Standards of Practice

In accordance with the International Ombudsman Association Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, the OHSU Ombudsman work is guided by these primary principles.

Confidentiality

The Ombudsman is committed to protecting the identity of participants and the confidentiality of information that is shared.  Because confidentiality, neutrality and informality are critically important, communications with the office are made with the understanding that they are confidential and off-the-record. 

In limited circumstances the Ombudsman may not maintain confidentiality of certain information, including disclosures involving imminent threats to safety and mandatory reporting required by law, such as child abuse.  Although it is highly uncommon, the Ombudsman may be required to disclose information as part of a formal external legal process. However, OHSU will not require the Ombudsman to participate in any formal process inside OHSU or report incidents to any authority at OSHU other than as may be described in this section.

Neutrality

The Ombudsman, as a designated neutral, remains unaligned and impartial. The Ombudsman does not engage in any situation which could create a conflict of interest. Thus, they maintain no personal stake in the outcome of any dispute. The Office of the Ombudsman promotes a fair process but does not advocate for individuals.

Informality

The use of the Ombudsman is voluntary. The focus is on alternative methods to resolving problems other than formal institutional procedures. The Ombudsman does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure related to concerns brought to his/her attention. The office has no decision-making authority and maintains no official records.

Independence

The Ombudsman is independent in structure, function and appearance to the highest degree possible within the organization, reporting to the institution for budgetary and administrative purposes only.