By Mary K. Totten
How well boards govern is influenced by a number of factors, among them, the knowledge and skills board members bring to their work.
Ongoing board development, evaluation of board performance and meetings focused on constructive questioning and debate on strategic issues, while acknowledged as best practices that support effective governance, have been adopted variously by many, but not all boards. Board orientation, however, is widely considered to be a foundational requirement for effective governance. In the past, a thorough orientation was considered to be one that gave a new trustee the “lay of the land” in health care generally, including specifics about the local market and the hospital or system and its governance.