Minor Ethical Infractions



BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 1

Course Learning Outcomes for Unit VI Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

2. Evaluate how ethical behavior affects the workplace. 2.1 Examine the connections between communication, personality, and ethics in a healthcare

setting.

Course/Unit Learning Outcomes

Learning Activity

2.1

Unit Lesson Chapters 9, 11 Article “The ant and the grasshopper: Work ethic by personality type.” Unit VI PowerPoint Presentation

Reading Assignment Chapter 9: Patient Interaction and Communication Chapter 11: Professionalism in Action Additional Reading Assignment: In order to access the following resource, click the link below. NERIS Analytics Limited. (2016). The ant and the grasshopper: Work ethic by personality type. 16

Personalities. https://www.16personalities.com/articles/the-ant-and-the-grasshopper-work-ethic-by- personality-type

Unit Lesson José is still thinking about communication and how it can change the whole tone and environment of the healthcare organization and those who work within the organization. He realizes that communication has a major impact on patient care—from ethical standards to quality of patient care. He also sees that ethics plays a role in how we communicate. He goes to Jane to discuss this because he is finding it all tied together, and he wants to talk about how he can improve the patient care he provides now and how to lead others to do the same. Jane listens to what José has to share and settles back to discuss the topics with him. She suggests that they consider ethics first since many healthcare employees seem to struggle with this. Jane reminds José of the incident last year where Yvonne became involved with a patient in their healthcare clinic. Yvonne felt sorry for the patient who had lost his job, and she began to offer him rides to his appointments and then to go shopping. Before long, Yvonne was seen dating him, and the healthcare clinic had to step in because this was unethical behavior. José remembered the incident because everyone was talking about it, and it was something that he was uncomfortable with but did not know how to stop. The human resources (HR) department manager called everyone together to discuss ethical communication and behaviors between employees and between employees and patients. They had to do training about Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws and where professional behavior ended and inappropriate personal behavior began. All this

UNIT VI STUDY GUIDE Ethics, Patients, and You

BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 2

occurred because Yvonne did not understand that compassion for a patient’s needs can conflict and clash with compassion for a patient on a personal level. José discovers from Jane that ethical behaviors also include cybersecurity. He had heard a lot about this in the news with all of the healthcare organizations that had fallen victim to having their computer systems compromised lately. He did not realize, however, that there was so much to the concepts or that they applied to him even when in his office. He was surprised to learn from Jane that even taking home patient files on his company-issued laptop could lead to cybersecurity issues that did not seem to relate to him when he was in his HR security training courses each year.

José asks Jane about how he should approach his employees if he becomes a healthcare administrator since there are so many different personalities in the office and in the patients they care for. Jane reminds José about their talk last week where they looked at the different types of groups one encounters in an office. José had actually identified with her what groups their healthcare organization and department had, and he placed his colleagues within the different groups. José also has been studying about culturally appropriate patient care at the following website, and he sees how all of this is tying together: https://www.thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov. Jane now encourages José to consider how personalities play a role in providing patient care and in a person’s work ethic. She shares that she comes from a culture where one’s personal space is very small, and everyone in the community would step right up to others and start talking to them in their face as a colleague once told her she does. She tells José that it took her a long time to understand that people have different types and degrees of personal space and that violating that space can offend another person and can shut down communication. She lists the types of personal space that exist, which are provided below.

• Social space: This space is set by the degree of familiarity one has with another person. When first meeting someone, whether the person is a colleague, patient, or acquaintance, social space varies from 4 to 12 feet depending on the physical environment.

Consider This! José is aware of the HIPAA laws, but he realizes that he does not know much more than that he has to respect patients’ rights; make sure that patients know all they need to know to make informed healthcare decisions; and that information about a patient’s health can only be disclosed to the patient, a legally designated person, or parent. José decides he will go to the following website, which contains training materials for HIPAA compliance. (You can access the website by clicking the link below.) U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.). Training materials: Helping entities implement

privacy and security protections. http://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for- professionals/training/index.html

On the aforementioned website, Jose finds a link that offers training on HIPAA and HIPAA violations, which can be accessed by clicking the link below. Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. (n.d.). Health IT privacy and

security resources for providers. https://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/guide- privacy-and-security-electronic-health-information

Take a few minutes to visit the two websites that José visited. There you will find guides to the full HIPAA rules and information on patient rights, cybersecurity, and more.

