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University Hospital planned on buying new transcription equipment and evaluated the products of several different companies. Jamie the health information manager believed that one product was the most suitable for the needs of the department. Jamie discussed her opinion about this to her boss. After the equipment had been purchased and installed, Jamie received a lap top from the salesperson, which was given in gratitude for her help in influencing the hospital’s choice. Since she really thinks that the transcription equipment is the best, Jamie accepts the unexpected gift.
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This is a very clear conflict of interest. Even though she did not know in advance that she would be rewarded for her support, she committed an ethical violation by accepting the gift. How will this gift influence her in the future when her employer looks to upgrade equipment once again? She should have refused the gift or given it to her empoyer (the hospital). If the computer is added to the hospital's inventory and available for everyone's use, then there should be no undue influence in the future to use this company again because they give gifts.
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