The ethical conduct in the health care profession provides a standard of behavior that has its foundation in confidentiality, commitment, and the creation of trustful relationships. The code asserts accountability and the moral obligation of an individual healthcare worker to all the clients he/she serves (National Association for Health Quality, 2011). According to the code, a health professional must execute his/her duties with dignity, honesty, and accountability, and this implies adhering to the rules and refraining from conspiracy or concealing unlawful acts. The officers are also obliged to uphold competency in their duties to promote the standards of practice to win the customers’ trust and confidence. The code also dictates that patients deserve privacy, and thus their medical information should remain confidential (National Association for Health Quality, 2011). The healthcare professionals have a duty of helping the clients to make informed decisions by letting them know the consequences of the disease management decisions. The code also obligates the healthcare officials to acknowledge and support their colleagues by giving credit to those whose performance deserves the same and helping them to advance professionally.
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The health officers must act according to the requirements of the code, which is qualified through a written examination accredited by the Healthcare Quality Certification Board. Additionally, the officers must affiliate themselves to professional bodies/organizations to promote professional advancement and harmonized behavior as opposed to financial or selfish gains. The code also instructs health workers to treat the wellbeing, health, and satisfaction of clients as the primary concern. They also must take the appropriate steps in cases of contravention to the set standards (National Association for Health Quality, 2011). The code of ethics is essential for streamlining the health sector and setting the terms for service delivery as follows;
The instructions in the code create and maintain discipline in the health sector by focusing on the personal responsibility of the health personnel towards the clients. Such responsibilities include executing their duties with precision and reporting any instances of the violation of the code to the relevant authorities among others. In this way, the system facilitates the addressing of the potential/actual misconduct of the personnel to uphold discipline in the workforce by holding each accountable for mistakes that happen in his/her knowledge.
The code emphasizes on values such as honesty, integrity and confidentiality and relationship building as the primary attributes of health professional officers (National Association for Health Quality, 2011). These requirements harmonize the behavior of the personnel by setting the standards that should guide their behavior. Additionally through the values, the code protects the rights of patients by guaranteeing them quality healthcare and satisfaction as well as prohibiting fraud, deception, and other unethical practices in the process of hospitalization. The code further promotes career/professional development through the requirement that all officials join professional bodies and thus creating a healthy environment for teamwork and learning through formal programs and certifications.
The code calls for proper advice and notification of patients about their medical conditions and the consequences of the choice of treatment they make, and this is a step towards prioritization of their welfare and autonomy. Additionally, the code treats every health personnel as a law enforcement officer through the requirement to report cases of violation of the norms, and this helps to protect the welfare of the patients.
Different bodies dealing with health issues set their code of ethics that have the similar attributes as well as differences, but they serve more or less the same purpose. Some of the similarities and differences of the principles under some of the organizations are as follows;
The American Medical Association under its code of conduct provides for the rights and the autonomy of patients through the respect of emotional, physical and psychological integrity as well as a substantial level of patient’s self-control over medical decisions. Similarly, the code under the American College of Health Executives also upholds the protection of the interests and rights of the patients (American College of Healthcare Executives, 2011). Thus, the two codes do not differ regarding the rights of the patients.
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The winning of clients’ trust is one of the priorities according to the code of conduct in the American Medical Association. The law also instructs the medical personnel to safeguard the dignity, quality of life and wellbeing of patients. On a similar note, the American College of Health Executives obliges the medical officers to maintain or improve the well-being, quality of life as well as the dignity of the patients (American College of Healthcare Executives, 2011).
The American Medical Association Code of Ethics calls for a good relationship between the supervisors and the subordinate employees or even the trainees as well as the proper handling of disputes/complaints between the two groups. The above implies the confidentiality of complaints to avert victimization and allow trainees to access the contents of their file records. A junior employee can refuse to carry out a duty that he/she may view as harmful to the patient if the avoidance does not cause harm. In such cases of conflicts between the two groups of workers, mediation is necessary (American Medical Association, n.d.). Similarly, the American College of Health Executives requires the health executives to create a healthy environment that allows the juniors to express their concerns as well as the mechanisms for addressing the same. The code also prohibits harassment based on sex or any other reason (American College of Healthcare Executives, 2011). Additionally, both the American Medical Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives obliges the medical officers to report their colleagues who violate the code.
However, the American Medical Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives differ in that the former captures the responsibilities of patients as opposed to their rights only while the latter does not feature such point. The former holds that the healing process obliges the patients to play their role through compliance to the treatment procedure in ways such as proper communication with the physician, provision of their medical history/family history, seeking for clarification, financial obligations, and the behavior change to reduce the risk (American Medical Association, n.d.).
The American Health Information Management Association Code of Ethics urges the medical personnel to refrain from participating in unethical practices or conceal the unlawful acts, but instead, they should report the same to the relevant authorities such as the regulatory or the accreditation body (American Health Information Management Association, 2011). Similarly, the American College of Healthcare Executives prohibits the medical officers from engaging in malpractices or negligent acts that could spoil the medical profession. The American Health Information Management Association Code of Ethics and the American College of Healthcare Executives instruct the medical personnel to prioritize the interests of their patients as opposed to theirs. The two codes also call for the privacy of patients, and this includes their medical information and history or any other data that may seem confidential.
However, the American Health Information Management Association Code of Ethics and the American College of Healthcare Executives differ in that the former is concrete and concentrates on the medical information concerning the patients while the latter dwells on the general medical issues. However, the two codes pass more or less the same message, and thus their slight difference does not differentiate their purpose because they all protect the patients and dictate the way the medical personnel should conduct.
In conclusion, the code of ethics provides a harmonized/standardized behavior of health care practitioners in the bid to shape and provide discipline in the health sector. It calls for core values such as honesty, integrity, and accountability. The code is important because it prevents the medical officers from engaging in malpractices. It safeguards the rights of the patients through guaranteed quality medical care. The American Medical Association, the American Health Information Management Association Code of Ethics and the American College of Healthcare Executives share their requirements as they call for prioritization of the interests of the patients and the development of relationships through trust. However, the American Medical Association code has a distinguishing feature that is the responsibility of the patients. The American Health Information Management Association Code of Ethics also distinguishes itself by concentrating on patients health information as opposed to the general issues. However, the slight differences do not make the missions of the codes differ as they all focus on the patients’ welfare.