The Importance of Accountability Paper
Leadership and Performance – HCS/475
Shawn Matheson, Facilitator
Accountability has developed into a key issue in health care. Accountability involves the processes and procedures by which a party justifies and takes responsibility for its actions. Health care providers are continuously striving to improve quality and efficiency by utilizing quality improvement initiatives and performance management systems. Creating and maintaining a culture of accountability are vital for accomplishing this end, because accountability is a key concept for improving performance. Accountability is Important in Healthcare
Accountability is definitely a loaded word with lots of meaning and that can create fear, especially in the health care system. The reason is because it has become more synonymous with blame and punishment then anything else. The outcome to this is blame-avoidance, blame-shifting, cover-ups, in fighting, defensive behavior and anti-learning dynamics has caused an already dysfunctional system to become even more so. Accountability differs very much from blaming. To blame means to find fault, to revile, to censure or reproach. Blaming tends to be an emotional response that looks to discredit the individual or individuals in questions. If individuals constantly work in an environment of blame, they tend to naturally take on defensive routines, they begin covering up errors and hiding any real issues that require attention. Accountability stresses maintaining agreements and performing all tasks in a reverent manner. It stresses learning the truth and emphasizes constant improvement. Accountability within an organization has direct impact on the performance of the overall healthcare system. What happens where there is a lack of accountability? The staff which you call non performers flourishes while the conscientious staff picks up all of the slack. Stress levels begin to rise, communication levels plummet and territorialism becomes unbridled. How might an organization go about generating a culture of accountability in which all employees agree to work collectively for the overall good of the organization? The culture of an organization acquires an aspect of accountability when their employees become self-motivated to contribute to the overall success of their organization. All employees need to be fully aware of what the organization's mission, vision and goals are, and they need to have it reiterated repeatedly. This helps to facilitate a good amount of dealings between management and their staff. Another element of these dealings includes a detailed plan for all employees to follow to ensure that their responsibilities regarding meeting all objectives are followed. Employees all the way from top management to the bottom should believe and feel that they are a crucial piece of the entire process to achieving these goals (Mayer & Cronin, 2008). Measuring Employee’s Accountability
Measuring employee accountability is one way to have a positive working culture. Merely telling someone that he or she is responsible for significant skills provides little in the way of actionable information. However, if you give that same employee a resource in which to assess those particular skill sets from an extended selection of subjects, then equation changes. The employee will be able to take stock of a particular skill, assess its value, and recognize how and where the skill can be improved upon. A valuable measurement system provides assessments to employees on demand. Employees can access the system at anytime online, choose a skill assessment and complete the assessment for immediate results. The system calculates scores based on the employee’s answers to test questions and the questions are selected specifically to test the employee on his or her skill level (Hickman, 2007). Employees attain a detailed view of their...
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Hickman, B. M. (2007). Quality the new healthcare imperative. hfm (Healthcare Financial Management), 61(8), 90.
Mayer, C., & Cronin, D. (2008). Organizational accountability in a just culture. Urologic Nursing, 28(6), 427-430. Retrieved from http://www.nursingcenter.com/lnc/static?pageid=935642
Wallick, W. (2002). Healthcare managers ' roles, competencies, and outputs in organizational performance improvement. Journal of Healthcare Management / American College of Healthcare Executives, 47(6), 390.
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