October 8, 2012
Accountability in Health Care Organizations
In all industries accountability is important, however it is especially critical in health care, in which the livelihoods and lives of patients depends upon the correct actions of everyone that are involved. Mistakes can lead to inaccurate billing costs of thousands of dollars, or wrong treatments that lead to tragic injuries. Furthermore, as managed care becomes more complex, ensuring quality of care across an array of treatments, insurance companies, and providers becomes an increasingly demanding task, filled with risks of mistakes. Accountability needs to be measured, maintained and tracked among health care employees in a manner that they commit to, rather than be taken away from the organization’s working skill, and center their attention on positive improvements rather than blame.
Accountability itself is a somewhat an obscure concept. Depending on who is doing the investigating, organizations and individuals may exhibit many different kinds of accountability, all of which have some bearing on their ability to deliver appropriate health care services. Brinkerhoff, found three definite types and purposes of accountability: The ﬁrst purpose is to control the abuse and misuse of public resources and/or authority. This relates directly to ﬁnancial accountability.” The second is to provide support that resources are used and control is exercised according to the right and legal professional standards, procedures, and societal values. This is intended for all three types of accountability. The third type of accountability is to promote and support improved management and service delivery through feedback and learning; the focus here is primarily on performance accountability. (Brinkerhoff, D. W. 2004. p. 374)’.
Problems with accountability in health care usually come from the tendency of those in the health care culture to view...