• By: Josh Palmer
  • August 16, 2022
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Hospital board of directors

Selecting a hospital board of directors typically starts with identifying the roles and responsibilities of each member. Learn how hospital boards operate.

The health care industry has been subject to several reforms and regulatory matters, which makes oversight more challenging and complex for a hospital board of directors. While hospitals have varying leadership structures, hospital boards of directors are in charge of making significant changes regarding health care objectives and strategic goals. To effectively carry out these roles, board directors need board meeting management software to help streamline some of the complex tasks they are expected to embark on for the betterment of the health care facility and its patient care.    

What is a Hospital Board of Directors?

The hospital ownership and community entrust the hospital board of directors with overseeing the hospital’s best interest. The board of directors acts as the hospital’s governing body, guides the hospital’s long-term goals and policies, and assists with strategic planning and decision-making. The hospital board of directors is often sourced from local business leaders, lawyers, private sector leaders, doctors, nurses, and government leaders. 

Roles and Responsibilities of a Hospital Board of Directors

The hospital board of directors is responsible for the following:

  • Hiring and setting compensation for the CEO and other executive directors. 
  • Adopting policies to address conflicts of interest at the health care facility. 
  • Shaping the health care organization’s culture. 
  • Improving the organization’s strategic focus and effectiveness. 

Common board roles and their duties include:

President: Oversees board and executive committee meetings. They guide priorities, strategic plans, and annual objectives. The board president also serves as the health care facility’s spokesperson and a voice of the board to the rest of the hospital staff. 

Vice president: Assumes leadership in the absence of the board president. Additionally, Vice presidents take on the responsibility of developing and reviewing the hospital’s overall mission and strategy. Apart from these administrative duties, the vice president is expected to set the job description of executive managers, including the CEO. Together with the board, they are responsible for hiring, firing, and monitoring these executive officers. 

Secretary: Today, the role of the board of directors’ secretary has evolved into one of primary importance. They help with recruiting, selecting, and appointing new board members. They also take on the responsibility of orienting board members and arranging mentors for their continued education. Finally, the secretary is mandated with maintaining the official records of the board meetings. They set and distribute agendas and board packets prior to board meetings and document all board resolutions

Treasurer: Serves as a financial advisor, and is responsible for producing complete and accurate financial reports for the approval of the board. Oversees accounting and financial records in tandem with the CFO. Overall, the treasurer works as a liaison between the board and the CFO, and plays a hands-on role in managing the health care facility’s cash flow, bank accounts, and debt management. 

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How to Get a Hospital Board of Directors

To find a hospital board of directors member who can contribute their expertise in running the health care facility, leverage the facility’s professional network to recruit board members. Additionally, consider contracting executive search films like Spencer Stuart or RSR Partners to help connect the health care facility with qualified professionals who would be a good fit for the hospital board of directors. Once a board member approaches their board term limits, take a proactive role in finding suitable candidates for your hospital board of directors. 

What Changed for Boards in 2022?

Everything. See the trends that shaped boards and their meetings in 2022.
  • What Does a Hospital Board of Directors Do?

    The hospital board of directors play a central role in strategic decision-making that affects the hospital's performance as it pertains to both fulfillment of quality health care and outstanding financial performance. 

  • Who is on a Hospital Board of Directors?

    The hospital board of directors will often include local business leaders, lawyers, private sector leaders, doctors, nurses, and government leaders.  

  • How Much Does a Hospital Board of Directors Make?

    Historically, hospital board directors were not paid. However, in recent years, compensation for the best board talent has caused several hospitals to compensate their board members. A hospital board in Indiana generated controversy in 2016 by paying individual board members as much as $46,250 annually. 

    A 2016 search of 82 of the nation's top nonprofit hospitals showed that two-thirds don't pay board members. Fifteen of the 82 boards surveyed paid ranges similar to the Indiana hospital board of directors in question. So, it varies greatly.

  • How Much Does a Hospital Board of Directors Make?

    Historically, hospital board directors were not paid. However, in recent years, compensation for the best board talent has caused several hospitals to compensate their board members. A hospital board in Indiana generated controversy in 2016 by paying individual board members as much as $46,250 annually. 

    A 2016 search of 82 of the nation's top nonprofit hospitals showed that two-thirds don't pay board members. Fifteen of the 82 boards surveyed paid ranges similar to the Indiana hospital board of directors in question. So, it varies wildly.

Does Your Hospital Board of Directors Need a Board Management Solution?

Health care reforms are the order of the day in today’s health care ecosystem. This introduces a complex set of legislative changes that are always looming over the hospital’s leadership, requiring a hospital board of directors. 

The hospital board of directors plays an integral role in strategic decision-making at the hospital. Their decision-making impacts not only the financial health of the health care facility, but also the quality of health care offered by the facility. 

To ensure your hospital board of directors functions optimally, consider a board management solution to help hospital board members work smarter, move faster, and achieve more for the organizations.

Start a free trial of OnBoard to see what the platform can do for your hospital board of directors.

About The Author

Josh Palmer
Josh Palmer
Josh Palmer serves as OnBoard's Head of Content. An experienced content creator, his previous roles have spanned numerous industries including B2C and B2B home improvement, healthcare, and software-as-a-service (SaaS). An Indianapolis native and graduate of Indiana University, Palmer currently resides in Fishers, Ind.