Legal Aspects of US Health Care System Administration

Professional Conduct of the Administrator

All health care administrators have the responsibility to preserve the highest standards of ethical and integrity principles. This is crucial in discharging the professional responsibility as a top administrator of Well Care Hospital. As top administrator I shall strive to provide all clients entrusted in the hospital’s care the highest quality of services in light of all available resources or constraints. The operations of Well Care Hospital shall be in consistent with laws, regulations and standards of practice of health care administration.

My professional conduct shall be consistent with law and professional standards protecting confidential information of all individuals under the hospital’s care. I shall carry out administrative duties with personal integrity that will ear trust, respect and confidence of the general public. Appropriate steps shall be taken to avoid any form of discrimination based on gender, race, color, age, religion, handicap, marital status or any other factor that is illegally discriminatory. No information whether professional or personal shall be disclosed to unauthorized persons unless stipulated by law (Kunyk, & Austin, 2010).

I shall maintain the highest standards of professional competence by possessing the necessary competencies required to carry out my responsibilities and when appropriate seek the advice of those qualified. I shall enhance my knowledge and expertise through further education and professional development. I shall work professionally by placing the interests of the hospital and clients first. I shall avoid partisanship and provide fair dispute resolution that may arise during service delivery or management of that may create a conflict of interest or have an adverse impact on the hospital. All these are vital for preserving the highest standards of ethical and integrity principles where the interests of the clients under the hospital’s care are paramount.

Ramifications of Compromising Ethics and Medical Conduct by Staff

The major ramifications of having professional staff compromise the boundaries of ethics and medical conduct as medical negligence or malpractice lawsuits against the hospital or health professional. There are different types of medical negligence that include misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, surgical errors, unnecessary surgery, errors in anesthesia or negligent long term treatment. Ethics and medical misconduct on the professional staff include sexual relations with a patient, breaching confidentiality, or manipulating patients’ records. The ramifications on the staff include supervised practice, limits imposed on practice or the medical license is suspended or revoked. The hospital may also be closed down (Gaudine, LeFort, Lamb, & Thorne, 2011).

Four Elements Required to Prove Medical Negligence

Medical negligence involves negligence by medical personnel such as a doctor, surgeon, nurse or health worker that cause emotional or physical injury to a patient. This may occur in the form of an act or omission of an act of the required care. The four elements required to prove medical negligence are; duty, breach of duty, damage, and cause. Duty refers to the duty owed to a patient by a health care practitioner responsible for the patient’s care. For example, duty exists in a doctor-patient relationship.

Breach of duty is when the health care practitioner did not fulfill their duty of care or medical skill to the patient that another health care practitioner in the same specialty would have done in the same situation. In this case, an expert must testify on what is the appropriate standard of care in that situation. Damage is where the patient has suffered emotional or physical injury under the care of the health care practitioner. The injury is either new or an aggravation of an existing injury. Cause is where there is solid proof that the breach of duty by the healthcare practitioner was the cause of the patient’s injury. A successful medical negligence suit will have proven that all the four elements exist.

Duties of the Health Care Governing Board and Medical Non-Compliance

The overarching duty of the health care governing board in mitigating effects of medical non-compliance is the fiduciary responsibility. Health care governing boards have various fiduciary responsibilities which include monitoring and ensuring patient safety and quality, establishing and enforcing the hospital’s organizational policy and ensuring legal and regulatory compliance (ECRI Institute, 2009). The rules of practice set forth in Well Care Hospital governing board’s manifesto is based on the quality and safety of care to its patients is paramount.

One of the most important roles of the board is the duty of care. The board has the legal responsibility in relation to decision making and oversight. They are obligated to make responsible decisions as they are susceptible to legal risk if they fail to oversee Well Care’s compliance program. The board should be conversant with the policy, operational and clinical issues associated with patient safety and quality of care in response to federal and state laws governing health care (Cyrran & Totten, 2011).

In Well Care Hospital, the health care governing board should work with a Risk Manager whose role is to develop information and resources that can assist the board to establish strategic goals for patient safety and quality of care and thus improve board oversight (Health and Care Professions Council, 2012). At Well Care Hospital, quality of care is monitored by measuring the number of medical errors per 1000 patient days or the number of unplanned returns to surgery. The above duties can effectively mitigate the effects of medical non-compliance.

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