During the early 2000’s, healthcare data began to reveal a very disturbing trend. The percentages of pre-analytical errors and their effect on patient care and treatment began to increase at an alarming rate. Numerous articles in the Annals of Laboratory Medicine, Medical Laboratory Observer (MLO-online) and in Medical Journals everywhere revealed significant errors being made in specimen collections, medical diagnosis, radiology image interpretation, ECG’s, and therapeutic massages. This presented serious concerns regarding the repercussions of the poor incorporation of guidelines and standards, topped on an unstable educational foundation.
This data just didn’t make sense though to a group of educators and practitioners whom watched the significant increase in the number of schools who were teaching allied healthcare. It seemed that there should be fewer errors, as there were more professionals who were industry certified. Further, there were new regulations established in states such as Georgia, Louisiana and California, whom enacted credentialing requirements for several allied health professionals. Then it occurred to us – medicine is a contact sport. For example, in phlebotomy, It’s just not enough to know the order of draw to prevent contamination, it’s also about proving you are clinically able to perform the draw correctly. We began to realize that written examinations are accepted as the industry standard of satisfactory, but what we really need to see is the person’s ability to perform the task without introducing pre-analytical errors and performance errors.
As physicians and healthcare providers struggle to improve the quality of patient care in this age of Managed Care Organizations, (MCOs) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) or the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obama Care), we are faced with additional responsibilities, and are in dire need of a means to reduce expenses without compromising patient care; a feat which is near impossible. Healthcare Practitioners now rely on assistants, technicians, technologists and specialists, whom are educated from private and post-secondary vocational schools and training programs to produce quality technicians. Sadly, many of these graduates are poorly trained, and although they have the book knowledge of the competencies required in their field, they do not have the clinical skills to do so without creating pre-analytical and performance errors.
These errors come with significant cost. Cost to the patient, cost to the hospital, cost to the provider and cost to the economy. They also require patients to undergo meaningless tests and suffer patient care that is unnecessary, and often further delays and interferes with their treatment.
This small group of educators and practitioners have set out to create a certification agency, the NCMA, whose mission is dedicated to reducing pre-analytical and performance errors across the many disciplines of allied healthcare providers. We are proud to be an agency known for its commitment to standards, guidelines, and protocols in the allied healthcare field.
As an organization of distinction, consisting of the world’s leading healthcare professionals, the National Certification Medical Association (NCMA) is a for profit organization which promotes and provides quality certification programs that validate competency in the healthcare arena for the enhancement of patient care and professional practice. The NCMA designations demonstrate to colleagues, patients, employers, and the public that certified individuals have the knowledge and proficiency required of the healthcare professional. Professionals earn this distinction through education, experience, and meeting the highest standards of science and practice of professional healthcare validated by their performance through examination. The ethical obligations of the healthcare professionals include a commitment to continuous growth and development, professionalism across disciplines, and the highest standards of patient/client healthcare. This serves to clarify to current and future certificants, and to those served by certificants, the nature of the ethical responsibilities held in common by its certificants. All individuals certified by the National Certification Medical Association are required to adhere to the Code of Ethics.
The healthcare professional has an obligation to demonstrate actions that reflect values, ethical principles, and ethical guidelines. The National Certification Medical Association (NCMA) Code of Ethics sets forth these values and principles to guide conduct. It clarifies the social contract that dictates the profession’s responsibilities to the patient/client, the public, and the profession; and upholds the fundamental principle that the paramount purpose of the healthcare professional’s services shall be to benefit the patient/client. Code of Ethics, Principles and Interpretative Guidelines The following ethical principles are based on the core values of the National Certification Medical Association and apply to all NCMA certificants. Guidelines included for each ethical principle are a nonexhaustive list of behaviors and situations that can help to clarify the principle. They are not meant to be a comprehensive list of all situations that can occur. A NCMA certificant that is practicing healthcare agrees to adhere to the following Code of Ethics, Principles and Interpretative Guidelines:
- Foremost, do no harm. A Member/Certificant consciously avoids harmful actions or omissions, embodies high ethical standards and adheres to all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations in the choices he/she makes.
- A Member/Certificant places service and the health and welfare of persons before self-interest and conducts oneself in the practice of the profession so as to bring honor to oneself, peers, and to the healthcare profession.
- A Member/Certificant respects and understands that he/ she is a healthcare professional dedicated to providing competent and scientifically sound health care and other appropriate care within their own scope of practice, with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights.
- A Member/Certificant upholds the standards of professionalism and is honest in all professional interactions. A healthcare professional will additionally be knowledgeable about established policies and procedures for handling concerns about unethical behavior. These include policies and procedures created by NCMA , licensing and regulatory bodies, employers, supervisors, agencies, and other professional organizations.
- A Member/Certificant upholds the standards of professionalism and commits to performing his/her duties competently, safely and ethically. Drug and alcohol abuse will not be tolerated by the NCMA . Any person discovered using alcohol or drugs in a professional practice would be subject to discipline, including certification revocation.
- A Member/Certificant respects the rights of patients, clients, colleagues, and other health professionals, and safeguards patient/client confidence, trust, and privacy in accordance with the law. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, being familiar with and carrying out all HIPAA compliance requirements.
- A Member/Certificant commits to the study, application, and advancement of scientific knowledge, continues to seek related health education, makes relevant healthcare science information available to patients/clients, colleagues, and the public, obtains consultation, and recognizes the talents of other health professionals when indicated.
- A Member/Certificant values his or her responsibility to participate in activities contributing to the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health.
- A Member/Certificant truthfully and accurately states one’s credentials, professional education, and experiences.
Patricia L ThompsonMEMBER
Patricia L ThompsonMEMBER
Jose A FloresMEMBER
Jose A FloresMEMBER
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