In this conversation, Samantha Kelen, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer for Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, chats with Ethisphere Executive Editor Tyler Lawrence as they discuss how conflicts of interest can be a window into your entire business, what values the healthcare company is keeping top-of-mind as they plan for a post-COVID world, and more.

Here are five key takeaways from the interview:

  1. Conflicts of interest are simple on paper, but truly understanding them requires a thorough understanding of your business. At her last job, paying close attention to COI disclosures helped Kelen to get a better sense of her organization after she changed industries.
  2. Kelen’s team has recently started to ask employees about all outside relationships, rather than specifically for “conflicts.” They had discovered that many employees were spending lots of energy trying to decide on their own if there was an issue that needed disclosing.
  3. If she’s not sure what the risk or conflict might be, “start with the newspaper headline.” If you can’t imagine what it might be, then a relationship might not actually be a problem.
  4. Policies have been adapted to COVID, but many temporary adjustments should be kept permanently. Companies should be careful to document their thinking.
  5. Thinking about bringing employees back, she keeps “the Jurassic Park example” in mind: just because you can, doesn’t mean you should! Depending on where company operations are located, it might be legal to bring employees back to the office, but is it right? Are there alternatives?