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What Are the Responsibilities of Hospital Board Members?

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A hospital board of directors, or board of trustees, sets the vision and mission of the organization. Members are typically a collection of physicians and community leaders skilled in finance, marketing, fundraising, investment, planning and legal, using their knowledge to help the hospital achieve strategic goals. Many hospitals expect board members to also contribute financially to the facility, helping the facility maximize funding.

Cultivating Community Relationships

Board members ensure the hospital properly serves the community by gaining an understanding of common health concerns and needs and addressing them. Regularly surveying residents to gauge their perception of the health care and community services provided by the facility helps to ensure it maintains a positive reputation. Results are used to develop a strategy to ensure the hospital’s objectives align with community needs. Board members form partnerships with key community leaders to provide patient and family education and community outreach programs promoting activities such as cancer education and prevention, tobacco-free campaigns and classes for new and expectant parents.

Choosing a Hospital CEO

When a hospital CEO resigns, it is the responsibility of the board to find a replacement. Choosing the right person is essential, as the CEO is directly accountable to the board. After selecting a candidate, board members closely monitor and evaluate the work of the hospital’s chief executive. Members advise the CEO on hospital initiatives to develop, relationships to cultivate and actions to take on issues impacting the facility. Compensating the CEO is also the responsibility of the board, so they set the starting salary, grant bonuses and determine if an annual merit increase will be given.

Monitoring and Improving Patient Care

Board members are responsible for ensuring patients receive the highest standard of care by seeking ongoing training regarding patient care standards and staying current with all new regulations imposed on the facility. They closely assess the quality of patient care to make sure all medical professionals adhere to healthcare rules and regulations. The board reviews ideas for improvement from medical staff and implements those agreed to be beneficial, such as providing additional support and resources. Board members also ensure the hospital stays up-to-date by purchasing advanced medical technology and providing staff training on innovative procedures.

Providing Financial Oversight

Managing the finances of the facility is the responsibility of the board. Members protect the assets of the hospital by establishing budgetary policies, enforcing financial controls, closely monitoring investments and carefully watching bank balances. They create financial goals for the organization and ensure the facility maintains proper funding to cover all necessary expenses.

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About the Author

Laura Woods is a Los Angeles-based writer with more than six years of marketing experience. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Robert Morris University.

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