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St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center

Advancing Excellence

Jul 22 2013
Corporate Compliance: Our Integrity

When my daughter, Elizabeth, was growing up we would occasionally have discussions about values and how to live a good life.  Recently she was asked what she learned from her mother for a public forum. She started her list with saying: "Your integrity is everything. Once you give it away, it's hard to get it back."  Proud mom was glad she had listened all those years!

This week across our system we will be discussing corporate compliance in our huddles. Corporate compliance is how we confirm our integrity, having a moral code about what's right and wrong and sticking to it.

While the structure or rules come from regulations nationally, for us it comes from our mission and values. The regulations can't create a culture that adheres to right and wrong. We do that.  We do it through clearly stating that one of our key values as an organization is integrity and knowing what that requires us to do in our work.

We ask that we each commit to making sure things are done  correctly, from obtaining patient consent, to securing information and protecting confidentiality, to correctly documenting for proper billing. When we see it not being done properly, integrity also demands that we speak up.

We have an excellent corporate compliance program headed by Amy Rhone, who must rely on each of us to live our value of integrity to be successful as an organization.  Our board of directors also has a corporate compliance committee that routinely examines and discusses how well we are doing in the areas of compliance.

We encourage good discussion this week on how we can do a better job living our values, particularly integrity.

Thank you, as well, to everyone who has attended our employee forums. We have more this week, and I am very proud of the great questions and ideas being shared by my colleagues. Thank you!

"If you have integrity, nothing else matters, if you don't have integrity nothing else matters." - Simpson


1 Comments so far

Christine Allen July 22, 2013 at 01:43 pm

Hi Kathy: I love this conversation. As a mom of two teenagers, I would be very proud if my children were ever to attribute a value as key as integrity to what they learned from me! I always told them when they were small that the two most important values to me were honesty and kindness. In my work with hospitals, I have often wondered why it can't be called Corporate Integrity or the like. The word compliance has always had such negative connotations in our culture--it sort of conveys going along with something. No one really aspires to be compliant, but hopefully we aspire to being persons and organizations of integrity. I think what we call things matters and I wish hospital regulatory bodies would use aspirational language that would still meet their requirements.

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