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Monitoring and Accountability

Introduction and Alignment

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been defined by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (2000) as “the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic social development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large.”

CSR for a medical facility, particularly a hospital, plays a major role in its mission statement because although a hospital is a retail business, it also has a social responsibility to be transparent in healthcare delivery. Unique to the healthcare industry, laws regulate the provision of healthcare services and products. The hospital is a special type of business entity in that it cannot simply cease operations if it is not profitable.

The hospital exists to serve the public, many times with life-saving products and services, and cannot deny or delay providing these services and products to patients. A hospital as a business entity has a corporate social responsibility to serve the community first, with its financial health as a secondary consideration. A hospital is also supported by tax revenues and provides services and products that are essential to the well-being of the community.

Therefore, it is essential for the hospital’s CSR to elaborate on social issues that could serve to improve its image, and enhance stakeholder engagement, by making its performance indicators available to the public. Stakeholders for a hospital include not only those that hold a fiduciary responsibility, but also patients and thousands of employees.

Types of Hospital Social Responsibility

Passive Social Responsibility

Active Social Responsibility

Creating wealth and promoting employment

Implementing ethical codes of conduct

Protecting the investment of all shareholders, especially patients

Promoting reverse-discrimination policies (affirmative action), especially for patients

Protecting the interests of all stakeholders

Maintaining public accountability of management decisions and performance indicators

Respecting human rights

Protecting animal interests (namely in research)

Abstention of environmental damage (namely in dealing with toxic waste)

Contributing actively to environmental protection

Abiding by the law

Engaging in national or international solidarity programs

Protecting public health requirements/initiatives

Advancing public health requirements/initiatives

Upon completion of this assignment, you should be able to:

  • Evaluate the role of monitoring and accountability of key business metrics in the strategic planning process.

Resources

  • Textbook: Essentials of Strategic Planning in Healthcare (2nded.)

Background Information

Drivers of Social Responsibility: A venn diagram with social values on the left and heatlhcare provider performance on the right. Where the two circles overlap is social responsibility.

Is social responsibility the new paradigm of hospital governance? Corporate social responsibility in healthcare, namely in the hospital setting, emphasizes the special governance arrangements of such complex organizations and the need to evaluate whether new models of hospital management (entrepreneurism) will require robust mechanisms of corporate governance to fulfill social responsiveness. The scope of this responsible behavior requires hospitals to fulfill their social, public health, and market objectives in accordance with the law and general ethical standards. Social responsibility includes aspects like abstention of harm to the environment or the protection of the interests of all stakeholders (especially patients) enrolled in the delivery of healthcare.

In a competitive market, hospital governance will be optimized if the organizational culture is reframed to meet stakeholders’ demands for unequivocal assurances on ethical behavior.

Maintaining social responsibility means that an organization can meet its fundamental goals of accomplishing a particular public endeavor or of increasing shareholders’ profits, but at the same time fulfill other important objectives, namely satisfying stakeholders’ interests. Sometimes “social responsibility” is also associated with environmental concerns and the protection of the commonwealth of life.

There is a latent tension between social responsibility and profit making because traditional business ethics say quite clearly that the “business of business is business,” which implies that the main goal of private corporations is to increase shareholders’ profits. In this perspective, any use of a corporation’s resources to meet goals other than profit making would be unethical because that use is not legitimated by shareholders.

However, in the last decade, there has been a growing social awareness that profit is a necessary condition but not a sufficient one. There are other laudable goals that major corporations should pursue besides profit. Moreover, shareholder consent could be presumed if those goals are clearly stated in the corporation’s mission. It follows that the concept and practice of social responsibility could be easily commended to a profit-making company because it would not only increase its external image but, more importantly, shareholders in a modern society would know that a specific corporation manages its internal and external operations with other goals beyond profitability.

Instructions

  1. To learn about leadership and fundamentals of strategic planning, read in Essentials of Strategic Planning in Healthcare:
    1. Chapter 1: Leadership, Mission, Vision, Culture: The Foundation for Strategic Planning
    2. Chapter 3: Fundamentals of Strategic Planning
  2. To learn about consistent evaluation of performance , dashboards and balanced scorecards read in Essentials of Strategic Planning in Healthcare:
    1. Pgs. 91 – 93
    2. Exhibit 3.2 (pg. 92)
  3. Search the Internet for healthcare dashboard examples.
  4. Research the website of the healthcare organization you work at to locate the corporate social responsibility statement, or conduct an Internet search to locate a hospital’s social responsibility initiatives. Such initiatives include public health clinics, outreach to schools for childhood obesity prevention and vaccinations, pre-natal care to under-served populations, senior center meal delivery, and maintaining a performance indicator section on the public website that reports quality, patient safety, charity care, and financial indicators.
  5. Navigate to the threaded discussion below and respond to the following discussion questions:
    1. Does your organization currently use a dashboard? Explain the purpose, how it is used, categories, and if/how it has helped monitoring and accountability as related to the type of healthcare institution for which you work. In particular, as an administrator in your facility, how would you use a dashboard to increase transparency for the patient?
    2. Post a link to a healthcare dashboard example you found that you feel would help your organization deliver the highest quality of service to your patients. What categories on the dashboard would you use to monitor performance at your healthcare setting? How would this help influence the future of strategic planning at your organization? What measures of accountability could be built into the dashboard? How would this help you execute your job duties better in relation to reduced reimbursements, new challenges like Ebola, reduced iatrogenic mistakes, infection control, ICD10 protocols, etc.?
    3. Describe four features of your hospital’s corporate social responsibility statement. How does public accountability of management decisions and performance indicators promote hospital social responsibility?
  6. Your initial post is due by the end of the fourth day of the workshop.

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