Section Two: Our Responsibilities Towards Others


We are committed to treating patients with dignity and respect. Here are some specific ways:
  • We provide our patients with safe, high-quality medical care without discrimination, that is compassionate and respects personal dignity, values, and beliefs
  • We honor patients’ rights to participate in and make decisions about their care and pain management, including the right to refuse care when permitted by law.
  • We provide our patients with information about their illness, treatment, pain, alternatives, and outcomes in a manner they can understand. Interpretation services are provided when needed.
  • We identify ourselves to our patients, giving our name and role as a health care provider (doctor, nurse, etc.).
  • We advise our patients that they have the right to request a family member, friend, and/or physician be notified that they are under our care.
  • We ensure that our patients receive information about transfers to other facilities or organizations, including alternatives to transfer.
  • We provide patients the opportunity to participate in research or decline to participate in research. Patients may decline to participate at any time without compromising access to care, treatment, or services.
  • We respect patients’ right to private and confidential treatment, communications, and medical records in accordance with all legal requirements.
  • We welcome receipt of patient concerns and complaints so they can be addressed. Sharing concerns and complaints will not compromise a patient’s access to care, treatment, and services.
Additional information on Patients’ Rights is available in DUHS Policies: Patient’s Rights and Responsibilities Policy, Interfacility Inpatient Transfers Policy, and Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) Policy, (


We strive to maintain the highest standards in accepting patient referrals and interacting with other
  • We abide by laws that relate to patient referrals.
  • We make and accept patient referrals and consultations based on medical needs.
  • We do not pay anyone or offer benefits to anyone for giving or asking for a referral or consultation.
  • Our relationships with physicians comply with all applicable laws.
If you have a question about relationships between DUHS, PDC, SOM/SON, and any referring/consulting physician, contact one of the Compliance Officers or the Office of Counsel, or review the DUHS Policies ( on Gifts and Courtesies and Medical Director Agreements.


We make every effort to provide all employees and others at our organization with the best possible work environment.
  • We follow all federal, state, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission laws and regulations for recruiting and retaining qualified employees.
  • We adhere to the Duke University Guiding Principles and Workforce Rules.
  • We strive to resolve conflict through mediation and our dispute-resolution process.
  • We cooperate with the Compliance Office in the investigation of any allegations.
  • We maintain a harassment-free work environment and conduct ourselves appropriately treating each other with dignity and respect.  Harassment is defined as the creation of any hostile or intimidating environment in which verbal or physical conduct is severe or persistent enough to cause significant interference with a staff member’s work, education, or onsite living condition. Harassment is not limited to conduct of a sexual nature. Duke also prohibits harassment based upon an individual’s race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or age.
  • We report to work free of impairment from drugs and alcohol.
  • We follow all laws, regulations, and policies related to environmental health and safety, including fire, chemical, biological, ergonomic, radiation, and electrical safety.
  • We make sure that medical waste and hazardous materials are handled, transported, and disposed of properly.
  • We take reasonable steps to keep our workplace safe and avoid harming co-workers, patients, visitors, and ourselves through disruptive and inappropriate behaviors.
  • We report all incidents and accidents according to departmental policies.
  • We understand our responsibilities during emergency situations, including severe weather and disasters.
  • We follow practices that reduce the spread of infection, such as washing hands, wearing personal protective equipment, and following isolation procedures.
  • We store all drugs, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and radioactive materials safely and maintain proper records.

For Human Resources policies including Duke University Guiding Principles and Workforce Rules, go to For safety policies, go to

We are committed to making sure that our employee hiring, screening, and disciplinary procedures and policies meet the requirements of the Compliance Program. We do not contract with, employ, or bill for services rendered by an individual or entity that is excluded from participating in federal health care programs, has been suspended or debarred from federal contracting, or has been convicted of a criminal offense related to the provision of health care.



Education and teaching are part of the core mission of Duke Medicine. We provide and encourage continued learning for our personnel and associated health care providers. We educate future health care providers and leaders. We educate patients and their families, significant others, or caregivers about a patient’s condition and care. And we educate the communities we serve about health care topics of concern to them.
  • When students or trainees participate in patient care, we provide the supervision needed to ensure that all aspects of patient care are appropriate.
  • We provide meaningful and practical learning experiences for health care students and trainees.
  • We provide training and education that support individuals’ career development and advance the performance of the organization as a whole.
  • We complete all training (e.g. Compliance and Fire & Safety) that is required for us to do our work, as well as to ensure that Duke Medicine is compliant with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies.

Our compliance education program works to ensure that every employee, governing board member, member of the faculty, medical staff, student, vendor, and volunteer understands this Code of Conduct and the basic principles of the Compliance Program. All of these individuals sign a statement showing that they have received a copy of this Code and agree to abide by its terms.



We follow the highest ethical standards and comply with federal and state laws and regulations, as well as with our own policies in any research, investigations, and clinical trials involving human subjects or animals.

We educate all personnel who serve on or would be expected to interact with the Institutional Review Boards (for human subjects) and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (for animal subjects) about applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines, including those of the Office for Human Research Protections, as well as our own policies and procedures.

Procedures and guidelines for research can be found at and



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