The Evolving Accountability of Nonprofit Health System Boards (Published by the American Hospital Association)

Doug Hastings, Chair of the Board of Directors and a Member of the firm's Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the Washington, DC, office, co-authored a monograph titled The Evolving Accountability of Nonprofit Health System Boards, published by the American Hospital Association's Center for Healthcare Governance.

The monograph discusses a variety of board accountabilities and includes a sample accountability statement that nonprofit health system boards can adapt as a foundational resource for effective governance. Broadly speaking, in organizational settings accountability involves an on-going requirement for boards and executive leaders to perform specified responsibilities properly and provide parties who have oversight responsibility with objective information regarding the extent to which these responsibilities have been accomplished and a full explanation whenever they have not.

Clarity about responsibilities and mechanisms for demonstrating accountability are essential components of the foundation for effective organizational governance and management. Lack of clarity in defining responsibilities and/ or demonstrating how they have been fulfilled leads to misunderstanding and erosion of trust on the part of the internal and external stakeholders that health care boards and management serve.

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