Organizational Culture Enhanced by Accountability

KentuckyOne Health

By Charlie Powell, President of KentuckyOne Health Medical Group

This month’s culture concept of Accountability encourages us to hold ourselves and one another accountable for excellence as we aspire to reach ever-higher levels of safety, quality and service for our patients every single day. Charlie Powell, president of KentuckyOne Health Medical Group, shares with us his thoughts on Accountability, and how important this concept is to excelling in our culture journey.

As KentuckyOne Health continues its journey of culture transformation toward excellence, it’s important to remember that personal and organizational accountability are necessary to achieve the levels of safety, quality and service that our patients expect of us. 

Accountability involves responsibility for our own actions or requiring others to explain actions or decisions. As we look at the powerful attributes of Accountability, we see that we "own it" and move toward solutions while avoiding blame and excuses.

As I reflect on personal Accountability, I have a choice each day to move forward on projects or let them languish. We often run into roadblocks and enter into a stagnant state of hoping the problem will resolve itself or think up excuses for the lack of movement on the initiative. What do we accomplish with this approach? If we are to achieve our goals, we must all own our roles and hold ourselves accountable in an action-oriented, solution-based manner.

Accountability in the team environment is also important. A mentor once said, "trust but verify.” This phrase has stuck with me as a perfect way to define Accountability in a leadership or team setting. We are all leaders in our roles, and have opportunities to hold one another accountable for performance toward our objectives. 

In the KentuckyOne Health Medical Group (KMG), we have experienced 1,200 new patient appointments opened per week, and an increase of 20 percentile points in the Access portion of the KMG patient satisfaction scores. This was achieved through defined objectives and required weekly progress reports to the KMG leadership. The Accountability was daily and weekly, personal and team-based.

KentuckyOne Health has also improved 32 percentile points in quality and 33 percentile points in safety scores due to leadership changing processes and monitoring results. The Accountability chain for this improvement spanned from clinical departments to national CHI leaders.

A common theme related to Accountability is "results.” A question to ask ourselves each day: "Are we holding ourselves and our organization accountable for results?" We must move up the Accountability Ladder to "own it," find solutions, and get on with it. 

Download the Accountability Ladder poster.

Becoming KentuckyOne – Our Culture Journey

Your leader will share more information with you this June about the concept of Accountability to help us achieve our desired KentuckyOne culture. Practicing this concept will help us to always provide safe, quality care and exceptional service.

Visit the Culture Resource Center to learn more.