available and talk about the best choice for the given need. Support staff may provide assistance with this task in the form of database analysis and review to pull together reports the health system specialist can use in meetings.

Ongoing evaluation of the quality of care and delivery methods can also be among the responsibilities of a health system specialist. This employee of a facility may be able to review patient records, survey responses, and other materials to find out whether health care goals are being met. Such activities can be especially important for facilities that need to meet regulatory guidelines to qualify for funding and other benefits. If there are problems with the quality or type of care provided, the health system specialist may provide advice on addressing the situation.

The working conditions in this field are comparable to those in other office positions. People may spend some time in the field at labs and health care facilities to interact with patients and observe personnel at work. Experience in the health care field is important for a health system specialist, as are good communication skills. It may be necessary to interact with a variety of people on the job to collect and convey information.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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