What Does a Clinical Operations Manager Do?

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  • Written By: Nick Mann
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2019
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Working as a clinical operations manager is a career that requires knowledge of clinical practices, technology and business management. These individuals typically work in laboratories and are responsible for overseeing the production of things like medicine and other treatments. While the operations manager can work in laboratories both large and small, the basic job duties remain the same. These include instructing staff on lab procedures, supervising personnel, maintaining lab equipment, ensuring accurate lab tests, and monitoring the company budget.

One of the most fundamental responsibilities of an operations manager is instructing staff on lab procedures. Since every laboratory is slightly different, it's necessary that all staff are adequately familiar with lab equipment, equipment maintenance and safety procedures. It's up to the clinical operations manager to train staff members and make sure everyone is knowledgeable. Doing so helps to optimize the production of quality pharmaceuticals and prevents errors from occurring.

Once staff members have been trained on lab procedures, it's important for a clinical operations manager to supervise his personnel. Overseeing the creation of products, like pharmaceuticals, and assuring that they're high quality is mandatory for the safety of consumers and the success of a laboratory. Failure to comply with regulations and safety standards could have negative repercussions. Consequently, this job position requires significant leadership abilities, supervisory skills and an eye for detail.


Another essential aspect of this position is carefully maintaining lab equipment. Since much of the equipment used in a laboratory is expensive, it's important to keep it safe and in proper working condition at all times. In small labs, the operations manager will probably maintain much of the equipment himself. In larger labs, he will oversee that personnel adequately maintain the equipment.

Along with maintaining equipment, a clinical operations manager must also consistently ensure accurate lab tests. This means he must make sure that staff members always follow correct procedures when testing pharmaceuticals. Doing so means that products that eventually reach consumers will be safe and of high quality. As a result, a clinical operations manager must have expertise in biology and/or medicine.

In addition, many individuals in this profession are also responsible for monitoring the company budget. Since it's often costly to test and produce pharmaceuticals, it's necessary for a clinical operations manager to understand business finance and stay on budget. Being fiscally responsible and not overspending is critical to the success of a laboratory. Consequently, this career also requires the ability to efficiently analyze data and crunch numbers.


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