The Importance of Accountability
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Accountability is acknowledging or accepting responsibility for one’s behavior or conduct within a certain setting. It is also the art of sharing or briefing one’s colleague of what is happening in one’s life or work or in many other areas. In the health sector, one would be said to be accountable if he worked within the principles set by health sector for professionals. That is the accepted code of conduct as for professionals in health sector. It is also responsible and honest with the patients, colleagues, organization and God.
Accountability contains three major areas. They are the finance, politics/democracy, and performance accountability. Financial accountability is relevant to the financial resources that have been entrusted to one for the purpose of enhancing one’s scope of work and how they were spent (Brinkerhoff, 2003). Performance accountability focuses on one’s service to the organization, deliverables and results. In health sector, service is attending to a sick patient/client, while deliverables are when one is sampling various diseases that may have attacked the patient and giving him treatment for those diseases. Political or democratic accountability entails the procedures, structures, and policies that govern one’s institution. The people are responsible for management and how people are elected into positions of authority.
Why is accountability important in the health care industry?
The benefits of accountability in health sector are to provide patient protection, to be cheap, to be able to meet costs, to provide sufficient care to the patients brought to the hospitals, since the main focus will have shifted from money to providing better and quality service to the clients/ patients. It includes doing the best as a health professional to save the life of a human being, and in this case the person who came to the facility for treatment. It would bring both te patients and health practitioners to a place, where they are responsible for their choices thus striving for the very best.
How is an employee’s accountability measured in the health care industry?
An employee’s accountability in the health sector is measured when they apply ethics in their dealings. It means that they can exercise values like honesty, care, patience, kindness, empathy, and most of all, integrity, in their work, where they do not really overcharge and where they attend to clients not because they or their relatives have paid more, but because of the values deeply embedded in them and which they must protect. It is also seen where a health practitioner handling a certain client/patient opens up about the client’s disease and how far they have gone with each other and in cases, where one is not able to handle a certain problem, he opens up instead of trying many solutions/ making guesses/exploring with the client.
How does accountability apply to ethical considerations in leadership and management?
Leaders and management face ethical issues every day. For example, in health care leaders would face ethical issues like whether to take a bribe from a patient or his/her relatives in order to give first priority to him/her or to the people they are related with and love over others (Cornwall, & Pasteur, 2000). Another case scenario is where they would have to decide whether to buy cheap and counterfeit drugs that are less efficient to the patients or to go for expensive and efficient drugs. How the leadership and management team handle such day-to-day issues reveals how ethical they are. Accountability helps in sorting out health issues since one is conscious that whatever decision he makes to go for, he must be accountable first and foremost to himself and God and second to the fellow team and colleagues. The kind of environment surrounding that person also dictates how he reacts to those issues. For example, if one is in an oorganization that practices integrity and transparency, then the fact that other people will seek to know what influenced the decisions that person makes sober up and make them be able to make ethical decisions.
What does a checks-and-balances process look like in a successful organization?
Checks-and-balances as a system gives room for every department or person within an organization to oversee the running of other departments or operations with an aim to streamline the organization’s operation and ensure that there is absolutely no one or department controls the organization (Brinkerhoff, 2003). In health sector, how the checks and balances work through the public is being given information and it allowed to see how different health facilities offer their services and the amount they ask for such services. This information helps the public to know some of the most efficient hospitals in terms of service delivery and their charges. Then they can make an informed decision on which one they want to pursue.
How does accountability affect an organization’s working culture?
An organization’s working culture is influenced by accountability. For example, the checks-and-balances allowed in the system of comparison and checks of service delivery keep health facilities at toes to provide the best and efficient services; otherwise they will lose out on clients. It also helps them to assess their costs and not to overcharge their patients since doing so may leave them at the losing end. Departmental and individual accountability also seeks to see that everyone acts with integrity, manages the available resources well and does not impose things behind people’s back. It also makes them keep the facility clean (Tuohy, 2003). They handle patients well because one is aware that it is not the only place the patients can seek for services but that how one handles clients is very important for retaining the client and also for publicity sake.