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Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital


Truman VA Integrated Ethics

What is IntegratedEthics?

VHA established the IntegratedEthics program as a national education and organizational change initiative that provides a comprehensive approach to ethics in health care. IntegratedEthics is designed to improve ethics quality across VHA.
Ethics quality encompasses health care practices at three levels:

• decisions and actions
• systems and processes
• environment and culture

An effective ethics program must do three things well:

• respond to ethics concerns on a case by case basis
• address ethics issues on a systems level
• foster an environment and culture that is conducive to ethical practice

Truman VA’s IntegratedEthics program achieves these goals through the three core functions listed below.

Ethics Consultation
The overall goal of health care ethics consultation is to improve health care quality by facilitating resolution of ethics concerns that arise in health care. By providing for a forum for discussion and a method of careful analysis, effective ethics consultation:

• Promotes health care practices consistent with high ethical standards
• Helps to foster consensus and resolve conflict in an atmosphere of respect
• Honors participants' authority and values in the decision-making process
• Educates participants to handle current and future ethics concerns

Preventive Ethics
This component analyzes and resolves systems issues that are referred by individuals or groups concerned about patient rights or ethics in the provision of health care.

Ethical Leadership
Ethical Leadership calls on health care leaders to:

• make clear through their words and actions that ethics is a priority
• to communicate clear expectations for ethical practice
• to practice ethical decision making
• to support their facility's local integrated ethics program

The ethical leadership function employs specific evaluation tools for leaders to use to assess and monitor the facility status with respect to health care ethics, identify opportunities for improvement, and measure the results of ongoing efforts to improve health care ethics quality.

Do you have an Ethical Concern?

Ethical Concerns may include matters such as:
• Questions about a current practice or policy
• A specific situation in your work area which arouses concerns about fairness to employees or veterans
• Suggestions to improve our ability to consistently provide excellent care for all of our veterans
Some examples of ethical questions:
• Do you have a question about unfair distribution of favors or consideration to employees?
• Do you wonder if a policy (formal or informal) makes it hard to "do the right thing?"
• Have you felt concerned about misuse of resources?
• Do you have suggestions to help us provide the highest level of care and fairness to our patients and employees? 

Please provide a report of the ethical concern, behavior, and/or situation that you have observed to VHACMOVOICEANETHICALCONCERN@VA.GOV please do not provide protected patient information, such as full names, social security numbers, or dates of birth, as this is not a secure mail group.