Minnesota Hospital Association


Governance and Management

It is important for board members to understand the difference between management and governance. The role of the governing body includes setting the mission and vision for the organization and ensuring the cost-effective use of resources. The six key areas of responsibility for the board of trustees include:

  • Hiring and retaining a CEO
  • Mission development and long-range planning
  • Ensuring high quality care
  • Oversight of medical staff credentialing
  • Financial oversight
  • Board education and development, including self evaluation  

Management, on the other hand, is responsible for the day-to-day operations of running the hospital. The following resources will help you better understand the roles and responsibilities of a hospital trustee.   

Board Briefs

The following board briefs have been developed by Larry Walker, president of the Walker Company, a health care management consulting firm. These board briefs offer insight into effective health care governing.

Using Your Board of Trustees Self-Assessment to Improve Leadership Effectiveness

Governance Accountabilities and Opportunities in the Quest for Quality

Becoming a Community-Centered Board

Building Constructive Hospital/Medical Staff Relationships and Alignment

The Board's Fiduciary Responsibility, Putting the Community's Trust into Action

Building the Foundation for Success: Developing Powerful and Purposeful Mission, Values and Vision

Driving Change: Integrating Mission, Values and Vision into Board Leadership

The Board's Role in Strategic Planning

Building Bonds: Pathways to BetterBoard/CEO Relationships

The Board's Role in CEO Compensation and Performance Evaluation

Other Governance and Management Resources

"Race to Value, Health Care Reform Payments Simplified," helps hospital board members better understand new reform-related reimbursement methods.

"10 Board Don'ts” lists 10 common board and CEO frustrations, dos and don'ts of a good system of partnership appraisal, and top 10 hints for making the performance planning and appraisal process better.

“The Role of the Board Chair” outlines the expectations and challenges of the important role of board chair.

Planning Today for Tomorrow's Trustee” — recruiting new trustees to serve on your board is every bit as important as CEO recruitment. How well boards plan and execute this vital process defines the hospital's leadership success for years to come.

Maximize the Value of Your Board Retreat” — board retreats are a great way for trustees to brainstorm ideas about the organization's future, strengthen their understanding of the organization's challenges, and develop a sense of teamwork and camaraderie. How can boards ensure that their retreats are a valuable use of leadership time and resources with meaningful outcomes?

The Board's Role in Disaster Readiness” provides information on the trustee’s role in emergency management planning and includes sources and a checklist of hospital and community readiness items to review.

View from the Governance Front Lines” — Larry Walker looks at challenges, issues and solutions in governance information and education.

Governance and Management of Effective Organizations” outlines approaches that hospital boards should adopt to foster each person's fulfillment of his/her duties and the board's effective execution of its functions.

From Them to Us: Going Where Others Have Gone Before” describes proven leadership strategies for uniting groups and building trust over time. Published in Michigan Health and Hospitals, the article is based upon research by Edward O'Connor on physician-hospital collaboration strategies.

How to Conduct a Board of Trustees Self-Assessment" includes a 10-step plan on how to conduct a board self-assessment.

Overview of Board Roles and Responsibilities” covers the key function of a highly successful board; practices to improve a board's visionary thinking and the importance of determining eligibility requirements and developing board member job descriptions.

Medical Staff Credentialing” defines the board's role and the roles and responsibilities of key individuals in the process of credentialing and privileging medical staff.