Follow these organizational tips

Here are some tips for developing an organizational code of ethics, suggested by the Rev. Patrick Persaud, associate director of pastoral care at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Conduct an Internet search.

"I looked under ethics, code of ethics, organizational ethics, and business ethics. There’s a lot of stuff out there, but it might not be specific to the health care industry," Persaud says.

Look at other codes of ethics.

Persaud says the best document he’s found was from the Chicago-based American College of Healthcare Executives’ Code of Ethics. (See the supplement in this issue for a copy of that code of ethics.) The American Hospital Association, also in Chicago, has an advisory on ethical conduct for health care institutions as well.

Adapt policies to your own facility.

Although the Cleveland Clinic task force was not asked to develop a policy or code of ethics, it is taking the information from nonmedical fields and adapting it the health care setting.

"There might be some good information from an automotive manufacturer, for example, that might require you to adapt the situations to a health care environment," Persaud suggests.

Search for a consultant.

"Our task force got very lucky in that a faculty member from a local college found out that we were in the process of doing this and asked if he could volunteer some time," he says. He suggests contacting local colleges and universities to see if business or management faculty members are willing to help.