The importance of the ‘double check’
Errors kill credibility
Nothing damages someone’s professional credibility as quickly as an error, even a minor one. While a simple calculation error or typo can seem trivial in the scheme of things, it implants doubt into your customer’s mind. The customer now thinks if this person can make these simple errors, they can also make larger errors.
Errors occur for many reasons (e.g. ignorance, lack of time, poor planning). The most common errors we see are in spreadsheets and written communications. Spreadsheets can be deceiving because they print out or display very professionally and can hide simple calculation errors. Careless manipulation of formulas can cause errors that are difficult to visually detect. In written communications you need to be careful about grammar, spelling errors that miss detection by spell checker programs due to multiple meanings and basic sentence structure.
No matter the root cause, errors suggest a lack of caring or attention. Conversely, people notice attention to detail. Even in areas that are seemingly less significant, such as how products are packaged. Apple is well known for believing that packaging is part of the customer experience and reflects on the product itself. It pays great care and attention to the design and finish of its product packaging (and in fact the retail environment in which it places its products). The same “customer experience” holds true for presentations and report slides. Slides that are inconsistent in terms of colors or fonts, or are visually confusing, reflect poorly on the content of the message itself. Typos and graphic confusion can best be thought of as “visual errors”. People sometimes dismiss paying too much attention to the “look” of a presentation by claiming that it’s the substance that is important. This ignores the connections people make between content and visual quality.
To help avoid casual errors, always double-check your work before publishing or sending. For spreadsheets always do some random “sanity checks” on your work by making sure columns and rows actually add up like they are intended to. For presentations, if something looks somehow awkward or inconsistent, change it – it’s not “good enough”.
The accountability concept in health care industry includes three essential components namely the loci of accountability, its domains and procedures.
Additionally, the loci of accountability in the health care industry may consist of different parties which may be held responsible or hold others responsible. In the accountability domains, parties may also be held answerable for various activities like capability, ethical and legal conduct, financial feat, community benefit, promotion of public health and access adequacy (Emanuel & Emanuel, 1996, pp. 229-239).
Accountability procedures entail both formal and informal procedures geared towards assessing compliance and distribution of the compliance and reaction by the parties in charge of accountability. Therefore accountability in health care entails individuals responsible for various activities and who answer or justify for their actions based on specific questions of interest that may be raised by concerned parties (Emanuel & Emanuel, 1996, pp. 229-239).
Accountability: is it important?
Accountability ensures a high quality health care which is readily available at an affordable cost and without long waits. Many individual patients as a result will also feel that their health care needs are met despite the patients’ socio economic status. Moreover, other services like cross discipline coordination, proactive management, risk management, long term quality care and preventive care may also be improved on as a result of accountability (American College of Physicians, 2008, pp. 55-75).
Additionally, accountability is important in an organization as it equips a health organization with personal and professional resources which can be used to respond to internal and external needs. Subsequently, this helps in ensuring mutual support and promotes growth and learning of staff members.
With a good management in place, a good working environment and is enhanced and which leads to satisfaction of patients as well as staff members. Attention to security is enhanced as well as ensuring well management of predictable risk and crisis within the health care organization (Grandi & Rubinelli, pp. 1-8).
Measuring employee accountability in the health care industry
Measurement of employee accountability and performance has become gradually popular in the health care system as a result of the gradual expansion in the health care industry. As a result, employee performance is in most cases measured is assessed and reported publicly.
This performance can be measured by use of hospital plan report cards as well as employee profiles where a consistent set of performance measures are used for guidance in the evaluation and measuring process (Ullman & Spoeri, 1997, pp. 726-732).
Additionally, employee accountability can also be measured through conducting a member satisfaction survey where satisfaction ratings may be used to ensure objectivity and comparability of the performance. What is more, accountability may also be done by enforcing professional standards through consultations, case reviews, hospital privileges reviews among others (Ullman & Spoeri, 1997, pp. 726-732).
As well, employee answerability may also be measured through pay for performance and which will target the performance, quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction (Rowe, 2006, pp. 695-696).
Checks and balance process in a successful organization
In a successful organization, a checks and balance process first eliminates all the unnecessary middlemen in the healthcare delivery line such that the healthcare services are maintained at low rates while the patient-physician relationship is also maintained.
This implies that in a successful organization, the regulations laid down by the government agencies as well as insurance companies are usually reviewed and streamlined. What is more, a checks and balances system in a successful organization regulates its own activities exclusively with minimal intrusion from government agencies and without facilitation from insurance companies (Bolte, 2008).
How accountability affects an organization’s working culture
Accountability tends to affect the working culture of an organization by promoting humanity, the principles of dignity, promoting a good corporate image and creating awareness of a staff member doing his work. Moreover, accountability affects relations of all individuals within the organization by ensuring that they work as a team where other factors like mutual support, growth and learning is also enhanced.
As a result of enhanced relations, a good working environment is promoted which leads to an enjoyment in give-and-take relationships within staff to staff and staff to community (Grandi & Rubinelli, 2008, pp. 1-8).
Maintaining a positive working culture and avoid a working culture of blame
A working culture involves a specific way of life during a work day by following certain norms and standards of a company. A positive working culture can be maintained by acknowledging people’s accomplishments through rewards, tolerance for risk and change, ensuring that all individuals operate within their areas of responsibility in an organization.
A positive working culture may also be maintained through emotional support of the staff, through mutual accountability, interpersonal communication and sociability and open opportunities for growth to all staff members (Evan Carmichael, 2008).
A working culture of blame can be avoided by examining ones vulnerability to blame which subsequently helps in analyzing the areas of blame that may lead to a rise in predictable crises. Blame occurs where management is negligent or uncaring.
Despite being at fault, one needs to be ready to diffuse and minimize their potential of blame as the blame may have devastating consequences to the company. Blame can also be avoided by doing the right thing and handling crisis management well (Blythe, 2003).
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