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Defining Medical Staff Responsibilities [2021 Guide]

defining medical staff responsibilities

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Healthcare is a team effort. 

Each member of a medical organization has responsibilities in promoting the quality and appropriateness of patient safety and care.

A medical staff organization is typically headed by staff leaders such as the board of directors, hospital administrators, and managers to provide excellent leadership and guidance to the medical decision-making processes within the facility. 

We’ll ponder more about the roles of the leaders and members of a medical staff organization in this article.

the medical staff organization

The Medical Staff Organization (MSO)

Medical staff members are those licensed healthcare providers (physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, and other healthcare workers) who are authorized by the state law and hospital’s bylaws to provide medical care within a healthcare establishment. 

In most hospitals, these healthcare professionals are organized into a medical staff organization to promote patient safety and clinical performance accountability. 

Members of medical staff organizations perform significant functions in the hospitals, despite most being independent medical practitioners and aren’t full-time hospital employees.

The core responsibility is to provide the best quality patient safety and care. 

The members are free to act as a team to communicate with staff leaders and the governing board regarding matters concerning the organization and the staff. 

medical staff leaders’ responsibilities

Medical Staff Leaders’ Responsibilities

Medical staff leaders are responsible for the leadership and management of a medical organization. 

To lead effectively, practice managers and leaders must:

  • Fully understand their roles to avoid mediocre or poor leadership. Get educated, attend medical and leadership seminars, conferences, programs, and read relevant materials. 
  • Be goal-oriented. Create goals that will boost excellent patient care and satisfactory patient experience.
  • Take necessary actions to solve problems. A wise staff leader doesn’t wait for an issue to go away on its own. He or she knows when and how to implement viable solutions to address the problem.
  • Lead by example. Be a role model to fellow staff leaders and members. 
  • Develop a great working relationship with fellow staff leaders and members. Motivate the members and leaders to work together harmoniously towards healthcare success.
  • Stand firm on decisions concerning patient care and safety. The members of the medical staff organization rely upon the staff leaders for their firm decision-making skills. Healthcare leaders don’t back down on issues that are critical to achieving quality patient care.
  • Promote teamwork. A wise medical staff leader does not do everything on his or her own. He or she encourages everyone to initiate working on necessary tasks and support them with appropriate resources.
  • Manage efficient and effective meetings. The objectives and outcomes of these meetings are critical to the success of the entire organization and its journey to better patient care. 
  • Be open to new ideas. Changes are inevitable to every organization. Be open to your staff members’ ideas, suggestions, and concerns. Listening to their voice and implementing necessary changes or improvements can make progressive impacts on your hospital and medical staff organization.

Just be mindful during the decision-making and implementation processes. The plan should be well-thought-out, achievable, and equipped with the right resources.

Here are the usual leaders of a medical staff organization.

Board members

The Board of Trustees is the executive committee governing the medical organization. They are responsible for the establishment and implementation of the hospital’s bylaws, policies, medical state laws, and regulations.

The board members are expected to be ethically, financially, and legally responsible for the overall operations of the medical establishment. 

Hospital Administrator

The Hospital Administrator (also known as the Hospital Director, Executive Director, President, or Chief Executive Officer) is responsible for the creation and up-living of the organization’s vision and mission. 

He or she oversees the day-to-day management of the hospital, ensures budget, maintains good relations between medical staff, and reports and carries out the directives given by the Board of Directors.

Second-level managers 

The second-level managers typically include the following:

  • The Chief Operating Officer (COO), also known as Vice President of Operations. Responsible for the day-to-day operations of the medical organization. 
  • The Chief Financial Officer (CFO), also known as the Vice President of Finance. Responsible for the management of the hospital’s finances.
  • The Director of Nursing (DON), often known as title Associate Director of Nursing. In-charge of the overall supervision of patient care within the hospital. 

Chief of Staff 

The Chief of Staff is the head of the medical staff. He or she is expected to have good leadership and guidance, and promote effective communication and relationships between the members of the medical staff organization, including the board members and hospital administrators.

Before assuming the role, the Chief of Staff must be a dynamic member of a medical staff organization and has enough training and experience in both medical administrative activities and leadership.

Director of Medical Staff Services

The medical staff services is a department that supports medical staff organization activities. They are headed by the director of medical staff services (DMSS).

The DMSS leads, manages, and oversees operational medical staff service. He or she works collaboratively with other medical staff leaders to plan, organize, direct, and coordinate activities that will support the organization to attain goals and realize plans. 

The director has to obtain and maintain knowledge relevant to credentialing, accreditation requirements, etc. to ensure that the organization is following the relevant regulatory and accreditation bodies.

responsibilities of medical staff members

Responsibilities of Medical Staff Members

Most medical staff members are healthcare professionals who examine, diagnose, treat and prevent injuries, illnesses, and other impairments. 

