Ethisphere Names University Hospitals as One of the 2024 World’s Most Ethical Companies® for the 12th Time

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CLEVELANDUniversity Hospitals (UH) has received the 2024 World’s Most Ethical Companies® recognition by Ethisphere, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices.

The health system has been recognized 12 times since 2012 and is one of only four honorees in the Healthcare Providers industry. This year, 136 honorees were recognized spanning 20 countries and 44 industries.

“Every year, University Hospitals provides high-quality healthcare to more than a million patients, and we are guided in this work by our core values,” said Cliff A. Megerian, MD, FACS, University Hospitals Chief Executive Officer and Jane and Henry Meyer Chief Executive Officer Distinguished Chair. “We are honored to be recognized for the 12th time as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. This recognition is a testament to our employees, who we call caregivers, that embody our values and demonstrate an unwavering commitment to our Mission: To Heal. To Teach. To Discover.”

At its core, University Hospitals promotes a culture based on values and ethics, which is supported by a robust compliance and ethics program committed to continuous improvement,” said LaVonne E. Pulliam, JD, Chief Compliance Officer for University Hospitals. “We are honored to receive this recognition, which reflects our system-wide commitment to uphold our ethical standards and put our values into daily practice. This is not only beneficial for our patients, but also for the larger Northeast Ohio region. We are committed to being the most trusted healthcare provider for all people in our community.”

University Hospitals’ Core Values
Service Excellence, Integrity, Compassion, Belonging, and Trust are at the center of the organization, and these standards clearly define the health system’s ethical principles and culture.

  • Service Excellence: We deliver the best outcomes, service, and value with the highest quality through a continuous quest for excellence and seeking ways to improve the health of those who count on us.
  • Integrity: We have a shared commitment to do what is right and adhere to the highest standards of ethics and personal responsibility to earn the trust of our caregivers and community.
  • Compassion: We have genuine concern for our patients and each other while treating everyone with respect and empathy.
  • Belonging: We value the contributions of all caregivers, and are committed to building an inclusive, encouraging and caring culture where all can thrive.
  • Trust: We depend upon our caregivers' character, reliability and judgement.

Ethics & Performance
UH highlighted several programs to Ethisphere to demonstrate its commitment to integrity and social responsibility, and strongly believes that its organizational structure and the inclusion of the Compliance & Ethics Department in day-to-day operations is an important component of success.

For the past few years, since its inception in 2021, UH’s “Compliance Champion” liaison program has allowed caregivers to receive specialized training on various compliance topics every month, and have regular communications with Compliance & Ethics team members. The program is voluntary and any caregiver can join. Champions build their compliance acumen and serve as a resource for their own teams, along with providing valuable insight back to the Compliance & Ethics Department to continually improve.

Compliance Champions are also an important source of feedback on the UH Compliance Program. UH leverages this group to pilot its annual training and confirm that key messages are clearly articulated. The health system also consults this group on new programs or policy changes to understand the employee impact of the change. While employees can join at any time, UH actively seeks recruitment during Compliance & Ethics Week.

In 2023, UH embarked on its most ambitious project in decades—implementation of its new electronic medical record, EPIC. This was the equivalent of removing the central nervous system of the organization and replacing it with a brand new one. This multi-year project culminated in two implementation waves, yet even with the investment UH continued to prioritize compliance and ethics activities.

Finally, UH has historically promoted a Speak Up Culture, in which caregivers across the health system are encouraged to speak up if they see something that strikes them as wrong, without fear of retaliation.

“It’s always inspiring to recognize the World’s Most Ethical Companies®. Through the rigorous review process, we see the dedication of these organizations to continually improving their ethics, compliance, and governance practices to the benefit of all stakeholders,” said Erica Salmon Byrne, Ethisphere’s Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Chair. “Companies that elevate best-in-class cultures of ethics and integrity set a standard for corporate citizenship for their peers and competitors to follow. Congratulations to University Hospitals for achieving this honor and demonstrating that strong ethics is good business.”

Methodology & Scoring
The World's Most Ethical Companies assessment is grounded in Ethisphere's proprietary Ethics Quotient®, an extensive questionnaire that requires companies to provide over 240 different proof points on their culture of ethics; environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices; ethics and compliance program; diversity, equity, & inclusion; and initiatives that support a strong value chain. That data undergoes further qualitative analysis by our panel of experts who spend thousands of hours vetting and evaluating each year's group of applicants. This process serves as an operating framework to capture and codify truly best-in-class ethics and compliance practices from organizations across industries and from around the world.

Honorees
To view the full list of this year’s honorees, please visit the World’s Most Ethical Companies website, at https://worldsmostethicalcompanies.com/honorees.

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