What is an Ambulatory Care Center Manager?

An ambulatory care center manager is a health care professional who works in a hospital’s surgery facility. Since they work in a hectic environment, they must have the right skills, education and background as illustrated below.

What are the Main Responsibilities?

An ambulatory care center manager oversees different operational and administrative aspects of a surgery center. They perform a variety of fundamental health care tasks, such as ensuring:

  • operational productivity
  • quality patient care
  • a safe work environment

They are in charge of:

  • employee recruitment
  • training
  • performance evaluation

They must maintain:

  • departmental budgets
  • inventory levels
  • compliance with regulatory agencies

They also assist their team with coordinating many day-to-day health care duties. They help other managers with improving workflow efficiency. For example, they must coordinate patient care needs through face-to-face contact with primary providers and information gathered via remote systems, such as:

  • fax
  • telephone
  • computer

In fact, some of their duties are entirely performed through remote wireless monitoring systems.

What are the Education Requirements?

Applicants are often licensed RNs with surgery and ambulatory department experience. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that medical and health services managers are now expected to have master’s degrees in public, business or health care administration. These master’s degree programs will teach the student about:

  • hospital organization
  • budgeting
  • strategic planning

These programs will also offer classes on health care and human resource management.

Health care managers are now expected to have excellent technical skills. So they should be familiar with health information systems and electronic health care records systems. Advanced courses include:

  • pathophysiologics
  • pharmacotherapeutics
  • continuous quality improvement and outcome measures

What Skills are Required?

Ambulatory care managers should have a solid understanding of:

  • surgery procedures
  • patient expectations
  • compliance requirements
  • health care operations

They must also have advanced medical, technical and procedural knowledge. Additionally, they should have strong analytical and problem-solving skills.  They must be capable of quickly adapting to process, technology and regulatory changes. Interpersonal and communication skills are a must because they must continually coordinate and interact with staff, patients and the public.

Sample Job Description

The ambulatory care manager is a member of the management team who works under an ambulatory care or care management director. They will work with health care professionals to provide comprehensive care management to outpatient members. They must adhere to program guidelines while also seeking to facilitate quality improvements to processes and systems.

They will be called upon to provide counseling, information and health care resources to patients with specific acute or chronic conditions. They will act as a central liaison between patients, providers and care management teams. All of their interactions must be carefully documented and submitted to the appropriate parties. An ambulatory care manager should have two to four years of experience with:

  • home care
  • case management
  • health care insurance
  • telephonic care management outreach

In summary, an ambulatory care manager has an RN and administrative background. They perform critical operational and administrative tasks for emergency rooms and ambulatory surgery centers. Work as an ambulatory care center manager is a rewarding career with excellent growth potential.