Career Development

What Does a Clinical Manager Do?

Find out what a clinical manager does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a clinical manager.

Clinical managers are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a healthcare facility or practice. They commonly manage a team of clinicians, including doctors, nurses, therapists, and other health professionals.

Clinical managers play an important role in ensuring that their organization provides quality care to patients. They often have a hand in developing new procedures and protocols to improve patient outcomes and ensure compliance with industry standards.

Clinical Manager Job Duties

A clinical manager typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Reviewing patient charts and medical records to assess the quality of care provided by physicians and other healthcare providers
  • Ensuring that patients receive safe and effective care by providing clinical supervision to staff members, including nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, therapists, and other healthcare professionals
  • Maintaining databases of clinical data, such as patient health histories and test results, as well as regulatory compliance information
  • Providing support to physicians and other healthcare providers by answering questions about insurance coverage, billing issues, and other administrative tasks
  • Overseeing staff members’ performance to ensure that they are meeting all established standards of care
  • Communicating regularly with patients about their care plans, including discussing diagnosis, treatment options, and post-treatment follow up instructions
  • Coordinating with other medical staff members such as nurses and therapists, as well as hospital departments such as human resources and accounting
  • Developing and implementing new programs to improve the quality of care or operational efficiency in hospitals or clinics
  • Monitoring patient progress to ensure that they are improving and staying safe throughout their stay in the facility

Clinical Manager Salary & Outlook

Clinical manager salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and location of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $82,500 ($39.66/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $105,000 ($50.48/hour)

The employment of clinical managers is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

As healthcare organizations continue to consolidate, clinical managers will be needed to oversee the operations of these large systems. Clinical managers also will be needed to ensure that quality care is provided to patients across multiple locations and providers.

Related: 20 Clinical Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Clinical Manager Job Requirements

A clinical manager typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most employers require clinical managers to have a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field, such as nursing, health care administration or health care management. Some employers may hire candidates with a related master’s degree, such as a master’s in nursing or a master’s in health administration.

Training & Experience: Clinical managers typically receive on-the-job training in their new role. This training may include shadowing the current clinical manager or another member of the clinical team, such as a nurse or a physician. The training may also include learning about the facility’s policies and procedures, the computer systems they will use and the software they will manage.

Clinical managers who have previous experience in a similar role may transfer their skills to a new setting. For example, a clinical manager who has experience as a clinical assistant may transfer their knowledge of the software and computer systems to a new facility.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not usually a requirement to become a clinical manager, but they can help you become a more competitive candidate when applying for jobs.

Clinical Manager Skills

Clinical managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Leadership: Clinical managers often use their leadership skills to guide their team members and motivate them to perform their duties. They may also use their leadership skills to guide and mentor new employees and help them develop their skills. Leadership skills can also help clinical managers make decisions and direct their team members to the best course of action.

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information through speech, writing or other methods. As a clinical manager, you may be responsible for communicating with patients, other medical staff, insurance companies and other stakeholders. Effective communication can help you to convey information clearly, answer questions and build relationships.

Decision-making: Clinical managers make decisions every day, from deciding which tasks to prioritize to deciding how to handle a challenging situation. Effective decision-making involves gathering information, evaluating options and considering the potential outcomes of each choice. As a clinical manager, you may be responsible for making decisions that affect the health and well-being of your patients, so it’s important to be able to make informed decisions that are in the best interest of your team and your organization.

Problem-solving: As a clinical manager, you may be responsible for overseeing a team of medical professionals and ensuring they meet their treatment goals. This may mean you need to step in and help resolve any challenges they may face. Your ability to solve problems may help you develop solutions that work for your team and help them continue to provide quality care to their patients.

Teamwork: Clinical managers often work with a team of other medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, assistants and other managers. This job requires you to be a team player who can work with others to achieve common goals. Your ability to work with others and create a positive work environment is an important skill for a clinical manager.

Clinical Manager Work Environment

Clinical managers work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, and managed care organizations. They typically work a 40-hour week, although they may be required to work evenings or weekends to attend meetings or to be on call to answer questions from staff members. Clinical managers may also travel to different sites to observe staff members or to meet with other managers. The work can be stressful, and clinical managers must be able to handle multiple tasks and deadlines. They must also be able to work well under pressure and be able to make quick decisions.

Clinical Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how clinical managers work. Clinical managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Telehealth

The growth of telehealth is a trend that is quickly changing the way that healthcare is delivered. By using technology, patients can now receive care from doctors and nurses who are located miles away.

This trend is having a major impact on the clinical manager profession, as it requires professionals to be able to manage teams that are spread out across different locations. In order to be successful in this field, clinical managers will need to be able to effectively communicate with team members and understand the challenges that they face.

More Focus on Patient Experience

As hospitals and clinics focus more on patient experience, Clinical Managers will need to develop new skills and expertise.

Clinical Managers are responsible for overseeing all aspects of patient care, which includes everything from ensuring that patients are comfortable to making sure that they are receiving the correct treatments. In order to be successful in this role, Clinical Managers will need to be able to not only manage staff but also understand the needs of patients.

Greater Use of Technology in Healthcare

The use of technology in healthcare is increasing at a rapid pace. This is leading to an increased demand for Clinical Managers who have experience using technology to improve patient care.

Clinical Managers can utilize technology to improve communication with other members of the healthcare team, track patient progress, and collect data about patient outcomes. They can also use technology to make the hospital environment more comfortable for patients by providing entertainment options or helping them connect with family and friends.

How to Become a Clinical Manager

A clinical manager career can be a great way to start your healthcare career. As a clinical manager, you’ll have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings and with a range of patients. You’ll also learn about different aspects of the healthcare system, which will help you develop a broader understanding of the industry.

To become a clinical manager, you’ll need to have a degree in nursing or another related field. Additionally, it’s important to have experience working in a hospital setting. This experience will give you a better understanding of how the healthcare system works and what is required to provide quality care.

Advancement Prospects

Clinical managers typically have a few years of experience working in a clinical setting before being promoted to a management position. In some cases, clinical managers may be promoted from within their current organization. In other cases, they may be hired from outside the organization.

As they gain experience, clinical managers may be promoted to higher-level management positions, such as director of clinical services or vice president of clinical operations. In some cases, they may also be promoted to a position in the executive suite, such as chief operating officer or chief executive officer.

Clinical Manager Job Description Example

The Clinical Manager is responsible for the overall direction, coordination, and evaluation of the clinical services provided by the agency. The Clinical Manager works with the Program Director to ensure that the agency is in compliance with all state and federal regulations. The Clinical Manager is responsible for the supervision of all clinical staff and the provision of clinical services to clients. The Clinical Manager provides individual and group supervision to clinical staff, as well as direct clinical services to clients as needed. The Clinical Manager also provides consultation to staff regarding clinical issues.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Direct the daily operations of a clinical team, ensuring quality patient care is provided in a cost-effective manner
  • Supervise and evaluate clinical staff, providing feedback and guidance to ensure staff are meeting performance expectations
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations
  • Monitor patient outcomes and take corrective action as necessary to ensure positive results
  • Maintain accurate medical records and documentation, ensuring all required information is collected and filed in a timely manner
  • Coordinate with other departments within the organization to ensure smooth operation of the clinic
  • Serve as a liaison between the clinic and outside agencies, such as insurance companies and government organizations
  • Manage the clinic budget, authorizing expenditures and seeking ways to reduce costs where possible
  • Negotiate contracts with vendors and suppliers, ensuring the best possible terms for the clinic
  • Participate in marketing and public relations activities to promote the clinic and its services
  • Attend conferences and seminars to stay abreast of new developments in the field of healthcare
  • Perform administrative duties as needed, such as writing reports and correspondence, scheduling appointments, and handling correspondence

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing or related field
  • 5+ years of clinical experience in a hospital setting
  • 3+ years of management experience in a hospital setting
  • Current RN license in good standing
  • Proven track record of improving patient outcomes
  • Strong understanding of evidence-based practice

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in nursing or related field
  • 7+ years of clinical experience in a hospital setting
  • 5+ years of management experience in a hospital setting
  • Teaching experience in a nursing or medical program
  • Experience with quality improvement initiatives
  • Leadership experience in a Magnet designated hospital


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