Top healthcare executive moves and leadership positions

Hospitals are a unique blend of clinical, administrative, patient care, operational and logistic activities working together. And every day, hospital leaders change roles or move between organizations. Knowing who is in a current position helps companies that sell into the healthcare ecosystem segment and target their audience.

Which healthcare positions have the most executive moves?

In this analysis, we review over 101,000 health system and hospital executive contact record changes from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product to highlight the top functional group and title changes in 2021.

Top 10 hospital functional group executive changes

Rank Functional Group Executives added and updated 2021
1 Medical/Quality/Care Management 24,962
2 Board of Directors/Trustees 12,290
3 Chief Executive/President/Administrator 4,934
4 Operations 4,888
5 Administrative/Human Resources 4,677
6 Sales/Marketing/Business Development 3,972
7 Nurse/Nursing Executive 3,390
8 Finance/Accounting 3,670
9 Information Technology 3,652
10 Legal/Regulatory/Compliance 3,124

Fig. 1 Data is from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product. Executive contact data is proprietary and updated daily. Data accessed February 2022.

At the functional group level for hospital executive changes, the most additions and updates were for Medical/Quality/Care Management and Board of Director/Trustees hospital roles.

Top 10 hospital standardized title changes

Rank Standardized Title Executives added and updated 2021
1 Board Member 7,132
2 Emergency Department Director 3,355
3 Chief Executive Officer 2,791
4 Operating Room Officer 2,587
5 Director of Anesthesiology 2,578
6 Medical Director 2,300
7 Chief Nursing Officer 2,229
8 President 2,082
9 Chief Financial Officer 1,981
10 Chief Medical Officer 1,981

Fig. 2 Data is from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product. Executive contact data is proprietary and updated daily. Data accessed February 2022.

Specific and standardized titles are captured as part of the HospitalView executive contact data. Board Member changes were captured most in 2021 and previous years, which may be due to sets of hospital boards changing annually. Emergency department director positions had over 3,300 additions and updates in 2021.

Top 10 healthcare system functional group executive changes

Rank Functional Group Executives added and updated 2021
1 Board of Directors/Trustees 3,327
2 Medical/Quality/Care Management 2,877
3 Chief Executive/President/Administrator 2,363
4 Sales/Marketing/Business Development 1,484
5 Operations 1,246
6 Administrative/Human Resources 1,133
7 Finance/Accounting 1,108
8 Legal/Regulatory/Compliance 894
9 Information Technology 891
10 Nurse/Nursing Executive 620

Fig. 3 Data is from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product. Executive contact data is proprietary and updated daily. Data accessed February 2022.

For functional group level changes at healthcare systems, the most executive contact additions and updates were for Board of Director/Trustees and Medical/Quality/Care Management positions.

Top 10 healthcare system standardized title changes

Rank Standardized Title Executives added and updated 2021
1 Board Member 2,120
2 Executive Vice President 1,097
3 President 1,096
4 Chief Executive Officer 1,093
5 Chief Medical Officer 654
6 Chief Financial Officer 615
7 Vice President of Sales-Marketing-Business Development 579
8 Chief Operating Officer 557
9 Chief Nursing Officer 541
10 Vice President of Operations 448

Fig. 4 Data is from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product. Executive contact data is proprietary and updated daily. Data accessed February 2022.

Board Member changes at healthcare systems had the most updates for 2021. Executive vice president, president and CEO position changes were also frequently captured.

What are common healthcare executive c-suite titles?

Healthcare leadership roles include common administrative chief titles such as executive, financial, HR, marketing, operating and strategy officers. Additional healthcare specific c-suite executive titles include chief information, medical information, medical, nursing, pharmacy and quality officers. 

Healthcare Executive C-Suite Titles

  • Chief Compliance Officer
  • Chief Development Officer
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Chief Legal Officer
  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Chief Medical Information Officer
  • Chief Medical Officer
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Chief of Radiology
  • Chief of Staff
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Chief Pharmacy Officer
  • Chief Quality Officer
  • Chief Strategy Officer

How are healthcare leadership positions structured?

