Reference List

The Board of Governors exam covers 10 knowledge areas, is not based on the memorization of specific facts, and is not linked to specific books or reference materials. Candidates are responsible for demonstrating proficiency in the knowledge areas identified as pivotal for the practice of healthcare management. (Click here for a description of the knowledge areas.) Study aids can help candidates gain an understanding of the topics covered on the exam. However, candidates are responsible for keeping up to date on any relevant changes or significant developments in the healthcare management field. Candidates should prepare for the exam using reference materials that they deem appropriate and necessary. Following is a list of books that focus on various knowledge areas; however, the list is not exhaustive. For your convenience, links to descriptions of books published by ACHE's Health Administration Press are provided.


  • Board Works: Governing Health Care Organizations, by Dennis D. Pointer and James E. Orlikoff
  • Practical Governance, by J. Larry Tyler, FACHE, FAAHC, and Errol L. Biggs, Ph.D., FACHE
  • The Trustee Handbook for Health Care Governance, Second Edition, by James E. Orlikoff and Mary K. Totten

Human Resources

See also individual chapters in the following books:


Healthcare Technology and Information Management

Quality and Performance Improvement

  • Applying Quality Management in Healthcare: A Systems Approach, Third Edition, by Diane L. Kelly, DrPH, RN
  • Continuous Quality Improvement in Health Care, Third Edition by Curtis P. McLaughlin and Arnold D. Kaluzny
  • Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century, Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, Institute of Medicine
  • Error Reduction in Health Care, Second Edition, by Patrice L. Spath
  • To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, edited by Linda T. Kohn, Janet M. Corrigan, and Molla S. Donaldson; Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, Institute of Medicine

Laws and Regulations

Professionalism and Ethics


Management and Business

To assist you in preparing for the exam, ACHE offers a comprehensive Reference Manual (PDF) for download. (If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, click here.)

You may also take part in the Online Tutorial; click here for more information on this interactive resource.

In addition, Health Administration Press has assembled a collection of books to supplement the Reference Manual and help you prepare for the exam. Click here for more information or to purchase the set!