Beth is a recent graduate of an allied health program at the local community college. While in school, she had taken a course from a professor who she really admired and liked. In her first job out of school as a registration clerk at the hospital’s clinic, she happened to be assigned the professor to register as an outpatient for radiation therapy for a recently diagnosed cancer treatment. The two chatted as Beth input the professor’s information into the hospital’s EHR system. They talked about the course and how much Beth liked the course and the professor as a teacher. Beth thought about the professor all day and felt terrible to learn the professor was being treated for cancer. She knew many of her classmates also liked the professor, so after work she decided to contact her friends about the professor and suggest they send the professor a card. Beth shared the professor’s home address.
Jan Geisler is the HIM director at Hillside Medical Center. The administration at Hillside has just approved the budget which includes a new electronic health record. They assign Jan as the project manager and give her the task of reviewing and selecting the company (vendor) with the EHR that best suits the hospital’s needs. Jan immediately thinks of her college roommate Ana. Ana also majored in HIM and now works for a large EHR vendor in California. Jan sends a quick email to Ana to catch up and asks about her company’s EHR system. Ana responds immediately with updated pictures of her family and some general information about the EHR her company sells. Ana offers for her company to fly Jan to California so she can see the system and have a live demonstration. As an added bonus, Ana cannot wait to see her friend, take her to dinner and catch up. Jan goes to California and enjoys her time with Ana, but she is a little disappointed with the EHR system. She just doesn’t think it will meet the needs of her hospital. Jan has a meeting with the chief information officer today and is expected to present her recommendations. She feels obligated to recommend Ana’s company but she also has major concerns about their product.
1. What ethical issues can be found in Jan’s investigation of an EHRs? (NOTE: In the textbook, there is a typo it says Ana instead of Jan)
2 Was it a conflict of interest for Jan to do business with her personal friend Ana?
3. Using the ethical decision making model found in this chapter, analyze the scenario and recommend a decision.