Accountability in the Health Care Industry

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Accountability inside the health care industry
S.Thomas
University of Phoenix
Leadership and Performance Development
HCS/475
Paula Smith
March 25, 2010

Accountability inside the health care industry
Accountability by definition can best be described as “the perception of being held answerable for one’s actions or decisions” (Gelfand, Lim, and Raver, 2004, pg. 138). Unfortunately, for some Americans the terms “accountability” or “accountability standards” appear to be nothing more than cleverly marketed buzzwords that are used to fool imprudent consumers into a believing that there is a system of proper checks and balances within American businesses (Hughes, 2004). After all, for years the American public has taken a front roll seat to watch business after business fold because their company executive were brought up on charges of accounting fraud, theft, or ethical violations (Valentine, Godkin, Page, and Rittenburg, 2008).

The cynicism of these detractors is clearly understandable, considering that to date only a handful of executives have been successfully prosecuted or charged with a crime. Despite the validity of the detractors argument, there is one fact that these cynics seem to forget and that is, “the concept of accountability dates back to the time of Aristotle”, who back then, contextualized the subject in terms of justice, punishment, and social control (Gelfand, Lim, and Raver, 2004). In fact, accountability is a topic that has been closely aligned with psychology, politics, law, education, health care, and organizational behavior (Gelfand, Lim, and Raver, 2004).

Indeed, accountability and accountability standards are a crucial component of each and every discipline, especially in the field of health care. Health care is a unique business in that; the industry has a fiduciary duty to federal, state, and local governments. Not only do professionals employed within the industry have different professional and ethical...
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