Accountability in healthcare Searching for a balance between feeling responsible and being held accountable
Over the past few years, a trend has developed that professionals in various sectors have to justify their actions to a wide audience (Vriens, Vosselman and Groβ, 2016). This also counts for medical professionals in healthcare. Accountability is a subject that cannot be ignored anymore by doctors in hospitals. At this time, three different forms of accountability are elaborated in literature: calculative, narrative and conditional accountability. These three forms of accountability all have their own advantages and disadvantages. Vriens et al. (2016) elaborate these three forms, but there has not yet been done a research where the three forms of accountability are taken together to investigate the impact on the tasks of professionals. Given the importance attached to accountability in the work of professionals, and given the lack of empirical evidence on the relationship between the different tasks of doctors and the different forms of accountability, the focus of this thesis is on the impact of the three forms of accountability on the tasks and duties of doctors. These theoretical advantages and disadvantages of the three forms, and the different task groups of doctors are operationalized in a conceptual model in order to develop an interview guide. The interviews were conducted among seven different doctors within hospitals. This interview guide assesses the different tasks of doctors and how the three forms of accountability have an impact on these tasks. With the results, the following research question will be answered: “How do doctors perceive the impact of the three different forms of accountability on their tasks and duties?” The results of the interviews showed that the three forms of accountability have negative and positive effects on the tasks of doctors. It also provided an interesting insight into the perspective of doctors on the concept of accountability and showed a contradiction between the concept of accountability and responsibility. By this, the insights of this research are a starting point for discussion in organizations about in what way the three forms of accountability are present and how they are perceived by professionals to serve best related to their tasks.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen