By Andrea Frolic, Katherine Drolet, Kim Bryanton, Carole Caron, Cynthia Cupido, Barb Flaherty, Sylvia Fung & Lori McCall Pages: 3-15
Hospital ethics committees (HECs) and ethicists generally describe themselves as engaged in four domains of practice: case consultation, research, education, and policy work. Despite the increasing attention to quality indicators, practice standards, and evaluation methods for the other domains, comparatively little is known or published about the policy work of HECs or ethicists. This article attempts to open the “black box” of this health care ethics practice by providing two detailed case examples of ethics policy reviews. We also describe the development and application of an evaluation strategy to assess the quality of ethics policy review work, and to enable continuous improvement of ethics policy review processes. Given the potential for policy work to impact entire patient populations and organizational systems, it is imperative that HECs and ethicists develop clearer roles, responsibilities, procedural standards, and evaluation methods to ensure the delivery of consistent, relevant, and high-quality ethics policy reviews.
Open Peer Commentaries.
- Thinking Outside the Black Box: What Policy Theory Can Offer Healthcare Ethicists Shawn Winsor & Mita Giacomini
- Shifting the Emphasis to Meaningful Ethics Engagement in the Development of Health Policies Jeffrey Kirby
- Uncovering the Real Work Behind Policy Development Kevin M. Dirksen & Katherine Brown-Saltzman
- Hospital Ethics Committees: The Case for Limiting Policy Work Reid Cushman & Robin N. Fiore
- Why the “Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation” Instrument Can and Should Further Inform Ethics Policy Work Daniel Strech & Jan Schildmann
- Are Ethics Committees in Tune With the “Epidemiology of Ethical Issues”? Rogelio Altisent, Begoña Buil & Maria Teresa Delgado-Marroquín
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