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The Importance of Accountability, Essay Example

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Essay

Introduction

Accountability is a general concept in governance and ethics with several meanings. It is often synonymously in use with concepts as answerability, responsibility, liability, blameworthiness, and other terms relating to the account-giving expectations (Richard, 2000). As a governance aspect, accountability is central to discussions, mostly in relations to problems within the public sector as well as the nonprofit and private worlds (Charles, 2002). In leadership roles within an organization, accountability is the assumption and acknowledgment of responsibility for policies, actions, decisions and products, including the governance, administration, and implementation bound by the scope of the role and encompassing the obligation to be answerable for any resulting consequences (Richard, 2000). This paper develops a major focus on accountability in the health care industry, its relevance, modes of measurement, its checks and balances and the role in maintaining a positive culture in the organization.

Significance of accountability in the health care industry

Accountability is significant in the healthcare industry in all departments relating to the provision of healthcare services. In health care industry, there are a couple of points, which one needs to ponder on the issues of accountability (Charles, 2002). Everything is assigned a relative cost whether it is a medicine, doctor’s time, the hospital bed, pen used in writing, the overhead of running the office, phone lines, electricity, paying the staff, among many other things involved in healthcare provision (Richard, 2000). If anything is goes to waste, stolen or used, someone has to be liable and pay for it. Accountability in this case serves great in ensuring that these hitches do not occur in the medical profession (Dykstra, 1999). There is also need for accountability in the healthcare industry because it facilitates efficient service delivery and protects the patient when undergoing medical treatment in the healthcare facilities (Andreas, 1999). Any error reported should be accounted for to prevent worsening the condition of the patient. Healthcare is a very sensitive and without accountability there are very many risks including the exposing the patients life to risks of complication or even death (Charles, 2002).

How is an employee’s accountability measured in the health care industry?

Measuring accountability in healthcare industry is no different from the other organizations. One great way of measuring accountability in the health sector is through reports used in communication. This method involves setting up expectations and reinforcing success in the operations of the healthcare industry (Richard, 2000). Through this method, the communication ability and sequence of the leadership hierarchy in the medical field serves as crucial. For instance, you measure a nurse’s accountability through the communication he delivers on his reports to the senior management of whomever he is working under in the profession (Dykstra, 1999).

What does a checks-and-balance process look like in a successful organization?

A checks-and-balance process in any organization is the approach used in ensuring accountability on the side of everyone operating within the organization (Dykstra, 1999). The process is facilitated to enhance proper deliver of services and increase the productivity in the organization. The process has developed internal rules and norms set by the organization to outline the code of conduct within the organization (Andreas, 1999). The process also has duties and responsibilities assigned to individuals in an organization used in verifying who is accountable for what and relevant in safeguard accountability in the organization (Richard, 2000).

How does accountability affect an organization’s working culture?

Accountability has major effects to the organization’s working culture. It is through accountability that a harmonious relation achievement is possible in any given organization. When everyone in the organizations is accountable, there are minimal wrangles because everyone knows exactly what to do, how and when (Andreas, 1999). These outlines ensure that everyone has his responsibilities and with proper execution of the responsibilities, the organization runs smoothly. However, without accountability or with bleached and compromised accountability, an organization runs in chaos with internal wrangles thereby creating a wrong working culture that is never conducive in the organization’s present and future operations (Charles, 2002).

How can you maintain a positive working culture and avoid a working culture of blame?

To maintain a positive culture in an organization, you need to value elements of accountability. This implies that you have to use each and every means to ensure that everyone in any given sector accounts for his deeds and actions. This can be done by assigning duties and verifying roles within the organization (Richard, 2000). With everyone having a role to play, easy monitoring of who is responsible in any given sector becomes possible. This way, blame game ceases and everyone “carries his own cross” meaning that there is a great level of accountability in each sector (Charles, 2002).

Conclusion

Accountability is the way forward for all organizations. Without accountability, it is apparent that organizations fail because of the blame games and commissions within the organization (Dykstra, 1999). To maintain accountability, it is relevant for the organization to assign duties and set up check-and-balances that safeguard the running of the organization (Richard, 2000). The only secret to a continuous, harmonious and high productive organization is only through accountability.

References

Andreas, S. (1999). “Conceptualizing Accountability” The Self-Restraining State: Power and Accountability in New Democracies. London: Lynne Reiner Publishers. pp. 13–28

Charles, S. (2002). Public Sector Ethics: Finding and implementing Values. Australia: The Federation Press/Rout ledge. pp. 68-8l

Dykstra, A. (1999). “The Quest for Responsibility” American Political Science Review 33 (1): 1-25.

Richard, M. (2000). “‘Accountability’: An Ever-Expanding Concept?” Public Administration 78 (3): 555-573.

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