Question: Wilson Owen manages administrative operations for a major medical center

Wilson Owen manages administrative operations for a major medical center in Houston, Texas. In response to the rising cost of health care, he is always looking for ways to save money. In fact, part of his annual compensation is a 5% bonus for all the documented continuing cost savings he generates during the year.
Wilson recently began discussions with a firm in India to provide transcription services for the medical center. Doctors would dictate their notes from patient exams, and their recordings would be transferred to the Indian company via the Internet. There, clerks would transcribe the notes into the medical records system. The system is expected to save the medical center $500,000 each year.
When Wilson presented the idea to the practice advisory committee, questions arose regarding privacy issues. Many of the committee members did not believe that transferring patients’ medical records over the Internet was a prudent business practice, much less sending them all the way to India and back. They were also concerned that the transcriptionists might not capture some of the subtleties of the English language. After heated discussion, one committee member suggested that Wilson was pursuing the arrangement solely for the $25,000 bonus. The meeting ended with the committee voting against outsourcing the records.
Wilson is torn about what to do. He believes he is obligated to provide the most cost efficient operations possible, control operating costs, and generate higher returns for investors.
But he also needs to respect the advisory committee’s point of view, even though its role is only an advisory one—its actions are not binding.

How should Wilson proceed? Should he act in the best interest of the shareholders or follow the advisory committee’s direction? Why? As a member of the IMA, can Wilson find any direction in the organization’s Statement of Ethical Professional Practice?

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  • CreatedFebruary 21, 2014
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