Demonstrating Value Through Tracking Ethics Program Activities Beyond Ethics Consultations

Susannah W. Lee, Jordan Potter, Jeff S. Matsler, and Steven Shields

 

ABSTRACT

 

Emerging ethics programs must demonstrate increased value to their institution as an ongoing process and as a requirement for institutional survival. Although our ethics program significantly increased the number of ethics consultations it performed and maintained a robust database that tracked ethics consultation data, the data regarding the number of consultations did not accurately represent the program’s overall activities and value to the institution. The roles and responsibilities of clinical ethicists extend beyond clinical ethics consultation, and there are many other ways that clinical ethicists contribute and add value to their institutions. This article describes the early efforts to systematically track ethics program activities outside of ethics consultations, as a way to demonstrate additional value to the institution that is above and beyond ethics consultation. We systematically tracked activities such as internal ethics education sessions, conference presentations, publications, grants, committee/policy work, and other activities, and so have been able to gather substantial quantitative data that highlight our program’s numerous activities and outreach, within and outside the institution, that provide additional value to the institution beyond our ethics consultation activities.

 

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