The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the highest-level management position in a hospital or hospital system. Hospital CEO’s must possess the qualifications and skills to manage and direct the complexities of a modern patient care facility. CEO positions require long hours, as well as involvement in the community, philanthropy, fundraising, and other organizations related to their work.
What Are Some of the Responsibilities of a Hospital CEO
Some of the responsibilities for a hospital CEOs may include:
- Creating a positive and productive work culture through leadership
- Setting the standards for excellence in operations
- Hiring and ensuring qualified staff
- Maintaining high quality in the delivery of patient care
- Implement clinical policies and procedures
- Administer compliance with hospital policies (State and Federal rules and regulations)
- Developing relationships with the medical community, referring physicians, and the media
- Ensure fiscal performance
Most demands, issues and problems are the same whether managing in a large urban hospital or small rural facility. In a larger organization, CEO’s face challenges related to the extensive services offered and the magnitude of the staff essential in providing the services and the financial demands of the large number of patients they serve. A variety of assistant administrators are often needed to oversee the various department heads and specialty areas. Administration of a small hospital involves responsibilities in a diversity of areas often including purchasing, finance, administration of personnel, employee relations, public relations and governmental affairs and therefore the administrators must be knowledgeable all areas of responsibility.
What are Some of the Characteristics I Should Possess for a Career as a CEO in a Hospital?
Having a graduate level degree from a top university or college combined with an in-depth knowledge of the industry are essential qualities to have. However these qualities alone will not guarantee success in making it to CEO level careers. Personality traits often play a key role in an individual’s ability to attain chief executive status. Although individual characteristics of the candidate may vary, some of the most important for those considering careers as a Hospital CEO include:
- They must possess a strong character, stability, dependability, initiative, decisiveness, and ability to conceptualize and articulate ideas
- Strong skills in Human relations including motivation, leadership, sensitivity, communications, team building
- Strong Management skills
- Involvement in professional and community activities
What Educational Path Should I Pursue to Become a CEO?
Because a CEO is the highest-ranking position in a hospital facility, almost all hospital organizations require an advanced degree. Although educational requirements can vary from organization to organization, generally you will need a minimum of a Master’s degree in a relevant field to interview for CEO positions. Some of the more common degree’s include be:
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Master of Health/Healthcare Administration (MHA)
- Master of Health Management (MHM)
- Master of Public Administration (MPA)
- Master of Public Health (MPH)
- Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
- Doctor of Science (ScD)
Additionally, to apply for most CEO positions a candidate will need a minimum of 3-5 years experience in healthcare administration or management. A background, or experience in operations management, human resources, and finance are also beneficial.