Thursday, October 1, 2009

Evaluating and Credentialing Ethics Committees

Rosemary Flanigan
October 1, 2009

In the first part of the 1990’s when our ethics committee reached out to encompass all the entities in our Carondelet Health system in KC (2 hospitals, 3 nursing homes, home care, etc.) we busily spread education about ethics in healthcare and how the ethics committee could help.

We were so busy seeking invitations from departments, affiliated groups, nursing homes, that we didn’t bother evaluating—heck! We were doing. And when I hear of the uneasy reliance on process, I remember our “evaluating by quantity” (“We educated x number of groups since last month. . . .”)

I don’t have the answer here—but even if we focus on outcomes, we shall need to qualify the quantification; otherwise, “the operation was a success but the patient died” aphorism will ring true.

Evaluation and credentialing of ethics committees—my two big areas of concern. We’ll persist in the discussion, I hope. THANKS.

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