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Introducing the "accountability" standard of behavior

In the final of our series about YNHHS’ Standards of Professional Behavior, the focus in on accountability. We have highlighted a different value each month since May, and by the end of September, nearly everyone in every Yale New Haven Health location will have heard about, discussed and undergone training on the 20 new standards of behavior – four standards associated with each of the five values.

Beginning this October, the Standards of Professional Behavior will be incorporated into the performance management process and employees will be held accountable in their employee performance reviews.

In September, the focus is on accountability – being responsible and taking action. Accountability means taking ownership of an interaction, a situation or a problem, whether it is an office or clinical setting. The four behaviors associated with accountability are:

  1. Own your work and follow through on commitments
    Ownership is when you take on your job responsibilities so that every task you do, large or small, is a reflection of you as a professional. There is no place for excuses, finger-pointing, blame or lack of follow-through. We hold ourselves accountable, but we also hold colleagues accountable when needed.
  2. Explain what you are doing and why
    Throughout the day, we do hundreds of tasks that are routine to us but may be unfamiliar to others. We often engage in activities with patients, families or colleagues without much explanation. They deserve and will benefit from an explanation. They will be more engaged as a result.
  3. Present a professional image
    Your professional appearance, along with your verbal and non-verbal communication, helps shape your reputation and the reputation of YNHHS. Image affects first impressions, as well as ongoing relationships. Image goes beyond just a physical appearance – it includes respect, manners, a positive attitude and care and consideration.
  4. Acknowledge when wrong, apologize and take action
    Everyone has chances to handle mistakes, complaints or disappointments in a positive way. Often a simple acknowledgement of the other person’s concern or a blameless apology helps. But when we are wrong, or failed to deliver on a commitment, we need to accept responsibility, apologize and then take the action needed.