What Does a Clinical Director Do?

A director of clinical services must have certification as a registered nurse and CPR certification.
Clinical directors are often tasked with overseeing a number of patient care teams.
A clinical director may be tasked with evaluating research practices.
A clinical director may collaborate with researchers to ensure that funding is properly allocated.
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  • Written By: Florence J. Tipton
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2015
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A clinical director acts as an administrator of the programs and activities of a healthcare facility. Specific duties may vary slightly depending on the facility setup, but may include supervising staff and patient progress. Generally, clinical directors have the training and work experience to maintain regulatory compliance within the facility. He also may have the added responsibility to direct, organize, and evaluate policies and services in a clinical setting.

Healthcare settings are where clinical directors typically work. Some are employed with clinics and hospitals to oversee daily operations, including treatment plans for patients. At research institutions, clinical directors might be responsible for administering the policies related to grant funding.

Within a healthcare setting, a clinical director carries the responsibility of ensuring the facility runs smoothly, by providing leadership and direction. Some duties focus on training and development for the medical and administrative staff. Other duties for maintaining a smooth running healthcare facility may include developing policies and procedures for the organization.

In general, local and regional policies govern the healthcare industry and services that facilities can provide. The clinical director may assess and evaluate services offered at the healthcare facility according to medical and ethical standards. This can ensure that policies and procedures at the facility are in compliance with local regulations.


Duties for a clinical director at a hospital are often similar to working at the medical treatment facility. Typically, a key part of the job description is the development and implementation of programs within the hospital. In a hospital setting, responsibilities may entail directing the activities within one or more departments. This can ensure the operational strategy is based on industry standards.

Work at most hospitals is also centered on guaranteeing patients receive quality care. Through a leadership role, clinical directors may participate on interdisciplinary teams responsible for providing patient care. His participation assists the team in maintaining organizational standards for medical treatment.

Some research institutions are funded through grant and contract awards. Typically, these funds come from private organizations and public agencies. Receiving these funds may also require complying with requirements to maintain the funding.

For a research institution workplace setting, a clinical director is often responsible for overseeing the use of awarded funds. Demonstrating fiscal responsibility could determine whether funding continues. These responsibilities may include meeting reporting requirements by evaluating research practices. A person in this role may collaborate with the research team to ensure funding is allocated appropriately.


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