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Building An Ethical Organization

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The Muskegonee County Department of Health's mission is to ensure the health, safety, and quality of life of all Muskegonee County residents, educate all residents about public health concerns, provide citizens of all ages with needed services that are as appropriate and cost effective as possible, and to strive for administrative efficiency.

The mission statement supports the ethical system in many ways. We will not turn down any client regardless of race, color or inability to pay. Health care clinics by virtue of their roles as health care providers, employers, and community health resources, have special responsibilities for ethical conduct and ethical practices that go beyond meeting minimum legal and regulatory standards. Their broad range of patient care, education, public health, social service, and business functions is essential to the health and well being of their communities. These roles and functions demand that health care organizations conduct themselves in an ethical manner that emphasizes a basic community service orientation and justifies the public trust. The health care institution's mission and values should be embodied in all its programs, services, and activities.

Value statements are not specific about what should be done. Values are general beliefs or attitudes about something we desire or like. Our values very often underlie our moral rules. If my moral rule is "always be honest," then my value is "honesty." Values only express what it is that we believe has value.

The Muskegonee County Department of Health's approach to service is based on:

Ð'* RELATIONSHIPS - that builds trust and nurtures our patients, each other and the communities we serve.

Ð'* EXCELLENCE - in all encounters and outcomes.

Ð'* RESPONSIBILITY - for taking personal action to achieve success.

Ð'* SERVICE - to our patients, patients' families, and the community that is our organization.

Ð'* LEARNING - that sparks creativity and a willingness to change.

The Muskegonee County Department of Health's value statement reflects the mission statement in that we are here to build relationships with our clients. We will strive to give the best possible care.

The purpose of the Code of Ethics of the Muskegonee County Department of Health is to serve as a standard of conduct. It contains standards of ethical behavior for healthcare workers in their professional relationships. These relationships include colleagues, patients or others served; members of the healthcare workers organization and other organizations, the community, and society as a whole.

The Code of Ethics also incorporates standards of ethical behavior governing personal behavior, particularly when that conduct directly relates to the role and identity of the healthcare worker.

The fundamental objectives of the healthcare management profession are to maintain or enhance the overall quality of life, dignity, and well-being of every individual needing healthcare service; and to create a more equitable, accessible, effective, and efficient healthcare system.

Healthcare workers have an obligation to act in ways that will merit the trust, confidence, and respect of healthcare professionals and the general public. Therefore, healthcare workers should lead lives that embody an exemplary system of values and ethics.

In fulfilling their commitments and obligations to patients or others served, healthcare workers function as moral advocates and models. Since every management decision affects the health and well-being of both individuals and communities, healthcare workers must carefully evaluate the possible outcomes of their decisions. In organizations that deliver healthcare services, they must work to safeguard and foster the rights, interests, and prerogatives of patients or others served.

The role of moral advocate requires that healthcare worker take actions necessary to promote such rights, interests, and prerogatives.

Being a model means that decisions and actions will reflect personal integrity and ethical leadership that others will seek to follow.

The healthcare worker shall:

1. Uphold the Code of Ethics and mission of the Muskegonee County Department of Health;

2. Conduct all personal and professional activities with honesty, integrity, respect, fairness, and good faith in a manner that will reflect well upon the profession;

3. Comply with all laws and regulations pertaining to healthcare management in the jurisdictions in which the healthcare worker is located or conducts professional activities;

4. Maintain competence and proficiency in healthcare management by implementing a personal program of assessment and continuing professional education;

5. Avoid the exploitation of professional relationships for personal gain;

6. Avoid financial and other conflicts of interest;

7. Use this Code to further the interests of the profession and not for selfish reasons;

8. Respect professional confidences;

9. Enhance the dignity and image of the healthcare management profession through positive public information programs; and

10. Refrain from participating in any activity that demeans the credibility and dignity of the healthcare management profession.

11. Work to ensure the existence of a process to evaluate the quality of care or service rendered;

12. Avoid practicing or facilitating discrimination and institute safeguards to prevent discriminatory organizational practices;

13. Work to ensure the existence of a process that will advise patients or others served of the rights, opportunities, responsibilities, and risks regarding available healthcare services;

14. Work to ensure that there is a process in place to facilitate the resolution of conflicts that may arise when values of patients and their families differ from those of employees and physicians;

15. Demonstrate zero tolerance for any abuse of power that compromises patients or others served;

16. Work to provide a process that ensures the autonomy and self-determination of patients or others served; and

17. Work



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