Review of tools and materials to celebrate

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Improvement Forum Call

National Compliance and Ethics (C&E) Week2014: A Guide for IE Staff

Two–part call including a Journal Club Activity and review of tools and materials to celebrate National C&E Week

IE Councils

March 10, 2014

Slide Zero: Ethics and the FY14 Senior Executive Performance Template

This is Basil Rowland, IntegratedEthics Manager of Field Operations with the National Center for Ethics in Health Care and I would like to welcome you to today’s IF call. Today, we will do two things to help prepare you for this year’s National Compliance & Ethics Week, April 28 - May 2, 2014.  First, we will spend a few minutes in an online tour of the variety of tools and materials available to IE staff to help support this year’s C&E Week theme, "Building a Culture of Integrity."   Next, we will conduct a IE Journal Activity using one of four new tools based on the article “(Un)Ethical Behavior in Organizations.” 


  • 2014 IntegratedEthics Staff Survey: This summer, from June 9-30, the 2014 Summer Voice of VA (VOVA) will feature the fourth administration of NCEHC’s IntegratedEthics Staff Survey (IESS). The VOVA will include two surveys this year: the IESS and the National Center for Patient Safety’s (NCPS) Patient Safety survey. Employees will be asked to take one of these surveys. Support materials, including a marketing toolkit containing special instructions, FAQs, posters, encouragement letters, and timeline, will soon be avail-able. The April 7 IE Improvement Forum call will focus on how to achieve a high facility response rate. The May 12 Call will cover the marketing toolkit and publicity materials. If you have any questions, contact Basil Rowland, IE Manager, Field Operations, by email

  • 2014 IE Learning Tours: The National Center for Ethics in Health Care (NCEHC) is pleased to once again solicit facilities to apply for IE Learning Tours.  Developed to help facilities improve the effectiveness of their IE programs, the Learning Tours involve a two-day visit by a small team of IE subject matter experts from NCEHC and the field.  In FY2014, two sites will again be selected to receive hands-on coaching, education, and real-time feedback to assist in furthering IE program development. The tours will also help the NCEHC gain more insight into the achievements and challenges of strong IE programs and will provide an opportunity to share this knowledge with others. In FY2014, we will also be offering a limited number of “Virtual” Learning Tours consisting of a scaled back but still in-depth teleconference meetings for a limited number of facility IE programs that were not selected for an actual site visit. Note: You may soon see a memorandum that has been circulated to VISN Directors soliciting voluntary participation in FY2014 IE Learning Tours.  The memorandum that is being circulated is in .pdf format so links and the application are not accessible.   I recently circulated via the IE listserv an accessible .docx version with live links and an editable application form.  Also, please note that the application deadline is changed to March 31, 2014.

  • Final Version: IE Program Officer’s Desk Reference: The Desk Reference is designed for IEPOs and is intended to make your work both easier and more rewarding by collecting essential materials in one place and providing timelines and planning tools for use throughout the year.  It brings together the best information, strong practices, and learning from several years of interactions with field staff.  It also includes highlights from Improvement Forum (IF) Calls and core concepts gleaned from the IE Primers.  I believe this reference will help make your role as IEPO more satisfying and make your program more effective at achieving the goal of ethics quality.

Don’t Read:

The Desk Reference is designed to provide new or current IEPOs with:

· General information about the IE program and essential operations

· A list of critical activities, steps on how to complete them, and when these steps should be taken

· A collection of useful materials, tools, and resources related to IE and the National Center for Ethics in Health Care

If you are new to IE or the role of IEPO, this Desk Reference will give you a solid understanding of the program and will help you pick up where your predecessor left off. 


Extensively hyperlinked to valuable IE tools and resources

Slide One: Opening Poll

Last year, my facility planned and carried out IE activities during National C&E Week:

  • Extensively

  • Moderately

  • Somewhat

  • Not at all

Slide Two: National C&E Week 2014 Webpage, Activities, Tools and Materials
The purpose of National C&E Week is to highlight the essential connection between business integrity and ethics quality in providing the best care to our nation's Veterans. It is co-sponsored in VHA by the CBI program and the NCEHC through the IE program.  The CBI program is committed to achieving the highest standards of business integrity, while the IE program enhances ethics quality throughout VHA. 


Each year, IE Program staffs have helped celebrate National Compliance and Ethics Week across VHA.  Past year’s festivities have included contests, competitions, displays, special training sessions and guest speakers.  Again this year, there are multiple resources available on the national CBI website to help you plan your local activities including marketing resources, posters, logos and other outreach materials. Today I’d like to showcase a few IE materials to help you engage staff in conversations about ethics and promoting ethics quality including a Facility Planning Guide, Marketing Resources, Posters, Logos, other Outreach Resources under the Communications Toolkit tab, and the 2014 Activity Guide for IntegratedEthics® Staff that includes IntegratedEthics® Value of the Day activities, Journal Activities, the Encouraging Staff to Talk About Ethics and the Increasing Awareness of Ethics Consultation Availability Among Patients and Families tools.

National C&E Week Webpage Tour begins….

Now we’ll turn to today’s journal activity….

Slide Three: IE Journal Activity: (Un)Ethical Behavior in Organizations, Treviño, Linda Klebe; Nieuwenboer, Niki A.; Kish-Gephart, Jennifer J. 2014. Annual Review of Psychology, Volume 65: 635-660.
Discussion 4: Decision Frames

IE Journal Activities are designed to help you lead colleagues in a lively discussion of ethical behavior in your facility.  They should take 45-60 minutes, are suitable for different venues, including "lunch and learn, and come with detailed Leader's Guides and Participant Handouts.  


Today’s activity is the final discussion in a four-part series that explores ethical leadership concepts raised in “(Un)Ethical Behavior in Organizations,” a review of current thought related to ethical and unethical behavior in organizations. Building on previous research and discussing recent advances in the field, this article focuses on how organizations and their leadership provide the context for ethical — and unethical — behavior.


In this journal activity, discussion will focus on the powerful influence that “decision frames” exert on how people think about situations and respond with ethical or unethical behavior. For example, according to one study discussed in the article, a bottom-line mentality (BLM) can especially evoke “one-dimensional thinking that revolves around securing bottom-line outcomes to the neglect of competing priorities,” such as ethical considerations or quality. As expected, such BLM thinking can be passed from supervisor to subordinate. This journal activity provides a venue for reflection, discussion, and inquiry about what decision frames you have encountered in your work, and how they have impacted the ethical environment and culture in your organization. This topic is discussed in the “Decision Frames” section on page 649 of the article.


Objectives for the Journal Discussion

  • Provide an opportunity for staff to reflect on their own thinking and behavior with regard to ethical practice in their work.

  • Familiarize staff with resources available to them in their local IE program.

  • Foster collaborative discussion among staff to improve the ethical environment and culture in your facility.

Slide Four: Questions

So I hope that today’s call will help you plan and carry out your own C&E Week activities. Compliance and Ethics Week is a tremendous opportunity to reinforce the significance of ethics in the work we do for Veterans every day. IntegratedEthics staff and others can celebrate this important week by conducting activities like these for employees that raise awareness of ethics and VA core values. We invite you to use the resources here, or create activities of your own.

Contact Basil Rowland, IE Manager, Field Operations, with any questions

(757) 809-1129 or

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