To start with, it should be stated that the Joint Commission requires every oganization to establish an organization-specific definition of a sentinel event. In most cases, under sentinel event health the professionals understand the event, which has resulted in the patient’s death or permanenet loss of body function, which was not caused by the patient’s illness or underlying condition. It can be one of the following cases: suicide, unanticipated dealth of a full-term infant, patient abduction, rape, and surgery done to the wrong patient on the wrong body parts (Byers & White, 2004, p. 70). It is worth emphasizing that sentinel events occur as a result of a medical error, deserving particular attention of the healthcare workers, because the sentinel events should be followed by the immediate investigation and response.
Reporting the sentinel event is rather serious and essential, as it enables to change the general information available in the Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event database. Moreover, it is an opportunity to get the consultation from the Joint Commission staff in order to develop the root cause analysis and action plan. Reporting the sentinel events is a responsibility of all healthcare employees. The thing is that such events violate the ethical principles of healthcare.
The issues of sentinel events, which happen within the U.S. healthcare system, made JCAHO include new standards on effective leadership in January, 2009. According to these standards, any accredited healthcare organization must have a code of conduct that defines acceptable, disruptive and inappropriate behaviours. Every organization is obliged to create and implemet their own strategies, which might turn out to be useful tools for sentinel events’ reduction. It should be taken into account that the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations mandates the code of conduct, as this is a special organization, which accredits and evaluates the level and quality of healthcare organizations and programs within the United States. Its main mission is improving the level and quality of healthcare provided to public.
Those organizations, which do not comply with the JCAHO sentinel policy stop maintaining the JCAHO accreditation (Roberts, 2013, p. 453). If the submission of the medical organization is not acceptable, the organization is posed to the risk of being placed on accreditation watch by the JCAHO.
I think that every organization, even if it is not related to healthcare, is obliged to have a code of conduct or in other words, code of ethics. The thing is that every organization should think about its clients and employees; it has to think about their well-being and non-maleficience. People should work in order to achieve positive results. An organizational code of conduct plays an important role in the organizational ethics. It can make some guiding principles of the organization quite specific. My company also has its code of conduct, and I know about it. I have been oriented about its policy. I consider that it is really significant, as it assists in establishing the professional ethical standards within my company. Fortunately, there were no particular incidents; however I think that in case of their occurrence, one should definitely report about them. At the first sight, reporting others seems to be unfair. But one should take into account that errors should be punished. The employees should be rather attentive at the workplace. They cannot bring about the sentinel events or commit other violations. The thing is that these actions result in serious consequences. In case of incident, the organization should take care of its employees, and encourage the legal and ethical behaviour. Code of conduct might be perceived as a list of rules, which have to be followed by the employees. Every organization should introduce such rules, as they would improve the services of employees and provide them with the direct steps, which should be followed in case of the code violation.