An ethical code of conduct for a long term care facility can be described as a standard method that can be used for personal conduct among all the employees in the facility. Ethical code of conduct thus stems out the principles that must be followed in managing the day to day activities that happen in the facility. They typically outline the procedures that ought to be followed in order to attain maximum efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery. It is the responsibility of management to draft out the ethical code of conduct that is to be used in monitoring and performance of duties among all the employees in the facility. However, for cooperation to be ascertained management is required to subrogate its decision making processes to the lowest employees in the organization. Essentially adoption of any new procedures in an organization has to be involving process whereby all the parties in the organization have to be addressed effectively (Swisher & Hiller, 2010).
Ethical code of conducts outlays measures that ought to be undertaken where an individual should go against the streamlined laws or requirements. In the health sector ethical codes of conducts are very important because of the criticality of the issues the sector agglomerates. The healthcare spectrum involves a number of special fields that need clear concise rules and policies on the best practices to be accommodated (Swisher & Hiller, 2010). Failure to follow a clear cut procedure in service delivery in the healthcare sector, would lead to catastrophic instances in the society. The most common fields filed under the healthcare sector are emergency rooms; under the emblem of the emergency room is the doctors office or the nurses who attend patients in those areas. This paper discusses some of the ethical codes of conduct that can be implemented in Long Term Care Facilities in healthcare provision in the society.
General Ethics Standards
Place New Order
Some of the general ethical standards established in the organization take into perspective the following aspects. First, is the commitment to the values of trust, accountability, mutual respect and excellence. Second, is the performance of jobs with the highest degree of integrity and honesty, this is achieved by the treatment of each client fairly and equally according to the provisions of the organization. Third, is acknowledge and abidance to the laws and policies that are provided by the specific laws that govern the various jobs provided in the Long term Care facility. Fourth, is speaking with compliance of the ethical issues and more closely reporting observed violations of the laws and policies of the facility. Fifth, is seeing problems before they transform into impediments in the facility (Davis, 2003). Sixth, always asking for clarification on those areas where no further details are given, this is aimed at getting rid of any confusion that may arise in the process of service delivery. This means that the facility is always on a 24 hour watch by an expert who if needed will avail the necessary help.
Specific Ethics Standards in the Facility
Ensuring Respect Information of Others
Confidentiality is the key to any patient-doctor relationship; it is against the law as well as against the ethical standards of any healthcare facility to allow dissemination of patient information to the third parties. The facility assures confidentiality for the patient’ records and information. The information is taken care as if its management owned. This information may be reproduced in the following forms: written materials, intellectual property, software and music or any audio clips that may have been taken for the purposes of availing treatment to the patients. Any third party products that may be used at the facility must be authenticated by the various owners or any governmental agency that deals with copyrights; this includes materials like music, software and written documents (Davis, 2003). The facility is dedicated to ensure that all the laws and regulations in the country on copyright issues are vehemently addressed by management and its employees.
Ensuring Accuracy of Records and Recording
The facilitys credibility relies on the completeness and accuracy of the records that are brought forth. Incomplete record will mean that management and its employees are not dedicated enough to offer efficiency and effective service delivery which will in turn tarnish the image of the facility. At the Long term Care Facility, things are done differently to ensure that all the records are up to date and are portraying the correct values. These records include insurance and medical records, business records, personnel records and other records that may relate to financial position of the facility. The facility relies heavily on the correctness of the records in order to be informed about decisions, this means that the records ought to display the correct state of activities failure to which poor decisions will be made in the facility. In order to achieve clarity of the different records a database is maintained in the facility which is able to update itself on any new happenings that may transcend the facility (Boxx & Hammond, 2012).
The facility creates and stores all the records that may be required for documentation. This includes such records as number of patients attendance in a day, also attendance of employees, contractors and vendors who may be distributing equipments to the facility. All these records are then agglomerated on a central location where all the information is uploaded into the facilitys database for safe manipulation and storage. Above all the facility complies with the international set standards on record keeping. Records contained in the facilitys database depict a picture of honesty, accuracy, completeness and relevance. Any mistake that may occur in record keeping will be corrected by the following set procedures without any concealment. Any alteration that may be made with a motive of hiding important information is not allowed in the facility. Each claim especially on billing and coding is founded on an accurate form of documentation. This means that the facility has adopted a time sensitive reporting requirement which will be able to get rid of any errors that may arise (Boxx & Hammond, 2012).
Compliance with the Anti-Kickback and Stark Laws
Any financial arrangement that may occur in the facility must have a legal facility review before it takes place. No side payments are accepted in the facility since they are illegal both in the government and within the facility itself. Any staff member who may be found engaging in the aforementioned illegality will be penalized and a legal stance will be taken against him/her, additionally the staff member will be deemed unworthy of working in the health sector (Bond, 2010).
Maintenance of Community Trust by Ensuring Fair Competition
The facility complies with the anti-trust laws which are streamlined in leveling the playground in the market. The facility undertakes an initiative of following all the required provisions in the anti-trust laws. The facility promotes fair competition with other health facilities in the market. Compliance with the anti-trust laws mandates the Long term Care Facility to discuss its business structure to competitors rather it mandates the facility to obey all the laws and regulations that govern competition in the marketplace. It is important for the management to ensure that the most sensitive information about the facility is not disclosed to the competitors. It may lead to unfair competition in the market, since the competitors will have an advantage and therefore the principles of the anti-trust laws will not be upheld.
