Healthcare leaders, including deans, their faculty and chief executive officers (CEOs), and their staff, are increasingly challenged to meet the sometimes-competing goals of clinical excellence and cost containment in the current healthcare environment. The expectations for performance are evident in all components of the healthcare system, including medical schools and teaching hospitals and their associated clinical practices.
Indeed, the challenges may be even greater in these organizations because they share additional commitments to research and education that add further complexity to the delivery of patient care. Collectively, these expectations require increasingly sophisticated management approaches to achieve superior outcomes in all realms.
Chief Medical Officers are important players in the healthcare industry. They are physician leaders who play a big role in providing high-quality patient care for patients, and they can greatly impact the overall performance of their hospitals. CMO is a role you commonly encounter in healthcare, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies. However, the CMO role has been garnering more attention as a response to changing healthcare needs brought on by the pandemic.
Having a senior executive with experience in both healthcare and employee administration will ensure that your guidelines are effectively disseminated and enforced. A CMO goes beyond coordinating the testing, vaccinations, and contact tracing of its employees – after all, these are responsibilities most human resource managers can take on. CMOs have a better grasp of all the data involving healthcare within their organization – something that will help their workers and the communities they are operating in. This sharing of pertinent information will help establish better healthcare strategies that will benefit more people within their communities.
The unique features of the role give CMOs internal and external influence: they are typically positioned to protect public health by contributing to government policymaking and decision-making processes and by speaking directly to citizens about health issues. At the same time, although CMOs are typically advisors to ministers and secretaries of health, their ability to influence policy decisions is shaped by their reporting relationships, their access to the minister in practice, and the degree to which their advice filters through other ministry or department officials. CMOs’ responsibilities are also in tension with one another as they juggle sometimes competing for duties to the government, the medical and public health communities and the general public.
They must balance the need to maintain trusting and collaborative working relationships with elected officials in order to influence decision-making against their ethical obligations as physicians and leaders who may be expected to advocate for public health (which, for some, includes the expectation that they act as a critic of government choices). As spokespeople, they must also loyally explain the government’s decisions to media and citizens while maintaining public trust in the information they share.