Last Updated 27 Jul 2020

Ethical Self-Assessment

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Healthcare professionals are faced with making multi-faceted decisions on a daily basis. These decisions are not just limited to clinical matters, but they include the total patient care experience. Because of emerging healthcare trends and complex health law and ethics, it is imperative that healthcare administrators have a professional organization that they can belong to. “The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) is an international professional society of more than 35,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations.

ACHE is known for its prestigious FACHE® credential, signifying board certification in healthcare management, and its educational programs including the annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership” (American College of Healthcare Executives, n. d. ). The Ethics Self–Assessment Tool and Individual Decision Making The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) provides an ethics self-assessment which is made up of thought-provoking questions to serve as a moral compass using the ACHE Code of Ethics as its basis.

No matter what your role in the healthcare system, the self-assessment provides a standard for various healthcare relationships including, “Community, Board, Colleagues, Staff, Clinicians, Buyers, Payors and Suppliers. ” (American College of Healthcare Executives, n. d. ). Any questions that were not answered with “always,” identified an area of weakness in which ethics were being compromised. The first lesson learned is that there are numerous situations where healthcare professionals may believe they are being ethical, but the assessment provides examples that some decisions being made are unethical.

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This gap away from being completely ethical occurs because professional decisions are often influenced by individual ethics. Identifying these gaps allow healthcare administrators to make necessary steps to improve the method in which they make decisions. Another lesson learned is the importance of having a tool to compare your organization’s level of ethics to the code of ethics. Paying special attention to minimize outside influences, will allow you to make complex ethical decisions at all times which will promote consistency throughout all team members and the organization.

The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), has a strong impact on ethical decision making because they focus on the “entire being” of the healthcare professional. For example, in ACHE’s preamble of The Code of Ethics it states, “In fulfilling their commitments and obligations to patients or others served, healthcare executives function as moral advocates and models. ” Imagine, when a healthcare administrator recites these few words, he cannot help but acknowledge the depth of his commitment and the high level of morality that is expected from him.

Because of the vast number of complex ethical dilemmas that arise, ACHE further promotes the value and importance of strong ethical decision making in ACHE’s Ethics Toolkit. “When the ethical guidelines are not enough, when there is uncertainty about the proper ethical approach, and when there is a need to develop additional ethical guidelines. ACHE’s Ethics Toolkit provides tools for developing both parts of an ethical culture. ” (American College of Healthcare Executives, n. d. ).

Influence of Individual Ethics on Decision Making. When it comes to the modern decisions in today’s healthcare system, it is important to be able to identify problems and opportunities and choose the best course of action for the greater good. A strong ethical background helps individuals make the right decision although it may be unpopular. “Aristotle (Summers, 2009) also teaches about morality when explains how to apply ethics to daily living. Through the idea of practical wisdom and eudemonia, he makes us aware of the need to apply ethics and behave in a moral way.

We develop our moral character so that we use our knowledge of ethics to address challenging new situations. Ethical principles become the center of our lives and we apply them as virtue-centered administrators. ” Strategies to Improve Decision Making in the Future The opportunities that being a member of The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) has afforded healthcare professionals, is one that is here to stay. Healthcare administration is a profession that continually evolves with time. Because of the advances in medicine, people are living longer and have a better quality of life.

The current self-assessment tools are quickly improving and making it easier for healthcare professionals to obtain the data needed to make prompt ethical decisions. It is important to remember that as a healthcare professional, one must present all of the facts to a patient and preserve his right of autonomy. It is within the code of ethics that healthcare professionals are not to impose their will on someone else. Remember, to carry out “the four ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. ”

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