We talk a lot about ensuring we have a “culture of accountability” at St. Joseph’s. But what does that really mean? Accountability often has a negative connotation, suggesting a consequence for poor performance. But accountability really means a lot more. It’s doing your job every day and recognizing the importance of the work you do. Accountability also means seeing something, stepping up to it, working to solve it, and resolving it. It means owning it.
True professionals are accountable – it’s their responsibility that defines them.
We recently became aware of an incident that may have involved some inappropriate behavior in our operating room, and may have gone on for some time. There are a number of people looking into this matter, and we need to be careful not to draw conclusions until the full investigation is complete. But it certainly suggests the point that the airport security personnel are always making: “If you see something, say something.”
I cannot emphasize enough that whenever anyone associated with our circle of care – patients, family members, employees, physicians, or volunteers – have any concerns about patient care, staff behavior or anything else, each of us has a responsibility to bring those concerns forward as soon as possible. They can contact the Office of Patience Experience, alert a manager, call the Compliance Hotline or contact Human Resources.
It also means that every manager at St. Joseph’s – from floor supervisors to department heads to vice presidents – must take any concerns raised seriously. We owe that to each other, and to ensure the safety of patients, families and staff. We all are accountable for ensuring a safe, compassionate environment in which to provide excellent patient care. We have a terrific model in TeamSTEPPS that helps us work together to ensure we all are doing the right thing, approaching our work together as a team, with professionalism and responsibility.
St. Joseph’s prides itself on being a compassionate, reverent place to seek care. It’s what sets us apart from other healthcare organizations. And we are all accountable for ensuring that safe environment for all who come through our doors.
Our mission and values are the foundation of our existence, and we must continue to work hard to ensure we live those words each and every day. We are passionate healers dedicated to honoring the Sacred in our sisters and brothers. We need to make sure we live up to that mission in our words, and our actions.