In the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product, hospital and health system executives are categorized into functional groups based on hospital organizational structure. Understanding the makeup of these groups is essential for effective outreach. The main groups, and example leadership positions in healthcare, include:

Administrative/Human Resources

Manages personnel, benefits, training and recruitment for healthcare organizations and facilities.

  • Billing Officer
  • Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Education Officer
  • Human Resources Director
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Physician Recruiter
  • Vice President of Human Resources

Board of Directors/Trustees

Provides oversight of hospital and health system leadership, act as a governing body for the provider organization.

  • Board Member
  • Chairman
  • Commissioner
  • Director
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Trustee
  • Vice President of the Board

Chief Executive/President/Administrator

Leads hospital operations and long-term planning.

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Executive Administrator
  • Executive Director
  • Executive Partner
  • Executive Vice President
  • President

Finance/Accounting

Responsible for accounting, revenue, planning and financial management functions of hospitals and health systems.

  • Business Manager
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Controller
  • Director of Finance
  • Patient Accounts Executive
  • Patient Financial Services Executive
  • Revenue Cycle Executive
  • Vice President of Finance

Information Technology

Runs hospital technology and infrastructure functions as well as software and health information management.

  • Chief Information Officer
  • Chief Medical Information Officer
  • Coding Manager
  • Director of IT
  • HIM Executive
  • Vice President of IT

Medical/Quality/Care Management

Clinical, medical, quality and patient-centered executives and department leaders.

  • Chief Medical Officer
  • Chief of Staff
  • Chief Quality Officer
  • Director of Anesthesiology
  • Director of Cardiology
  • Director of ICU
  • Director of Laboratory
  • Director of Oncology
  • Director of Orthopedics
  • Director of Patient Experience
  • Director of Rehabilitation
  • Director of Respiratory Therapy
  • Director of Sterile Processing
  • Director of Strategic Planning
  • Director of Wound Care
  • Emergency Department Director
  • Infection Prevention Services
  • Nutritional Services
  • Operating Room Officer
  • Patient Access Officer
  • Physician Leader-Liaison
  • Quality Officer
  • Vice President of Medical Affairs

Nurse/Nursing Executive

Executive and department level nursing leaders for hospitals and at the corporate healthcare system level.

  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Director of Nursing
  • Director of Patient Care
  • Nurse Manager
  • Vice President of Nursing
  • Vice President of Patient Care

Operations

Healthcare facility maintenance and service, daily operational functions and planning.

  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Contracting Executive
  • Director of Facilities
  • Director of Operations
  • Environmental Services Officer
  • Vice President of Operations

Pharmacy

Over the management and operations of the hospital pharmacy including drug dispensing and compounding.

  • Chief Pharmacy Officer
  • Director of Pharmacy
  • Pharmacy Manager
  • Vice President of Pharmacy

Purchasing/Materials/Supply

Supply chain, material and vendor management and logistics for hospitals and healthcare systems.

  • Director of Materials Management
  • Director of Purchasing
  • Director of Supply Chain
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Vice President of Purchasing

Radiology

Oversees operations, staff and technology for imaging services at the hospital.

  • Chief of Radiology
  • Director of Imaging
  • Director of Radiology
  • Radiology Manager

Sales/Marketing/Business Development

Patient marketing, referral programs and outreach strategy to develop connections with service area populations.

  • Chief Development Officer
  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Chief Strategy Officer
  • Director of Business Development
  • Director of Marketing
  • Marketing Manager
  • Vice President of Sales-Marketing-Business Development

Women’s Health/OBGYN

Leads women’s health and maternal/fetal services for hospitals and health systems.

  • Director of Labor and Delivery
  • Director of Maternity
  • Director of Obstetrics
  • Director of Women’s Health
  • Vice President of Women’s Health

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