Hospital board members are responsible for overseeing a hospital's management, finances, quality of services and regulatory compliance. This includes recruiting the chief executive officer, establishing the hospital's overall direction and developing policies. Membership requires attendance at board and committee meetings, adequate preparation prior to decision-making and avoiding conflicts of interest.
A hospital board member is responsible for ensuring that the hospital fulfills its mission and that his decisions and actions serve this purpose without any benefit to himself. Hospital board members often play a significant role in fundraising, budget approval and community relations, delegating the recruitment and engagement of clinical personnel and issues of clinical quality to professional committees. Through the establishment of policies and protocols, however, the hospital board also sets expectations for performance and quality of care, requiring regular reports to assist them in evaluating progress toward the established clinical goals as well as financial goals.
It is the responsibility of each board member to understand his governance role and to appropriately respect the role and responsibilities of hospital management, its physicians and other medical personnel. Clarity regarding the legal nature of the board member's relationship to the institution and his obligation to place the institution's interests ahead of all others in execution of his duties on the board is essential.