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What Is Accountability?

Introduction

For an office, home, or company to run smoothly, there needs to be a minimum level of accountability. It drives productivity, customer satisfaction, interpersonal relationships between all parties, and supports the need for continuous process improvement. In this Learning Activity, you will read the content, take a self-assessment, and then respond to reflection questions in the Discussion Board.

When you’re accountable, you’re:

· Responsible for something.

· Liable for results.

· Obligated to answer to someone.

· Expected to account for, explain, or justify your actions.

What’s interesting about the term accountability is the effect it has on people. In most cases, employees react with some level of fear and anxiety. That’s because the word is most often used when someone is in trouble. They’ve missed a deadline, angered a customer or patient, jammed the copy machine, or shared some confidential information with the wrong person. And now, they’re being “held accountable.”  

That phrase, in and of itself, seems to indicate that people must be forced to be accountable. It doesn’t lend itself to self-motivation or an internally driven desire to do well and serve others.

If you’re on the receiving end of accountability, it does take on a relatively negative connotation. However, if individuals and organizations would pay more attention to the upside of accountability, they would see that it: 

· Improves performance and productivity.

· Demonstrates professionalism.

· Inspires greater trust.

· Generates a sense of achievement, pride, and self-reliance for teams and individuals.

· Creates opportunities for visibility and advancement.

· Increases an employee’s value to the team and organization.

· Motivates others by showing them examples of desired behaviors. 

 

As a healthcare worker, what are you accountable for on a daily basis?

· Punctuality (arrive on time, prepared for patients, staying on schedule)

· Accuracy (paperwork completed, filing, charting, billing)

· Composure (patient, calm, focused on patient experience)

· Professionalism (words chosen, patience, being organized, voice volume and tone)

· Attitude (smile, positive outlook, pleasant demeanor)

· Problem Solving (answer questions, research issues)

· Clarity of Communication (oral and written)

· Quality of Work (error-free, well-organized, completed on time, 

· Customer Service (helping patients, families, vendors, suppliers)

· Teamwork (cooperate, collaborate, support, assist, encourage)

· Safety (PPE, cleanliness, clearing office hazards)

· Appearance (neat, tidy, personal hygiene, appropriate attire and jewelry)

· Other responsibilities or expectations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Refer back to the Learning Activity titled, “What Is Accountability.” Reflect on the list of accountability expectations, and select the three factors that are most important to you. Next, identify any other responsibilities or expectations that are missing from the list. 

Submit a 1-2 page paper that explains: 

· The three factors from the reading that are most important to you, and why. 

· The other responsibilities or expectations that you identified are missing, and why those are important.

· What would happen if you and your coworkers did not fulfill those expectations from the readings and the expectations you identified?

 

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