Introduction: Hospital managers aim to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their institutions through leadership and guidance of medical personnel. Fulfilling these objectives requires a holistic approach to both the management of people and institutional prioritization. The aim of this study was to identify the skills and competencies that hospital managers must demonstrate in order to achieve their objectives. 

Methods: In 2015, a regional, multi-center qualitative study was undertaken in Shiraz, Iran. Interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with university hospital managers, senior managers, faculty members, and post-graduate students, and the results were analyzed using the content analysis method by MAXQDA software. 

Results: Eight key skill themes (communication, experience, appreciation of institution logistics/infrastructure, management skills, motivation, systematic problem solving, ethics, and financial/legal awareness) were identified among the hospital managers. The common challenges that face hospital institutions include problems with hierarchical and organizational structure, excessive rules and regulations, lack of resources, poor post-graduate education, and overall management. Recurring themes with respect to how these could be addressed included changing the culture and belief structure of the hospital, restructuring the organizational hierarchy, and empowering the people.   

Conclusion: In our cohort, practical skills, such as communication and experience, were considered more important than theoretical skills for the effective management and administration of hospitals. Therefore, we suggest that practical, skill-based training should be emphasized for students of these disciplines so they will be better suited to deal with real world challenges. Further organizational improvements also can be attained by the active and constructive involvement of senior university managers.


Keywords: Skill, Capabilities, Hospital manager, Hospital, Challenges
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