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Implementation of the Code of Ethics in Cvs Pharmacy

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Introduction

As more instances of unethical behaviors and lack of integrity are unearthed within an organization the need to establish a code of ethics document will be needed. This document is written by professionals whose primarily goal is to ensure that employees continuously act in a way that coincides with organizational values and principles. This serves as a way to protect the company if an employee is caught performing unethical actions based in the code of ethics. An organization may be able to become successful based on savvy business factors however, if unethical practices occur it can easily destroy all the legit work that was performed.

The reason many professionals act in unethical ways is to get ahead within their business. While this may seem ideal for initial success it can ultimately hurt the organization long-term. An ethical organization may have more struggles in the beginning of operations however, following the guidelines set forth in the code of ethics will lead to tangible results all while keeping the origination positive in the eyes of investors and the public. Having a code of conduct document will not be the only way to guide employees towards ethical behavior. Leaders will be entrusted to motivate ethical behaviors by example through the display of thoughts, values, attitude. This paper will establish guidelines for all CVS Pharmacy employees to follow in order to keep the organization ethical and profitable.

Company Ethical Vision

CVS is an organization that is responsible for providing medication to customers in order for them to live their lives in a healthy and comfortable way. Rather than just providing medication, CVS will play a more active and supportive role which includes advising customers on their prescriptions, providing support when needed, as well as offering walk-in services in order to help customers on their path to better health. In order to accomplish this CVS has adopted a vision that aligns with the highest ethical standards while abiding by all applicable laws and regulations. Regardless if a customer is filling a prescription or just stopping in to purchase a snack, CVS will ensure that all employees take the upmost care with all provided services and customer privacy concerns.

Core Values and Principles

CVS has been the forefront of prescription medication, health and beauty supplies, household items, snacks, beverages, and plenty of other useful items. Considering that CVS is on a mission to provide and help customers on a path to better health a set of values and principles must be established in order for all employees to understand and abide by. The value and principles that CVS acknowledges consist of the following:

  1. Integrity – Do the right thing even when no one is looking.
  2. Accountability – Take responsibility for your actions. Be aware and accept ownership of your actions and behaviors. Mistakes will be made and learn from them.
  3. Innovation – Work as a team and collaborate together. If any colleague is aware of possible better practices to satisfy the needs of the customer, then they should speak up.
  4. Diversity – Diversity is abundant and is a valuable asset. Individuals with diverse backgrounds are able to contribute in ways with their own skills and experiences. All individuals will have the same opportunities regardless of their background and they are encouraged to contribute.
  5. Respect – Regardless of the situation all colleagues need to keep a level head and be respectful in all interactions with customers and fellow colleagues to ensure a positive shopping and working experience.

 

Guidelines of Ethical Behavior

In order for CVS to supply customers with certain services personal data collection will be utilized. The type of data collected will fall into two categories:

  1. Protected Health Information (PHI) – Refers information such as an individual’s health, healthcare provisions, healthcare payments as well as elements of PII.
  2. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) – Refers to data that can identify an individual such as name, address, biological traits and identification numbers such as driver’s license, credit card and social security number.
  3. It is extremely important to ensure that all information collected is kept confidential and private. CVS customers are trusting the organization to abide by our promise that all data will be handled accordingly with all state and federal laws.
  4. Certain CVS colleagues are required to have a certification in order to provide their services. Employees are responsible for ensuring the following:
  5. Certifications Do Not Expire – You still may know how to perform the tasks required for the certification however, failure to keep this document updated is against federal regulations and can result in CVS receiving fines.
  6. Notify Management of Ethical Issues – If situations occurred outside of the workplace occurred that resulted in the employee being convicted of a crime management must be made aware as this could affect the validity of certifications.
  7. Revoked Credentials – If for any reason the employee knows that their certification or license is not currently in compliance with CVS, state and federal regulations then management must be notified.

 

Consequences for Unethical Behavior/Ethical Enforcement Processes

Failure to abide by CVS ethical practices is an extreme offense regardless of the situation. Colleagues who perform any unethical behavior can disciplined up to and including termination. The following consists of possible disciplinary actions than can occur depending on the violation.

