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Director, Clinical Laboratory Operations, NMH - Full-Time

Location Chicago, Illinois Business Unit Northwestern Medicine Corporate Job REQID 55356 Job Function Director Shift Day Job (1st) Apply Now

At Northwestern Medicine, every patient interaction makes a difference in cultivating a positive workplace. This patient-first approach is what sets us apart as a leader in the healthcare industry. As an integral part of our team, you'll have the opportunity to join our quest for better healthcare, no matter where you work within the Northwestern Medicine system. At Northwestern Medicine, we pride ourselves on providing competitive benefits: from tuition reimbursement and loan forgiveness to 401(k) matching and lifecycle benefits, we take care of our employees. Ready to join our quest for better?


  • $10,000 Tuition Reimbursement per year ($5,700 part-time)
  • $6,000 Student Loan Repayment ($3,000 part-time)
  • $1,000 Professional Development per year ($500 part-time)
  • $250 Wellbeing Fund per year($125 for part-time)
  • Annual Employee Merit Increase and Incentive Bonus
  • Paid time off and Holiday pay


The Director, Clinical Laboratories reflects the mission, vision, and values of NM, adheres to the organization’s Code of Ethics and Corporate Compliance Program, and complies with all relevant policies, procedures, guidelines and all other regulatory and accreditation standards.

Under the direction of the Vice President Operations, the Director has the authority and accountability for the management of all pathology labs and customer service areas within the pathology department. This position is key in the planning, leading and organizing of activities related to quality patient care, laboratory function and human resource management. This position is responsible for financial management and has accountability for establishing and monitoring the operating and capital budgets. The Director is responsible for translating the hospitals and divisions mission, objectives, policies and procedures into effective action.


  • Quality of Care and Service Management:
    • Develops and maintains a quality management system which allows for consistent evaluation and improvement of services and products in relation to physician and patient care requirements.
    • Documents all significant activities and takes corrective action as necessary.
    • Establishes ongoing quality data collection systems which enable monitoring of service levels.
    • Maintains knowledge and utilizes appropriate resources to provide regulatory, consultative, educational, technical, or informational services as needed to self, staff, physicians or patients.
    • Assigns personnel as required to accomplish quality management tasks.
    • Develops systems for improvement of the departments services provided in relation to physician and patient care requirements.
    • Monitors relevant literature for new functions and products.
    • Takes corrective action as necessary.
    • Incorporates results of QM audits in the improvement of services and enhancement of patient care consistent with hospital policy.
    • Communicates results of Lab QM processes to other departments as necessary to improve lab and organizational performance.
    • Ensures that the environment is clean and attractive, safe, and free from hazards for patients, staff and visitors. 
  • Human Resources Management:
    • Assures managers plan staffing requirements, hire to meet needs and schedules to ensure efficient management of resources and work flow.
    • Develops systems for alternative uses of staff.
    • Assists with development of talent across sections in technical/clinical and management positions through:
      • Early assessment of staff potential.
      • Individual development plans.
      • Direct mentoring and monitoring of development plans.
      • Succession planning.
    • Coaches and monitors (one-on-one) managers and supervisors to ensure compliance with standards and improvement in performance.
    • Directs, in conjunction with Human Resources, the development of department recruitment and retention plan.
    • Meets targeted goals for specific turnover and vacancy rates.
    • Utilizes appropriate resources to implement section and hospital policies/procedures:
      • Employee Relations (e.g., Discipline, Recognition).
      • Recruitment (e.g., Transfers, Terminations).
      • Compensation.
      • Benefits.
    • Implements the NM performance management process.
    • Adheres to Patients First Management Standards on Leadership,Communication and Visibility.
    • Assures Human Resource standards are applied fairly and consistently throughout the department.
  • Department Management:
    • Assumes 24 hour accountability for quality of patient care, human resources, and overall function.
    • Develops department goals to support hospital and division mission and objectives.
    • Ensures that managers and staff exhibit patients first standards.
    • Monitors research and investigational activity to assure compliance with hospital policies/procedures.
    • Ensures compliance with applicable federal, state, local, AABB, FDA, JCAHO, CAP, CLIA, multi-disciplinary, hospital regulations, policies and procedures.
    • Facilitates a multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach to patient care and interdepartmental problem solving/service delivery.
    • Develops and maintains relationships with all customers and suppliers.
    • Assures that service standards are developed, implemented and evaluated.
    • Creates an environment of high morale and motivated professionals.
    • Assumes delegated management responsibilities in the absence of the Vice President.
    • Partners closely with laboratory information system (LIS) in the planning and maintenance.
    • Provides coordinated access between all vendors of Northwestern departments.
    • Facilitates planned growth in new program areas.
    • Participates and takes leadership roles in Hospital Committees as appropriate.
  • Financial Management:
    • Develops operating budget, submits for approval and adheres to budget throughout the year.
    • Conducts variance analyses; identifies and explains trends in productivity, volume, acuity, or service.
    • Establishes programs to monitor and control costs in relation to volume and pre-established targets.
    • Manages product evaluation consistent with Hospital Materials Management Program.
    • Develops and participates in preparation of new program proposals.
    • Reconciles statistics and adheres to revenue management standards.
    • Maintains productivity standards; organizes and manages staff variable in relation to volume, service and financial goals.
    • Participates in the negotiation of pricing/terms for supplies and maintenance agreements.
    • Develops capital budget and submits for approval.
    • Develops major equipment purchase proposals, selection, prepares documents for equipment acquisition and leads the negotiation process.
    • Develops and participates in facility changes and planning.
  • Professional/Personal Development:
    • Establishes and completes personal development objectives as part of annual objective setting process which complements or enhances job skill requirements.
    • Identifies and pursues activities/development opportunities which are appropriate for position and personal development objectives, e.g.:
    • Participation/leadership in relevant professional groups and associations.
    • Continuing education as participant, presenter, planner.
  • Medical Staff Relations:
    • Works with Medical Directors in developing goals, objectives, budgets and new programs,both internal and in support of other NM departments.
    • Works with Medical Directors on resolution of management and operations issues.
    • Assists and Supports Quality Management activities as directed by the medical staff leadership.
    • Seeks involvement of Medical Directors in relevant personnel decisions.
  • AA/EOE.



  • Master's degree.
  • 8 years of management experience.
  • Demonstrated progressive leadership/management experience.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and ability to achieve results.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate across multidisciplinary departments.
  • Problem solving and decision-making skills, ability to appropriately confront and resolve issues.
  • Ability to build teams, motivate individuals and groups.
  • Ability to plan, organize and direct the activities of others.
  • Ability to communicate well and drive change across the organization.


  • Master's degree with Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology, Biology, Chemistry or related field.
  • Technologist/Scientist ASCP Certification or equivalent (BB, C, CG, CT, H, HTL, MLS, M, MB).
  • Lean Six Sigma Certification.
  • Project Management Professional (PMP).

Equal Opportunity

Northwestern Medicine is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation or any other protected status.

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