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Follow All Laws and Regulations
Management and employees at the Long term Care Facility understand all the stipulations of the laws and policies. Thus they always take a keen approach in ensuring that they abide per the provisions given by the law. Management is tasked with the mandate of reporting any violations of the law that may go down in the facility. This includes instances of abuse of office, fraud and misappropriation of funds among many other unlawful activities that may happen in the facility. According to the stipulations of the Federal False Claims Act, it is a crime for any individual or organization to file a false claim knowingly with a motive of getting payment from the federal government. The Federal laws go further to provide any individual who may have pointed out a falsification to lay out a suit on behalf of the government.
Cooperation with All Government Inquiries and Investigation
The facility is regulated by the federal agencies, this means that the facility may require assessments from time to time in order to regulate the different spectrums of healthcare provisions in the country to alleviate business practices as well. If a non-routine inquiry is made from the government agencies then the following steps are taken to authenticate the purpose and aim of the request for information that may be asked by the agency (Bond, 2010). Confirmation from management of the facility to ensure that it is proper to let out the information to the agencies or compliance hotline may be needed to authenticate the process. Lastly the government agency may be barred from accessing the required information until a given protocol or court order is given for the information to be correlated. Essentially this is a measure that is undertaken to ensure that all the patients information or records stay intact until the patients themselves decide to give the data out to the third parties (Wieland, 2009).
Follow Environmental Regulations
Management and staff abide by all the laws and regulations that relate to the environmental conservation. It is important to note that environmental resources encompass approximately 50% of all the medicinal products that are required in health care sector. Thus, it is the prerogative of the facility to ensure that it regulates its dumping and ensuring environmental safety by avoiding pollution. Environmental conservation will also be a pillar in patient healing process, this is through clean air to breath, clean water to drink and clean surroundings that guard against the prevalence of such diseases as cholera and diarrhea.
Acting as a Responsible Health Care Facility in the Society
The Long term Care Facility is founded on the precept of ensuring patient safety, comfort-ability and minimal payment or standard payment for the services offered. The pricing mechanisms of the facility are well ingrained in the regulators policies that offer a given limit which is unlawful. Thus, the management of the facility undertakes those policies to ensure that no patient is overcharged for the services offered at the facility. Exemptions that may be done for such patients as the pensioned or insured ought to be done in a more orderly manner so as to keep any victimization that may occur in the process (Mahal, Debroy, Bhandari & Indicus Analytics, 2010).
The facility ensures that it offers the best services to the patients in the society; this is achieved by instituting a customer service platform which is able to ensure that any issues that may arise in the facility are taken care of immediately. This is a way to improve service delivery in the facility which is an obligation bestowed upon the facility by the law. Thus, acting responsibly means that the facility is tied up to the licensed requirements that were postulated in its establishment in the market arena (Haigh, 2011).
Interaction with Vendors Honestly
Vendors make an integral unit in the organization; they can be depicted as a side pillar in the performance of the facility in the market. The vendors include suppliers, consultants, service providers, contractors and other third parties who may directly contribute to the success of the facility. Selection of the various vendors is made on the basis of merit, which means that those vendors who meet the threshold are better chosen as compared to those who do not. Personal relationship is not a virtue which is taken into consideration; this is due to the fact that personal relationship can be termed as a form of corruption which is against the policies and regulations in the society (Rodrigues, 2010). Honesty and integrity are absorbed in the society immensely whereby all the vendors are equally treated and given the necessary information on an equal basis without any bias or prejudice arising. Honesty and integrity are further embedded on the kind of contracts that are established between the different vendors and the management of the facility. Additionally, management is expected to act responsibly in the allocation of contracts among all the selected vendors, no figures should be exaggerated as the financial transactions are very important for the development of the facility (Mahal, Debroy, Bhandari & Indicus Analytics, 2010).
Provision of Healing Environment for Patients
The facility patients are helped to comprehend and utilize their freedom of choice. For instance, patients are kept at the facility until the family members decide to take them home in order to take care of them on their own. This is a wide scope of freedom of choice which is given to the patients and their families. No patient shall be told to leave the premises no matter the circumstances, this is because the premise is entirely meant to take care of the patients and provide a conducive environment which will act as a source of solace (Rodrigues, 2010).
Committed to Fair Practices
Management understands the essence of diversification in the employment schemes in the health sector. High rates of output can be realized if the workforce is agglomerated by a wide spectrum of people from all walks of life. The facility employment is purely done on the basis of merit which is construed on getting the best in the market. By ensuring that employment is gauged on merit, the facility is able to endorse different individuals from diverse cultures who are able to bring a wide scope of talents into the organization. This in turn will be able to lead to efficiency and effectiveness in the long run. Fair practices do not only stop on the employment margin it rather lowers the level of the patients attendance. No matter the origin, birth, skin color, race or gender a patient is always a patient. Thus all the patients are treated with the same degree of equity (Haigh, 2011).
Ethics standards are very important ingredients in any organization; this is because they spell out the conduct that is expected to be achieved in the organization. The health sector is one of the major sectors where ethics standards are required to be undertaken to the highest levels this is due to the complexity attached to the sector. Without ethical codes of conduct mayhem will be experienced in the Long term Care Facilities which may in turn lead to the loss of innocent lives in the society (Haigh, 2011). Any ethical code of conduct is intended to be comprehensive and well understood by all the stakeholders in the society. In order for success to be attained in correspondence with the code of ethics, leadership must be ready to take the organization to the highest level by observing all the stipulations provided. Thus, compliance must first start from the top before it trickles down to the subordinates in the facility.