As a relatively new term within the medical community, not only is the job a newer designation but the duties of a Chief Clinical Officer, CCO, are also often blurred due to a job description that is still in the writing.
However, there are four duties that overlap HR and those of a CCO which may make it easier to understand just what this position entails.
The Qualifications of a CCO
Since the Chief Clinical Officer is answerable only to the Board of Directors and the CEO, it is understood that this is quite a prestigious title. The CCO, then, should have an advanced degree such as a masters of science in nursing, at least five years of experience working on the floor as a nurse (having been a charge nurse helps), and a characteristic trait that makes them a born leader. Leadership is essential as you will see by the most basic of job descriptions described below.
From recruiting to training, the CCO has his or her hand in everything related to patients, staff and finances. It’s a huge job and one that assumes the candidate for the job must have a minimum of a master of science in nursing, online or traditional degree before making application for the role.
Here is where the duties of a CCO and an HR professional begin to overlap. In a clinical setting, the CCO will be responsible for recruiting nurses, assistant nurses and any certified medical staff the facility requires. In fact, the CCO may also interview physicians who are interested in joining the staff because the Chief Clinical Officer oversees everything on the medical end from analyzing the state of patient care to hiring qualified personnel as the need arises.
Training & Mentoring
Since the Chief Clinical Officer is to keep abreast of any regulations and industry innovations as they develop, it is his or her duty to filter that information down to the staff in training. However, there are various ways in which this training can transpire and sometimes, as with older staff members set in their ways; the CCO may need to step into the role of mentoring so that the mandated changes become less threatening.
Also, employee morale is a critical part of patient care because the emotional state of the caregivers always finds a way of filtering down to the patient level. Since excellence in patient care is the ultimate goal of any healthcare facility, large or small, it is up to the CCO to ensure staff is happy in their jobs and engaged with the company and patients alike. This falls on the CCO to set the tone for engagement. Whether it comes in the form of daily emails, occasional and random uplifting messages or in any form whatsoever, the duty of keeping staff engaged falls on this level of upper management.
It is clearly evident that the duties of a CCO are much the same as those of HR in other types of organizations. In fact, if the medical facility is large enough to have both an HR department and a Chief Clinical Officer, the two often work hand in hand to accomplish goals. An overlap in duties, maybe, but a focus that is new and necessary if excellence in patient care is to be achieved.
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