  1. Counseling – Colleague can receive a write up regarding the violation. A plan of action will be provided to ensure a repeat occurrence of the violation does not repeat itself.
  2. Suspension – Colleague can be suspended from work for a disclosed amount of time. Depending on the situation the colleague may be suspended until the completion of an investigation.
  3. Termination – For any violation CVS reserves the right to terminate employee for any unethical behavior.

 

Ethical Complaints

Due to the nature of how businesses operate CVS understands that there are a number of factors that can influence an individual from making unethical choices against this policy. Tight deadlines, competing interests, lack of ethical support, and other factors can easily influence how decisions are made ethically or unethically. Therefor it is the responsibility of all colleagues to report any unethical issues they are witness to. That is why CVS has adopted a ‘see something, say something’ policy and has given colleagues several options when reporting issues:

  1. Consult with immediate supervisor – All members of the management team are fully trained to resolve any ethical issues that may arise. If the immediate supervisor fails to acknowledge the complaint or is the person in question, then the colleague should reach out to another member of the management team.
  2. Consult with other managers – If for some reason the colleague does not feel comfortable informing their direct supervisor of ethical violations then they should speak with another manager available.
  3. Contact Ethical Department – This department is trained to handle all ethical situations and will keep your information private. This department can also be contacted if you are unsure if the situation is against company policy and can further guide employees on the processes and procedures to follow when faced with any ethical dilemmas. The ethics department can be contacted by phone, email or by using the CVS mobile app.
  4. Third Party Ethics Department – CVS strives to resolve all ethic issues at the lowest possible point however, depending on this situation the use of a third-party service may be needed in order to resolve the issue. This department can be contacted by any colleague to report violations including any violations that may have occurred within CVS’s own ethical department.

Conclusion

Regardless if CVS employees are working in the pharmacy or front store each member will be responsible for following the guidelines set forth in the code of ethics. This will help ensure that all organizational operations can continue without sacrificing the time and effort it will take to resolve issues that could have been avoided. It is detrimental to work in ethical manners considering that it can have a negative impact on the business. For instance, a recent unethical situation that CVS was involved in was the denial of a prescription for a transgendered woman. The situation occurred at a CVS store based out of Arizona where a pharmacist knowingly did not abide by the ethical values and commitment to customers that CVS stands for by refusing to fill one of three prescriptions. Instead of pulling the customer aside to have a private conversation the pharmacist in question was loudly proclaiming the denial of the medication without affirmed identity in front of other CVS staff and customers. After leaving the store the customer proceeded to call the CVS customer service line with no resolve. This then led her to file a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy.

We live in a world that is always connected and actions performed by an organization can immediately be put in the spotlight causing a series of events that negatively impacts business operations. This example shows that unethical behavior can have its consequences and now CVS is in the spotlight. Even though this action was based on one person, CVS as a whole will look bad in the eye of the public. They can be seen as an organization who may or may not care about the rights of the LGBT community. Now CVS is responsible for damage control in order to resolve the situation and ensure that the public knows they are LGTB friendly.

Regardless of one’s own personal beliefs they must be set aside when aiding customers in their path to better health. Leaders have the responsibility to ensure ethical standards are met regardless of personal beliefs of everyone involved. Training for all employees must take place, preferably on an annual basis that will give employees time to ensure they know and understand the code of ethics document. A number of organizations serve this document to employees as a quick checkmark that shows they understand the ethical behavior involved with their work however, to better ensure that the organization is prepared, the right amount of time and resources should be given to all employees. A code of ethics document isn’t supposed to be a document to show that an organization is ethically sound, it is supposed to be a way of life for the organization whereas all employees should follow.

References

  • Andrea, D. M. (2017, February 2). Code of Ethics Enforcement Procedures | LISA. Retrieved from http://www.lisa.org/about/code-of-ethics-enforcement-procedures.
  • CVS. (n.d.). Ethics and Human Rights – Code of Conduct. Retrieved from https://cvshealth.com/social-responsibility/corporate-social-responsibility/ethics-and-human-rights.
  • Derr, C. L. (2012). Ethics and leadership. Journal of Leadership, Accountability, and Ethics, 9(6), 66–71.
  • Levine, M., & Boaks, J. (2014). What does ethics have to do with leadership? Journal of Business Ethics, 124(2), 225–242.

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Implementation Of The Code Of Ethics In Cvs Pharmacy. (2021, Jun 09). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 20, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/implementation-of-the-code-of-ethics-in-cvs-pharmacy/
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