Explain concepts of ethics and values in relation to situations occurring in health information practice.


Review thoroughly the AHIMA Code of Ethics on page 348 of the Health Information Management text. Apply your understanding of professional ethics and the appropriate professional code of conduct using the ethical decision-making matrix on page 355 to the five (5) scenarios provided. In each case, the Code of Ethics has been violated. List first how the Code has been violated, follow this with use of the seven (7) steps to identify a prevention option so the issue will not recur. Be sure to list each of the seven steps and answer the steps thoroughly for each of the five scenarios.


At a meeting of her bridge club, one of the members expresses sympathy for an absent member who, she reports, has recently been hospitalized as a result of acute appendicitis. Jane, an RHIA, remarks, “Oh, it was not appendicitis at all but, of course, I can’t tell you what it was because that would not be ethical.”
When applying for fellowship in the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Smith cites the cases of several patients who were actually cared for by a senior surgeon on the case as examples of his own patients and surgical work. The list of cases he has submitted is sent to the hospital to James, RHIA, for verification. Knowing how eager the young surgeon is to obtain this fellowship and not wanting to make trouble, James verifies by his signature the statements that these were Dr. Smith’s patients.
Martha, RHIA, is sent by her hospital to an advanced workshop on HIPAA security regulations in San Francisco. Because she has the speaker handout package and can purchase audiotapes of the sessions for future reference, on two of the days of the workshop, Martha decides to go shopping and sightseeing instead of attending the afternoon sessions.
Hearing of a job in a hospital in the next town where the salary is better and the working conditions more pleasant, Erica RHIA, applies for it. During her interview, she stats that she earned her degree in a well-respected program. In reality, she spent only one year in that program before transferring to another program where she actually earned her degree. She secures the new position and, because the second hospital is very anxious to have her start work at once, places a letter of resignation under the door of the vice president to whom she reports in her current position, informing the VP that she will not be returning to the facility.
Jack, RHIA, works for MediUpdate, Inc. as a coding consultant. He also is a newly elected member of the board of directors of the state health information management association. The board has decided to sponsor a series of coding update workshops and is in the process of reviewing proposals from potential consulting and training companies. At the meeting, Jack heavily promotes MediUpdate’s proposal and casts his vote for this company.

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