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National Center for Ethics in Health Care


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Online Learning Modules on General Ethics Topics


IntegratedEthics® online learning modules are independent study resources for key domains of ethics in health care. Each module summarizes the responsibilities of health care professionals and other employees, uses case studies to introduce basic concepts and address common misconceptions related to the specific domain, and offers additional case scenarios for reflection and discussion. Each takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Web-based courses are located on the VA Learning Management System at: Note: TMS is only available to employees and some contractors of the federal government; some courses are available in PDF as indicated.

Ethics in Health Care (Course No. 5424) (Print Version) introduces basic concepts in health care ethics, identifies types of ethics concerns that arise in health care settings, and explains ethics consultation, the mechanism for responding to concerns. Recommended for all employees.

Patient Privacy and Confidentiality (Course No. 5454) introduces basic concepts of patient privacy and confidentiality, including protecting patients' modesty and physical privacy, safeguarding their personal information, and ethical practices for disclosing personal information. Recommended for clinicians, ROI clerks, and others who have access to patient information or health records.

Shared Decision Making with Patients (Course No. 6438) introduces the basic concept of shared decision making, including informed consent, decision-making capacity, surrogate decision making, and advance care planning. Recommended for clinicians.

Ethical Practices in End-of-Life Care (Course No. 6434) (Print version) introduces basic ethics concepts and misconceptions about care for patients at the end of life, including goals of care, palliative care, use of life-sustaining treatments, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and do not resuscitate (DNR) orders. Recommended for clinicians, social workers, chaplains, and other employees whose work relates to ethical issues that arise in end-of-life care.

Professionalism in Patient Care (Course No. 5457) (Print version) reviews the basic concept of professionalism among health care providers, including boundaries, conflict of interest, truth telling, working with difficult patients, and cultural/religious sensitivity. Recommended for clinicians, managers, administrators, and other employees whose work involves patient care.

Ethical Practices in Resource Allocation (Course No. 5423) introduces basic concepts resource allocation in health care at both the systems (macroallocation) and individual (microallocation) level, including fairness and transparency in decision making, identifying conflicting values, and assessing the impact of allocation decisions on quality. Recommended for managers, administrators, clinicians and other employees whose work involves resource decisions at the organizational level or in the care of individual patients.

Ethical Practices in Business and Management(Course No. 6298) (Print Version) introduces basic concepts in ethical practice for health care operations beyond clinical care, including the role of leaders in fostering an ethical environment and culture, performance management, and business integrity. Designed for managers, administrative staff, and other employees who encounter ethical concerns in administering the health care system.