Accountability Starts at the Top

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Former Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson (Retired)
Accountability Starts at the Top

While it is up to employees to learn new skills as part of a home care software implementation, agency leaders are ultimately responsible, says Georgia Hockenjos, RN, BSN, MBA.

“Holding all employees accountable to the same standards creates a fair and consistent environment and creates a high quality, efficient and process-driven organization, says Hockenjos, vice president at Aleckna and Associates.

But many leaders have their own challenges in holding subordinates accountable. They include:

  • Not knowing the goals/objectives
  • Not “believing” in the defined goals/objectives
  • Fear of losing staff when the agency already is short-staffed
  • Feeling an employee has enough good skills and/or behavior has been long-standing

At the same time, “You can’t overwhelm your employees with goals and objectives,” says John Aleckna, BA, MBA, CEO and managing partner. “You need to have a vision to (meet your goals) and monitor them one at a time. It can feel overwhelming, so you should break it down.”

Hockenjos and Aleckna were featured speakers during the recent McKesson Home Health & Hospice Executive Summit, presenting on the topic “Managing in an Electronic World.”

Belief is a critical factor to success, as is the need to eliminate barriers among departments. Home care software implementation is a big investment in money, time and people, so everyone needs to understand the need, the process and the effect that each person’s and department’s interaction with the software means for everyone else in the organization. Only by breaking down silos will the agency be able to fully maximize the benefits, Aleckna says.

Accountability should be well-defined and consistent among all departments. Examples of focus areas include patient care delivery, staff productivity, and timeliness/ accuracy of system data.

Your management team will be responsible for developing the metrics and to communicate those metrics throughout the organization. Managers should meet monthly to share data on key metrics, compare those to benchmarks and refine workflow processes in those areas where goals are not being met.

Staff should be kept fully informed about the metrics being tracked and how the agency is performing. And success – even small wins – should be celebrated. “Embrace the technology,” Aleckna advises. “Celebrate and take pride in what you and your team are accomplishing.”

For more information on home care software implementation subscribe to our blog and download our new e-book “Considerations for Choosing a Home Care Software Solution.”

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