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J Healthc Qual. 2003 Nov-Dec;25(6):28-30, 41.

Hospitals and the competitive edge: how educated boards make a difference.

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Hospital leaders face challenges from many different arenas--business, finance, and patient care. One resource often overlooked as a strategic asset is the hospital board of directors. Too often hospital boards erroneously assume or are forced into the roles of either micro-management or crisis management. Board education, which focuses on pertinent healthcare market information and strategic decision making, can help board members' understanding of their roles. As part of its overall plan, hospital leadership should ensure that its board members understand the market environment and its effect upon the hospital's strategic directions, options, and priorities. This article focuses on the structure and type of information that board members need to know to better guide the hospital leadership through the decision-making process and to fulfill their obligations to the institution they serve.

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