Friday, September 25, 2009

Assessing Quality of Ethics Case Consults

Rosemary Flanigan
September 25, 2009

I feel so fortunate to have you conscientious discussion-groupers when I have a vexing question—and I am vexed by the first article in the recent Cambridge Quarterly.

George Agich is the guest editor for the issue on "Consultation: Time for Assessment and Evaluation." My query is about assessing the quality of our case consults.

I have been helping to drive our ethics committee at Carondelet Health for 19 years and the only specific “quality assessment” we have conducted is through the self-assessment tool prepared by the Consortium.

On Case consultation, there are 11 questions:

Who may ask for a consult?
Questions about the screening process
What happens to a case that is “screened out”?
How is the consult addressed (individual? a few members? the whole?)
Response time
Required consents
Who else is involved?
How documented
How reported and to whom?
Written procedures?
Have we reviewed Core Competencies?

But how ought we to assess the quality of the consult? Do any of you have a specific time to do it? A tool to use?

It’s as if I’ve neglected something very important.


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