• What information did you find that you did not know about before? • What information can affect ethical behavior toward and for a patient? • How will your practice be affected by a careful understanding of HIPAA rules now or in the

f t if t tl l d h lth d i i t t ?

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• Personal space: Once you know the person, being past that first period where introductions take place, social space shrinks to about 1.5 to 4 feet and then becomes personal space. This is the space that others felt Jane was violating when she should have been in their social space.

• Intimate space: Intimate space is actually the space in which the healthcare professional must do his or her patient assessment or treatment. It is from 0 to 1.5 feet and necessary to provide care for the patient. It can also be the spaces within which colleagues work as when sharing a computer or reading a chart together (Colbert & Katrancha, 2016).

José tells Jane that he has seen a great website that is all about work ethic. He feels that work ethic ties to personal space, communication, and HIPAA because some people want to get their work done as fast as they can so they can party, and some focus intensely on work and leave play for a time when they can be carefree. Each approach can affect the quality of patient care given and the relationships formed between healthcare professionals. Jane acknowledges that it is all tied together; one part affects the other and can lead to either positive or negative results.

José has come away from his talk with Jane with a clearer picture of how all behavior displayed by a healthcare administrator plays a role in the greater picture of the healthcare organization and the kind of patient care it provides. José knows that ethical behavior follows set laws, rules, and regulations; however, it also includes the smaller things and interactions that happen each day between patients and healthcare professionals. He knows it could be as small as knocking on a patient door before entering to as major as providing the proper feedback to another person so communications are clear and result in a desired outcome (Colbert & Katrancha, 2016; Stone & Heen, 2014).

References Colbert, B. J., & Katrancha, E. D. (2016). Career success in health care: Professionalism in action (3rd ed.).

Cengage Learning.

Consider This! José is realizing that ethics have as much to do with personality types as they do with culture and background. He is fascinated by the idea that some people do not consider ethics the same way as others do, and he took Jane’s advice to read the article below, which speaks on ethics and personality types. (You can access the resource by clicking the link below.) NERIS Analytics Limited. (2016). The ant and the grasshopper: Work ethic by personality type. 16

Personalities. https://www.16personalities.com/articles/the-ant-and-the-grasshopper-work- ethic-by-personality-type

In reading over the article, José is able to identify himself as a diplomat and analyst because he knows he is analytical about all that he encounters in life. He tries to balance his work and personal life by sometimes putting work first and by sometimes putting play first. José starts to think about those he works with and how each fits within the personality types in the article. He sees that Jane is more of a sentinel who works hard so she can plan for a future she envisions for herself. He sees his coworker Roger as being more of an explorer who does not seem to care much about his job; Roger just puts in his hours and always thinks about what he will do when he is home. Consider your personality type. Are you an ant or a grasshopper? Do you see yourself as an explorer, diplomat/analyst, or a sentinel? How does your personality type play into your work ethic? How does it affect the care you provide now or will provide as a healthcare administrator to your patients?

BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 4

Stone, D., & Heen, S. (2014). Thanks for the feedback: The science and art of receiving feedback well. Viking.

Suggested Reading In order to access the following resources, click the links below. These websites contain a vast supply of information and training for the healthcare administrator. You are encouraged to take the time to explore them and bookmark them for future reference. Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. (n.d.). Health IT privacy and security

resources for providers. https://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/guide-privacy-and-security- electronic-health-information

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.). Training materials: Helping entities implement privacy

and security protections. http://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/training/index.html Learning Activities (Nongraded) Nongraded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study. You do not have to submit them. If you have questions, contact your instructor for further guidance and information. Research three websites that are patient-focused and explain patient rights in layman’s terms. Prepare a pamphlet that explains patient rights and recommends one of the websites for patients to learn more about their rights. This exercise will not only allow you to further your knowledge in the area, but the pamphlet can be added to the toolbox you are building and can be used as a training aid in the future.


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