Home Health & Hospice

What are some key differences between accountability and responsibility?

Homecare Insider, November 9, 2015

An effective way to distinguish between the two terms is as follows:

  • Accountability = A commitment to others to deliver and account for a result by a given date
  • Responsibility = An authority over people that compels them to respond to one’s direction
Accountability is about the results to be delivered. A result is a desired situation that can be described. It is measurable, observable, and time-limited, such as “I will complete teaching all of our nurses and therapists about our new medication management initiative by next Friday.”
Responsibility is about things that will respond to you. Think of responsibility as what is included in a job description. Your job responsibilities include the things you need to do to perform your job. Responsibilities include case management, patient teaching, and so on.

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