- Why compliance matters to me
- How compliance intersects with my work in the health system
- How will this website help?
Why compliance matters to me
Compliance is a willingness to follow a prescribed course of action, such as laws and regulations. Providing patient care, conducting medical research and administering a large scale academic medical center give rise to many legislative and regulatory compliance obligations.
Due to its complexity, the U-M Health System (UMHS), it has its own dedicated UMHS Compliance Program that reflects a commitment to maintain the highest ethical standards and to comply with all applicable laws, policies, rules and regulations related to its research, education and health care missions. The UMHS Compliance Office website (viewable on U-M networks only) lists contact information for compliance officers within the Health System, provides links to relevant policies and procedures, and describes educational requirements for the UMHS workforce.
However, there is considerable cross-over between UMHS and the wider U-M campus: for instance, Medical and Nursing School personnel perform both clinical and campus roles, and non-UMHS faculty and staff may interact with U-M’s clinical function through their research.
To support you in managing your campus compliance obligations, and to further foster the compliance culture established by the UMHS Compliance Program, the Office of the General Counsel has developed this website, as part of a University wide initiative that takes a big picture view of compliance by U-M. This Compliance Resource Center is designed to guide you through the various compliance topics relevant to your work.
How compliance intersects with my work in the health system
Every person in the UMHS workforce is responsible for ensuring compliance with relevant laws, and abiding by the UMHS Code of Conduct.
For many in the UMHS workforce, the UMHS Compliance Program and Code of Conduct covers all you need to know about legal and regulatory compliance in the health care setting, and the UMHS Compliance Office can advise and train you on the obligations relevant to your specific role – including mandatory training on various laws, such as the HIPAA privacy laws. Since many of the U-M wide regulatory obligations (such as occupational safety, conflict of interest, immigration and equity/diversity laws) are equally relevant to the UMHS as to the rest of the University, you might also find additional guidance and support for those issues within the Topics Library provided in this Compliance Resource Center.
For those staff and faculty who perform both a clinical or UMHS role and a campus role, such as in research or education, there are additional specific obligations that you may need to be aware of and comply with. For instance:
- If you conduct research that is administered and funded through U-M, a wide range of research compliance obligations (including human subjects or animal subjects requirements) and grant administration requirements may apply. See the Research Compliance Overview for a summary of the key compliance issues.
- If you teach students in a classroom environment, there are a host of regulatory issues that can arise, as summarized on our Classroom Teaching page. Even if you teach students in a laboratory or clinical setting, many of these issues could still arise.
- If you supervise or mentor students in a clinical or research setting, you need to remember that you are responsible for modeling professional responsibility for those students. This includes helping them learn about the laws, compliance obligations and ethical norms specific to your discipline – including general issues like avoiding conflicts of interest, collecting and using data responsibly, using research funds ethically, and treating animal and human subjects properly. Only if students see their mentors and supervisors modeling professional practices will they learn to act according to the same standards.
[For further guidance, see “How to Mentor Students: A Faculty Guide” (published by the Rackham Graduate School), and other resources collated by the MORE (Mentoring Others Results in Excellence) program.]
In the Medical School, these issues are supported by the Regulatory Affairs office.
For those who primarily work in a campus role but occasionally intersect with the UMHS, we suggest you peruse our Health Care pages for an overview of health care compliance issues.
How will this website help?
A major long term goal of the U-M Comprehensive Compliance Initiative is to raise general awareness about compliance. For many in the UMHS workforce, the UMHS Compliance Program and Code of Conduct covers all you need to know about legal and regulatory compliance in the health care setting. However, for those of you with dual clinical and campus roles, this Program can help improve your awareness of campus compliance issues – and ultimately empower you to understand better how and when compliance intersects with your day-to-day work in the University.
Another goal of this initiative is to provide an additional point of contact for people to bring compliance questions or concerns. If you feel unsure about a situation, or think a compliance problem needs to be reported but are uncomfortable raising it inside your department, read about the various support mechanisms available on our Report a Concern page.
The first step in raising compliance awareness is the development of this Compliance Resource Center, which can guide you through the compliance topics relevant to your work. If you have a role on campus as well as in the UMHS, then we suggest you spend a few minutes browsing the compliance topic areas, or the operations and activities library (which includes things like an overview of classroom teaching compliance). Both of these will be built upon over time, to house practical resources, contacts, links and information. We hope that these pages will be of benefit not only as an orientation for newcomers to the University, but also as a quick and constant reference for those with more knowledge and experience in handling compliance at U-M.
Established 3/4/11, last updated 3/7/17 – Contact us if you believe any information is incorrect or outdated