Standards of Conduct and Ethics
Standards of Conduct
Employees have an obligation to observe and follow Wells House policies and to maintain proper standards of conduct at all times. This is also applicable to all interactions with our many stakeholders, including: clients, family members, general public, partner agencies, and funders. If an employee’s behavior interferes with the orderly and efficient operation of Wells House, corrective disciplinary measures will be taken.
It is expected that all employees regardless of job title, shall:
- Act impartially, and not give preferential treatment to any current, prospective, or former patient;
- Protect and conserve Wells House property and use it only for authorized activities;
- Adhere to all laws, regulations, and policies that provide equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability;
- Treat colleagues with respect and cordiality, and assume personal responsibility for maintaining a respectful, positive, healthy work environment;
- Dress appropriately and maintain a professional demeanor at work so as to reflect positively on the institution and its mission.
Ethics: Business and Management Practice
- Wells House strives to merit the trust of its customers and of the public.
- The Board shall ensure that management, business, and financial decisions are made in the best interests of the organization, and that resources are allocated in accordance with established industry standards.
- Wells House sets a goal of openness and transparency in business and avoids knowingly disseminating information that may be false or misleading.
- Wells House complies with applicable laws and regulations.
- Wells House supports continued professional development and growth for its staff.
- Wells House does not knowingly participate in activities that could damage its reputation, such as those that might be perceived as exploitation of patients, families, employees, customers, or colleagues.
- In its business practices, the organization seeks to preserve privacy and confidentiality for patients, as well keep confidential the organization’s proprietary business information.
- To avoid actual or potential conflicts of interest, we ask that managers, Board members, and employees do not seek to benefit directly or indirectly from the use of inside information, or to profit from a position of authority.
- Disclosure is required wherever a direct or indirect financial or personal investment may pose a potential conflict of interest.
- The organization values its staff and promotes a workplace that is safe, secure, and professional.
- Wells House seeks to protect the workplace from harassment, undue influence, and coercion, and to maintain appropriate processes for grievance and appeal.
- Wells House commits to taking part in relevant public dialogue on healthcare policy and advocates for addiction treatment.
Ethics: Contractual Relationships
- Well House may enter into relationships as needed to meet the needs of the organization and its consumers. Contracts, agreements, and associated memoranda shall be written, dated, and signed by authorized representatives, and kept in Administration for review and reference. Contractual relationships shall include a Business Associate Agreement where appropriate.
- No relationship shall exist that does not serve the organization’s mission and goals, or that restricts the delivery of necessary care to the consumer.
- Wells House does not enter into an agreement that involves any form of fee-splitting or paying for referrals.
- All agreements shall be reviewed annually to ensure the terms and conditions remain appropriate and in the best interests of the organization and its consumers.
Ethics: Marketing and Community Relations
- Consumer privacy and confidentiality shall be protected in all communications, at all times and in all circumstances.
- Marketing efforts shall exhibit a degree of professionalism and ethical conduct in keeping with the mission and goals of the organization.
- In its marketing initiatives, Wells House seeks to enhance the good name of addiction recovery and reduce the stigma traditionally associated with seeking treatment.
- Marketing representatives shall present information so as to maintain standards of accuracy and good taste. Information about program services shall be presented without exaggeration or distortion.
- Wells House does not seek advantage by use of unfavorable information about other institutions.
- Wells House does not, through its marketing or advertising efforts, promote or recommend services that are not necessary or are not in the consumer’s best interests.
Organizational Responsibilities to Employees
Wells House leadership shall:
- Strive to create a work environment that is both professional and ethical;
- Encourage free expression of concerns and provide a mechanism for addressing them;
- Seek to promote a work environment free from harassment and coercion of any kind;
- Strive to prevent discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability;
- Seek to make best use of employee knowledge and skills, within the limits of employment; and
- Work to ensure the safety and health of its employees.
Ethics: Professional Responsibilities
Wells House employs professionals of several types, who are expected to comply with the codes of ethics and professional conduct associated with their profession and licensure. This includes applicable Maryland law and also accreditation standards adopted by the program. In general, professionals working through the organization, whether as employees or contractors, are expected to follow the rules below.
- The professional endeavors at all times and in all situations to act in the best interests of the patient.
- Professionals are aware of their influential position and avoid exploiting trust or fostering dependency.
- The professional seeks to fully inform consumers as to the purpose and nature of any evaluation or treatment, so as to make possible informed patient choice with regard to participation.
- The professional works cooperatively with other members of the treatment team and other professionals involved in the case in order to optimize outcomes.
- In the event that a patient is receiving services from another professional or counselor, steps shall be taken to establish communication and develop a plan to coordinate care where appropriate.
- Professional staff do not seek to meet their personal needs at the expense of the patient.
- Professionals do not condone or engage in any discrimination based on age, color, culture, disability, ethnic group, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, marital or socioeconomic status.
- Professionals seek to understand the diverse cultural backgrounds of patients with whom they work.
- Professionals eschew dual relationships that could impair judgment or increase the risk of harm.
- Professionals avoid potential conflicts of interests that may involve the organization. Where questions arise, professionals seek guidance from program administration.
- Professionals commit to best practices so as to achieve optimal benefits for consumers.