There are also staff members who didn’t receive medical school education but are equipped with knowledge and skills beneficial to a healthcare facility. 

Medical staff members should be equipped with the following qualities:

  • Empathy
  • Emotional stability
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Team player
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Technical skill and knowledge
  • Motivational skills

Here are the common members of a medical staff organization:


Doctors are the medical staff that assesses and manage patients’ medical care. Their roles and responsibilities vary depending on their medical specialty and level of experience:

These roles include:

  • Senior consultants (medical officers) – Specialist doctors who see patients and attend meetings at specific times.
  • Registrars – Senior physicians who oversee residents, interns, and medical students on-site.
  • Residents – Ward-based physicians who are also in training for a medical specialization
  • Interns – Medical students who have completed their studies and are now finishing their final year in the hospital.
  • Medical students – Undergraduate students specializing in healthcare.


Nurses manage most of the ongoing treatment and care in a healthcare facility. Their common responsibilities involve the assessment, planning, and administration of day-to-day patient treatment and health management. 

Patients commonly ask assistance from nurses to attend to their immediate needs, especially when the assigned doctor isn’t around.

Similar to physicians, nurses have different roles and responsibilities based on their experience and specialties. 

These roles include:

  • Nurse Unit Manager who heads and runs the ward.
  • Associate Nurse Unit Manager who assists the nurse unit manager in running the ward and acting as the manager when the nurse unit manager is not around.
  • Nurse Practitioners are the highly-skilled nurses with advanced levels of training.
  • Specialist Nurses, such as clinical nurse specialists, clinical nurse consultants, clinical nurse educators, triage nurses, emergency department nurses
  • Registered Nurses provide quality day-to-day care and perform some minor procedures to a patient.
  • Enrolled Nurses to provide basic medical care under the guidance of senior nurses.

Allied Health Professionals

Allied health professionals are the expert practitioners who work as part of a multidisciplinary medical staff organization. They are responsible for the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions and work to prevent disease and disability.

Some allied health professionals also have trained allied health assistants to support them in their role.

Examples of allied health professionals include: 

  • Dietitians
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Interpreter
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Radiology Technicians
  • Patient Care Technicians
  • Podiatrists
  • Speech Pathologists

Patient advocate

Patient advocates are non-medical administrative staff of a hospital who is in charge of assisting patients receiving care. 

People can meet them for any complaints concerning their treatment or medical staff, especially when they don’t feel comfortable discussing them directly with the concerned healthcare providers.

Medical Staff Services/Medical Staff Office Professionals

Medical staff professionals are a group of people who provide administrative and managerial support related to clinical and non-clinical activities of a medical staff organization. 

Medical staff services professionals perform the following major functions:

  • Serve as the liaison between the medical staff and hospital administration, assisting in their responsibilities to comply with the necessary Joint Commission standards, medical staff bylaws, rules and regulations, and state and federal regulations.
  • Assist in the credentialing process for the medical staff to include appointment, reappointment, and the granting of clinical privileges.
  • Prepare, attend, and perform follow-up for all the medical staff department and committee meetings.
  • Support and maintain medical staff database profile information to accomplish required functions.
  • Demonstrates excellent customer relations with patients, practitioners, vendors, visitors, and all hospital personnel.

Other hospital staff

A medical staff team isn’t only about healthcare providers. It also includes a wide range of support and administrative staff to take care of other non-medical tasks such as laundry, meal preparation, transportation, and maintenance.

These medical staff members include:

  • Clinical Assistants who are in charge of ward housekeeping.
  • Patient Services Assistants to bring meals and drinks to patients.
  • Porters to crucial goods and items are delivered where they are needed most. They are also responsible for lifting and carrying patients.
  • Volunteers who help with fundraising and ward visits.
  • Ward Clerks who do ward reception desk tasks.
grow your healthcare organization today!

Grow Your Healthcare Organization Today!

As a fast-paced, high-risk industry, healthcare requires great teamwork between medical staff leaders and members. 

Every decision and activity within the healthcare facility affects a patient’s health and wellbeing. 

The medical staff team needs leaders who can well navigate and manage a stressful environment, and members who are proactive in taking necessary actions that are beneficial to the organization.

Are you new to the medical business and looking for ways to grow your practice?

Are you an established healthcare leader looking for ways to improve your medical practice and staff organization?

Achieve healthcare success with these strategies:

  • Practice empathy within your organization
  • Encourage your team to communicate better
  • Be aware of your practice’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Create strategic decisions
  • Focus on the quality of your patient care and safety

Digitalis Medical can help you grow your practice through strategic healthcare marketing

Read our blogs to learn our tips to achieve medical practice success, or contact our expert healthcare marketers today!

Got any questions about medical staff responsibilities? Do you have any insights about growing a medical staff organization? Share them in the comments section below!

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