This paper is about what is Code of Ethics. Information from the textbook and two other scholarly sources are used. The two medical facilities that I researched were HCA and Baptist Health of South Florida. I chose Baptist health of South Florida code of ethics as is very concise. Why it was chosen is further discussed and what is missing or should be improved. A plan of action is also implemented.
In order for us to know what code of ethics is we need to understand what ethics is. Ethics in general is what differs right from wrong action. Code of ethics are protocols for behavior to follow which help carry out the organization's mission, vision, and values. In addition, the purpose of code of ethics is to build trust, increase awareness of ethical issues and dilemmas, guide decision making, and encourage staff to seek advice report misconduct when appropriate. It helps employees to have a reference guide when they are in doubt. It's a way for the staff to know what is expected of them.
Moreover, some value statements that should be included in an organization's code of ethics will be discussed next. Staff members will comply with the organization's code of ethics, these include; compassionate care, accepting the organization's mission, vision, and values. Ethics training will be included for all staff members. Ethics competencies will be reviewed at the beginning of employment or hiring process and at the scheduled evaluation. The organization will be honest and fair with their employees. It will establish and provide an environment that promotes the highest ethical and legal standards. Corporate officers, managers and employees will be impartial when personal interests conflict with the organization. Employees will be free to speak up without fear of punishment. A compliance officer will be available to protect staff members who speak up about unprofessional or unethical practices that are observed in the organization. Patients and employees will be provided with an environment free from sexual harassment. The drive to increase revenues will not be tied to unethical activities, such as workforce cutbacks as a means to discharge employees when they are encouraged to speak up and then blacklisted for being honest. Employees will avoid conflict of interest situations by not favoring their own interests over others or the organization's. Patients will receive the highest quality care regardless of the setting. All patients will be treated with honesty, dignity, respect, and courtesy. Patients will be educated in regards to the risks, benefits, and alternatives of care. Patients will be treated in a way that will keep their rights, dignity, autonomy, self-esteem, privacy, and involvement in their care. The patient's religion, heritage, and culture will be addressed and respected as appropriate. A patient advocacy program will be provided. Those with physical disabilities will receive support services. Upon admission patient's will receive a Patient's Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. The patient's right to execute advance directives will be honored.
After researching employee code of ethics from medical facilities, the number came down to two organizations HCA and Baptist of Health South Florida. I chose Baptist of Health South Florida as the best one since it is better developed. The organization's code of ethics is more concise and very complete. The code of ethics includes the organization's ethical standards, their values, purpose, scope and responsibilities. Also, it includes reporting violations, the available resources and contact list for easier access. It also includes an anonymous compliance hotline for reporting concerns. Disciplinary action for violation of the code of ethics is also included. By the same token, it includes application of their ethical standards, compliance with laws and regulations, compliance with policies and procedures, quality of care and patient safety, community benefit and charity care, fair and equitable treatment of employees. Furthermore, it talks about harassment, workplace safety, credentials and excluded parties, charitable contributions and philanthropic solicitations, conflicts of interest, improper payments, gifts, vendor-sponsored travel, entertainment, and honorariums. Additionally, it includes incentives for patient referrals or business transactions, contracts or arrangements with physicians, physician referral prohibitions, and accurate and timely charge entry. Next, it continues with medical record coding, billing of third parties, false claims act, record keeping, business record retention, and confidentiality of patient information and records. Lastly, it includes confidentiality of business information and records, confidentiality of electronic records, social media, marketing and public relations, competitive practices, political contributions, safeguarding and proper use of assets, international transactions, requests for information regulatory/government agencies, and news media requests of information.
All of these topics are important because they serve the employees as a point of reference. In addition, these are presented at the beginning of employment that way the staff knows what the company is like and what their expectations are. I found very helpful that they include a contact list to report any violations. They also include an anonymous reporting line which it makes it easier for the staff members to access. Lastly, it talks about confidentiality which is one of the most important topics to cover in code of ethics. This code of ethics is very much complete; I would say there is nothing else I would add to it.
Finally, the plan of action to educate my staff on a new employee code of ethics is a very hard task as nowadays the attention span is so short. I would present the information including videos, these videos would be funny yet contain the information that way it would catch the staff members attention and keep them interested in learning. I would also include personal examples that they could relate to that way to make them share their stories and make it interactive. I would keep information short and concise. To make sure they understand I would make a contest with prizes and if questions about topics are answered right then prizes would be given to winners. I would include as much visuals as possible since it's been proven that we recall the best of what we see and not what we hear.
To conclude, Code of Ethics is what keeps employees from breaking rules and from doing the right thing. It presents what the organization mission, values, and vision are and what it expects from their employees. Also, it gives the employees easy access to hotlines for help or resourceful information. It helps employees when in doubt since it's a concise booklet of information of any questions or concerns they might have. If it's not included in the booklet, it includes a contact list where one can call to get answers to questions.
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