Although physicians and nurses deliver daily healthcare, it is the hospital’s Executive Leadership Team who is ultimately responsible for implementing the policies and procedures that keep patients safe. Most Hospital Administrators have an MBA in HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION or a Master in Health Administration (MHA). Some hold additional certification in Healthcare Administration from the American College of Healthcare Executives or the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management. Healthcare Administrators fulfill C-suite roles such as CEOs and CMOs, but also hold key positions as Hospital Administrator, Chief Nursing Officer, Facility Manager, Director of Nursing, and Operations Manager. They build, manage, and lead healthcare programs at freestanding hospitals, major medical centers, outpatient facilities, and large healthcare systems. Although they are typically not physicians, Healthcare Administrators work closely with healthcare professionals to optimize patient care, provide comprehensive treatment resources, and maximize patient safety. This unique role often places the Healthcare Administration team at the competing nexus of corporate interests and patient care.
Since the hospital’s governing board, CEO, Chief Medical Officer, and other key Hospital Administrators have overarching responsibilities for patient safety, they may be targeted in complex litigation. In fact, some prominent Healthcare Administrators believe that nearly 85% of medical negligence claims have a separate cause of action based in hospital corporate negligence. Hospital negligence typically results from one or more of the following situations:
- An employee commits a negligent act that was foreseeable or intentional
- An employee commits an improper act as a consequence of negligent credentialing
- Negligent supervision of hospital employees
- Inadequate staffing to address patient census and overcrowding
- Failure to comply with state and federal laws, and Joint Commission standards
- Improper protocols and oversight in determining observation v. admission status