[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Preventive ethics (PE) is a key component of IntegratedEthics (IE), an innovative model developed by the Veterans Health Administration (VA)'s National Center for Ethics in Health Care which establishes a comprehensive, systematic, integrated approach to ethics in health care organizations. Since early 2008, IE has been implemented throughout all 153 medical centers and 21 regional networks within the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. ISSUES: A STEP-BY-STEP APPROACH TO ETHICS QUALITY IMPROVEMENT: PE employs a systematic, step-by-step process improvement approach called ISSUES: Identify an issue, Study the issue, Select a strategy, Undertake a plan, Evaluate and adjust, and Sustain and spread. After the ethics quality gap is described, a measureable and achievable improvement goal based on the gap is developed. One of the most challenging aspects of describing an ethics quality gap is to establish an appropriate ethical standard on which to base the operational definition of best ethics practice. PRACTICAL STEPS TO DEVELOPING A PREVENTIVE ETHICS FUNCTION: Within the VA's IE model, PE is situated as a subcommittee of the IE council, which is chaired by the facility director (equivalent to a hospital chief executive officer) and oversees all aspects of the organization's ethics program, including ethical leadership, ethics consultation, and PE. Each VA medical center is required to have a PE team led and managed by a PE coordinator and may need to address ethics issues across the full range of health care ethics domains. Conclusions: The VA's IE model establishes a robust conceptual framework, along with concrete tools and resources, to integrate PE concepts into the day-to-day operations of a health care organization and is directly transferrable to other health care organizations and systems.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Joint Commission journal on quality and safety
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The IntegratedEthics model represents a fundamental departure from the traditional approach to ethics in health care organizations. The IntegratedEthics model was developed and refined over more than five years by a design team comprising individuals from diverse fields including bioethics, medicine, public administration, business, education, communications, nursing, and social sciences. The design team used a rigorous consensus development process that included in-depth literature reviews across multiple fields of study and extensive input from internal and external stakeholders representing numerous organizations. While the model was designed to meet the needs of health care organizations, most of its concepts are equally applicable to other types of organizations.
This article describes the conceptual underpinnings of the IntegratedEthics model and the rationale for its development. It describes the shortcomings of the traditional ethics committee model, which has changed little in the past 20 years. Next, it presents an overview of the IntegratedEthics model and how the model draws on 21st century thinking across fields ranging from organizational studies to quality management. Finally, the article describes in detail the three major functions of IntegratedEthics and their corresponding organizational structures.