For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. That’s a proven law of physics. But do we ever stop and think about the cost of not acting? To be more specific, what is the cost to your hospital if you don’t have a culture of accountability?
There is a whole ripple effect that takes place in your organization – and you may not realize it, but the most important impact is likely to be on your patients. We’ve all been at a restaurant where it was clear the wait person was not having a good day. How did that feel? Was it a good experience? Did you want to go back again?
Holding your team accountable lays the groundwork for success. Accountability reduces errors, ensures tasks are completed in a timely fashion, encourages teamwork, increases morale – and improves patient satisfaction.
Holding your Patient Access team accountable takes time. It means that you – as a manager – have to start by holding yourself accountable as well. Automated systems can make it easier, but only you can enforce hospital policies and expected behavior with your staff.
Ask yourself: Do I hold my team accountable every single time they register a patient? Why is it important for them to ask for two forms of ID? What if they don’t and the wrong medical record is used to administer treatment?
Accountability reinforces good behavior and prevents unacceptable outcomes – for your staff, for the hospital and, most importantly, for patients. Remember, you aren’t doing this because you want to catch them making a mistake – it’s because you want to prevent an even bigger mistake later on.
How Lack of Accountability Impacts Your Hospital
1. Decreased patient satisfaction
– Bad service due to unhappy employees
2. Serious mistakes
– That can lead to serious harm or death
– That can lead to lawsuits and legal battles
3. Increased costs
– To cover staffing shortages
– To ensure completion of work needing to be performed
– To fix mistakes
4. Long-term negative perception
– Department morale is low
– Manager is perceived as weak
5. Increased training
– Good employees will leave
– Due to frustration and turnover
6. Stressful work environment
– Employees call in sick more often
– Makes it difficult to recruit