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National Center for Ethics in Health Care


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IntegratedEthics® (IE) is a comprehensive approach to managing ethics in health care organizations. It represents a radical departure from the traditional ethics committee model. The goal of IE is the continuous improvement of ethics quality.

The award-winning IE model was developed by VA's National Center for Ethics in Health Care (NCEHC) through a rigorous consensus building process involving stakeholders from numerous organizations. Structures, methods, and tools were systematically evaluated through validity testing, field testing, and a 12-month demonstration project in 25 separate health care facilities. Since 2008, IE has been implemented in all of VA's 152 medical centers and 21 regional networks. The model is continuously improved as new resource materials are added.

IntegratedEthics is more than an organizational change initiative, a quality improvement intervention, or the sum of new policies, standards, training programs, measures, tools and structures. IntegratedEthics is a transformational idea that redefines ethics as it is both practiced and led in the health care arena.

Honors and Awards

IntegratedEthics was selected as one of the “Top 25 Programs” in the 2011 Innovations in American Government Award competition conducted by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.  

photograph of award In 2011, IE was honored by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics with the Program Excellence and Innovation Award. The award recognizes executive branch agency programs that "demonstrate a strong commitment to excellence in ethics program management; employ innovative approaches to encourage understanding and awareness of ethics; and create a stronger ethical culture as a result of these efforts." 

Of the 2011 Program Excellence and Innovation Award winners, IE was further distinguished with the Campaign to Build Organizational Integrity Award.


IntegratedEthics: An Innovative Program to Improve Ethics Quality in Health Care. The Innovation Journal. 2010 Summer;15(2).

Improving Ethics Quality: Looking Beneath the Surface- one-page article uses an iceberg model to describe the three levels of ethics quality in health care

IntegratedEthics: Closing the Ethics Quality Gap - two-page article describes how the IntegratedEthics model can be used to identify and fix ethics gaps

What Is Ethics Quality? - one-page article describes how the IntegratedEthics model defines ethics quality in health care

IntegratedEthics: Making It Easier to Do the Right Thing. VAnguard. 2005. March - April.

Domains of Ethics in Health Care 

A Brief Business Case for Ethics - two-page article describes how a strong ethics program can reap concrete benefits for a health care organization.  

National IntegratedEthics Policy (VHA Handbook 1004.06 (August 29, 2013))


IntegratedEthics: Improving Ethics Quality in Health Care Video - ten-minute video provides an introduction and overview of the benefits of IntegratedEthics

To control closed captioning: right click Windows Media Player video --> Links, captions and subtitles --> off/English captions




What's New

New! True North, the newsletter of VA National Center for Ethics in Health Care. Issue 4 is available now!

New podcast! Servant Leadership: Intersections with Ethics, Business Integrity & Compliance (43:49) A presentation by Dr. Maureen Cash, VHA National Center for Organization Development

New! The IE Council Member Orientation Guide located on the IE Program Management web page is designed to assist IE council members with the transition into their new role.

The second edition of Ethics Consultation: Responding to Ethics Questions in Health Care is now available. This primer establishes VA standards for health care ethics consultation, one of the three core functions of IntegratedEthics.