There’s no escaping the fact hospitals will lose leaders. Some retire, others move on to other jobs or are terminated. Filling that void with interim hospital leadership can prove difficult for a hospital’s governing board.

Whether they maintain the course for a hospital or come in to make changes, they provide a solution for a hospital until permanent leadership is found.

Searching for interim hospital leadership has become a frequent issue for hospitals across the country. The need is such that it is one of the areas samstaff focuses on, matching the right candidate to the right hospital.

There are a handful of main reasons why it’s a smart move for hospitals to look for their interim hospital leadership. They include the following four.

Executives In Short Supply

An aging yet still active U.S. population is part of what has driven the boom in the healthcare industry. Simply put, more people require healthcare. More also seek preventive medications and therapies to stay healthy and active longer.

However, the changing demographics have hit senior management in all industries. As more Baby Boomers retire, there are fewer people in the generation behind them – Generation X – to take their spots. Management consultants RHR International projects the possibility of losing half of the senior management at the country’s top companies this decade.

Bringing in interim leadership can buy a hospital time to find the right person for the permanent position.

Times of Transition

Interim leadership often will come into a healthcare operation during a time of transition. Because of their level of expertise, interim leaders can work with staff and identify candidates for promotion from within. They also bring fresh eyes to longstanding issues. Some interim leaders specialize in making changes in organizations, and bring a wealth of experience and focus that allows them to do much more quickly.

Seasoned Leadership

As noted above, many interim leaders have expertise in making changes to an organization. They also are experts on regulatory issues. Unlike a consultant who can only recommend a course of action, interim leaders are given the authority to make changes that can quickly better a hospital. They also understand the importance of learning the culture of each organization and the details of its operation.


Much like a project manager, interim leaders know they have a set amount of time to accomplish certain tasks. In some cases, it is keeping a steady course until a permanent executive is found or making organizational changes.

In either case, interim leaders have the freedom to focus solely on the job at hand. There have no need to become involved with longtime organizational politics or disputes (other than resolving the latter quickly). This type of focus on results proves important, particularly for organizations going through a transformation.

Interim leadership is an important facet of the healthcare industry. For hospitals, it makes good sense. For professionals in the healthcare industry, it’s worthwhile to consider entering this field, providing interim leadership where it is needed. The opportunities in this area have never been better.