1. Define an audit, and describe the problems that an audit may be trying to uncover.
An audit is the systematic examination of an organization’s financial reports as they are presented in the annual reports by a neutral or independent person to the organization. The financial report is comprised of the balance sheets, cash flow statements among other financial reports in an organization. The core objective of an audit is to investigate whether the information indicated in a financial report shows the actual financial position of the involved organization at the given time.
An audit also tries to investigate whether the details of what an organization owns and what it owes other people are well recorded in the organization’s balance sheet. In the process of examining the financial reports, the auditors are required to follow specific ethics and standards which are set by the government of the given place. Upon completion of their task, auditors write a report where they explain what they have done as they offer opinions that they draw from their work. It is a requirement by the government for all listed companies and the limited companies to undergo an audit each year while other organizations may ask for an audit depending on factors such as structure and form of ownership.
2. Explain the impact of failure to comply with state and federal laws, regulations and statutes in healthcare.
Failure of a healthcare organization to comply with the state and federal laws and regulations can have a number of side effects both to the healthcare institution, workers, and even the patients. The many serious consequences of noncompliance to the regulations include the act of altering the organization’s legal status thus making it vulnerable to lawsuits when government agencies conduct audits or enact fines while in other cases the organization might be dissolved completely for noncompliance. Failure to comply with the set regulations can cost a healthcare organization can result in fines when the health organization fails to comply with the hiring compliance guidelines and end up discriminating people on the basis of sex, religion or race.
Also, the organization may be fined in case they higher individuals who are below the age of 18 years. The healthcare organizations have to take into consideration the corporate of doctrine negligence where they are required by the law to bear the responsibility for the well-being of patients. The healthcare centers are required to maintain a clean and safe environment, oversee safety and implement the policies on safety as well as hiring competent and well-trained employees in the organizations. Failure to follow the corporate of doctrine negligence may lead it into trouble as the organization may be sued for its employee actions.
3. Discuss the steps that are employed for ethical decision making in healthcare.
In a health care, there is the importance of using the five steps of ethical decision making whenever a decision has to be made. The first step in ethical decision making is gathering the facts. This is where the person involved in decision making tries to be as neutral as possible when it comes to describing the facts. This avoids one from leaning to his preferred side, therefore, leading to a neutral decision that benefits all stakeholders in healthcare. The second step is making a prediction about what is to happen in future based on the facts that are relevant to what is being experienced. The third step towards making an ethical decision in healthcare is identifying one feeling so as to avoid rationalization or overlooking something.
The fourth step involves asking oneself whether he or she would live with himself when a particular choice is done. This involves analyzing whether the decision maker would let others know what he or she did. The last step in making an ethical decision is explaining to others and be ready to engage in a conversation with other people regarding the decision made. The step involves developing a hypothesis, testing it and then reaching a conclusion so that the idea can be submitted to other people to scrutinize it.
4. Discuss the key legal investigations that may involve a healthcare facility and its staff. Be sure to include the concepts of subpoena duces tecum and subpoena ad testificandum in your answer.
Just like other organizations there are a number of legal investigations that may befall a healthcare facility as well as its staff. This investigations may be as a result of breach of health care regulations or failure to possess the required documents to operate a health care. The first legal investigation that a healthcare organization may find itself into is the law suits that range from lack of confidentiality among the employees or within the organization. Confidentiality being both an ethical and a legal issue, it is important for the health organization to keep information regarding patients confidential as a way of showing respect to the patient’s autonomy.
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, it is limited to whom the medical information of a person can be released to. For instance, insurance companies are limited in accessing certain aspects of the patient’s medical record but in case of a third party it would be important for an ethical health care professional to break down the confidentiality so as to prevent the harm. In case the confidentiality of a patient’s health records is breached then the healthcare organization may find itself in a court of law so as to give an oral testimony that can be used in the hearing of the case filled by the patient whose information has been linked.
The other key legal investigation that a healthcare facility can find itself in is investigation against malpractices. The healthcare professionals are the most targeted for this investigation as a law suit may be brought from injuries that may result in the process of a doctor performing a surgery, use of defective equipment as well as receiving incomplete medical care where some care was omitted such that it brought harm to the patient. In case of such a law suit, the healthcare organization will have to be investigated so that the truth of the allegations by the patients can be proved as prosecution of the facility awaits. The healthcare facility or the professional aimed by such a law suit has to produce some documents to the court of law to prove that he or she adhered to the medical ethics.
A health care facility and its staff can also be sued for having relationships with patient’s especially sexual relationships that are prohibited by the medical code of ethics. In the instance where a health care profession is accused of such an act, the police and other legal bodies have to come in and investigate whether such acts occurred and statements have to be recorded so that the information can be used in the trial process.
Also, a health care facility might find it elf under legal investigations due to consent matters. This is where the health facility caries out treatment on a patient without his consent. For instance, in case a surgery is performed on a patient without his or her consent is considered an assault which one can be sued for. In some cases where treatment of adolescents is faced with conflicts between ethics and the law, doctors find it hard to disclose the child’s medical record to the parents without the consent of the children.