Code of Organization Ethics:


The Board of Directors of the Kennedy Krieger Institute supports the commitment to organization ethics.

The Kennedy Krieger Institute is dedicated to the principle of organization ethics and a commitment to act with integrity. All Institute business, whether clinical or non-clinical, is conducted in an ethical manner. All patients and their families*, staff, trainees, volunteers, and visitors are treated with dignity, respect, and courtesy. Business and patient care practices are carried out in an honest, decent and proper manner.

The Kennedy Krieger Institute adheres to high standards of integrity, as follows:

  • We fairly and accurately represent ourselves and our capabilities.
  • We provide services to meet the identified needs of our patients and their families and avoid the provision of those services which are unnecessary or non-efficacious.
  • We deliver the same standard of care to patients with comparable needs.
  • We protect the integrity of clinical decision making, regardless of any financial considerations.

In all Institute settings, we deliver effective and safe care to patients based upon their identified needs and regardless of their ability to pay or any other factor that is substantially unrelated to patient care. Furthermore, patients and their families are involved in decisions about their care.

Respect for the Patient and His/Her Family

We treat all patients and their families with dignity, respect, and courtesy. Care is provided in accordance with all constitutional rights and without discrimination as to race, color, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, familial status, national origin, genetic information, physical or mental disability, veteran status or sources of payment for care. Additional safeguards include the preservation of personal dignity as well as cultural, psychosocial and spiritual values.

Appropriate, humane and individual treatment is provided in the most private, least restrictive environment practical. Personal privacy is respected to the extent possible in a healthcare setting. Patients and their families participate in the development of an individualized evaluation and treatment plan, including discharge planning and transfer to another facility when necessary. Each patient and his/her family is informed about the proposed treatment, its risks and alternatives available, what is likely to happen if the proposed treatment is refused, and outcomes of treatment, including those that are unanticipated.

All research is conducted in accordance with federal regulations and the Johns Hopkins Medicine Institutional Review Boards (JHM IRBs) policies and procedures. The JHM IRBs are responsible for protecting the rights and welfare of the human subjects of research conducted by faculty and staff regardless of funding source (or lack thereof) and/or location at which the research will be conducted.

Privacy and Security of Healthcare Information

The Kennedy Krieger Institute maintains patient and other information in a confidential manner, consistent with regulatory requirements. HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, establishes standards for the protection of privacy regarding protected health information. Patient information is not shared in an unauthorized manner. Sensitive information concerning personnel and management issues are maintained in confidence and utilized only by those individuals authorized to review and act upon such information. All staff, trainees and volunteers are required to sign a confidentiality statement on an annual basis; HIPAA training is provided during new employee orientation.

Fair Business Practices

The Kennedy Krieger Institute conducts all business and establishes all contractual relationships within appropriate federal and state laws and regulations. Business is conducted using competitive bidding, fair billing, timely payment, prudent buying, and ethical conduct, including identification of existing and potential conflicts of interest and avoidance of gratuities beyond that commonly recognized as token. Business is conducted with the Institute's mission in mind and without discrimination relating to the rights identified above.

Fair Billing Practices

The Kennedy Krieger Institute invoices patients and their families or third parties accurately and only for services actually provided and provides assistance to patients and their families seeking to understand the costs relative to their care. In addition, we attempt to resolve billing questions and concerns to the satisfaction of the patient and his/her family while also considering the Institute's best interest.

Conflict of Interest

The Kennedy Krieger Institute provides clinical care and conducts business in a manner that avoids potential or actual conflicts of interest. Existing or potential conflicts of interest are disclosed so that appropriate action may be taken to insure that such conflict does not inappropriately influence important decisions. Relationships with clinical and business entities (e.g., other healthcare organizations, providers, educational institutions, payers) are reviewed to determine if a conflict of interest exists; any conflicts are addressed when they arise.

Board members and officers of the corporation submit an annual disclosure form to disclose existing or potential conflicts that may relate to future decision making. Faculty members are guided by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Conflict of Commitment and Conflict of Interest policy. The Board of Directors, Senior Management and the Medical Staff will review potential conflicts, as appropriate, and take appropriate action. Policies designed to identify and prevent potential conflicts of interest pertaining to contractual business relationships are addressed in the section on fair business practices.

Patients and their families have the right to full disclosure if any indications of conflict of interest are presented.

On occasion, conflicts in patient care decisions will arise. They are resolved fairly and objectively; patients and their families are involved in resolving dilemmas about their care. Available resources for resolving such conflicts include the individual caregivers, patient care team, the Ethics Committee or patient complaint process. In cases involving staff, the employee concerns and the staff rights policies are available. Care of the patient is not negatively affected when a staff member requests to be excused from participating in that particular aspect of care.

Underlying each of the above principles is the Kennedy Krieger Institute's overall commitment to act with integrity in all of our activities and to treat the Institute's patients and their families, staff, trainees, volunteers, and the many constituents we serve with utmost respect.

* The term "patients" also refers to school students, clients and other persons served. Families include parents, guardians and surrogate decision makers.

Code of Organization Ethics Related Policies

The following policies and procedures provide further and specific guidance for ethical conduct at the Kennedy Krieger Institute:

  • Mission, Values, Vision
  • Corporate Compliance
  • Customer Service Philosophy
  • Ethics Committee Policies and Procedures HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
  • Patient Rights / Patient Care
    • Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities
    • Informed Consent
    • Patient Complaint Process
    • Patient Self Determination/Advance Directives
    • Abuse and Neglect
    • Discharge Planning Policies and Procedures
  • JHM Institutional Review Boards Policies and Procedures
  • Medical Staff Pledge
  • Discipline Specific Codes of Ethics for Professional Practice
  • Human Resources
    • Confidentiality
    • Conflict of Interest
    • Staff Rights
    • Employee Concerns Procedure
    • Equal Employment Opportunity
    • Sexual Harassment
    • Family Medical Leave Act
  • Finance
    • Fair Business Practices
    • Fair Billing Practices
  • Marketing