Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Minnesota developed this tool to help plan investigations (“‘Challenging Interviews’ With Angry, Evasive and Sad People Call for Different Approach,” RMC 28, no. 19). Contact Jackie Stemwedel, senior manager of standards and compliance, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Section 1: Common Workplace Complaints
A: Critical Policies
|☐ Code of Conduct||☐ Conflict of Interest P&Ps|
|☐ Drug/Alcohol Use P&Ps||☐ Financial P&Ps|
|☐ Gifts/Gratuities P&Ps||☐ Interactions with Patients/Clients P&Ps|
|☐ Harassment/Discrimination P&Ps||☐ Privacy P&Ps|
|☐ Technology P&Ps||☐ Social Media P&Ps|
|☐ Workplace Relationships/Boundaries P&Ps|
B: Situations Meriting an Investigation
|☐ Billing and Coding Issues||☐ Conflict of Interest|
|☐ Disclosure of Confidential Information||☐ Discrimination|
|☐ Drug/Medication Control||☐ Harassment|
|☐ Improper Employment or Disciplinary Actions||☐ Misconduct/Inappropriate Behavior|
|☐ Patient Care/Safety||☐ Theft/Vandalism|
|☐ Unlawful/Improper Payments||☐ Workplace Retaliation/Retribution|
Section 2: Preparing for an Investigation
A: Considering Risk Factors (if you answer yes to any questions, consult the Legal Department)
☐ Y ☐ N Alleged violation of state or federal law or the code of ethics that would result in serious harm to individuals or the organization, or significant civil or criminal penalties?
☐ Y ☐ N Allegation against executive leadership member?
☐ Y ☐ N Allegation involving more than a single team or multiple reports from various teams directed toward a single leader?
☐ Y ☐ N Allegation involving multiple sites, a region or the organization?
☐ Y ☐ N Allegation that could undermine the effectiveness of the compliance program?
☐ Y ☐ N Allegation that could result in media attention, damage (monetary or reputational)?
☐ Y ☐ N Allegation that could result in government actions against the company?
☐ Y ☐ N Allegation that could result in the need to make a regulatory report?
IMPORTANT: If you answered yes to any of the questions above, consult with the Legal Department.
B: Determining Investigation Participants
|☐ Lead Investigation Dept.||☐ Lead Investigator|
|☐ Co-investigator/Note-taker||☐ Stakeholders|
|☐ Reporter(s)||☐ Implicated Person(s)|
|☐ Witnesses/Interviewees||☐ In-house Counsel|
C: Collecting Evidence
|☐ Personnel file (Implicated Person)||☐ Personnel file (Reporter)|
|☐ Prior Investigation Files (Implicated Person)||☐ Prior Investigation Files (Reporter)|
|☐ Supervisory files||☐ Photographs|
|☐ Voicemails||☐ Incident Reports|
|☐ Patient Records||☐ Electronic health record activity (Keystrokes)|
|☐ Department Schedules/Shift Logs||☐ Timecards|
|☐ Financial records||☐ Email communications|
|☐ Surveillance footage||☐ Network drives/Hard drives|
|☐ Professional Code of Conduct||☐ Policies & Procedures|
|☐ Social Media Activity||☐ Text Messages|
D: Interview Planning
|☐ Plan the order of interviews (often with the reporter first, then witnesses, and the implicated person last)||☐ Be aware of interviewee’s employment status & regular work hours|
|☐ Mark calendar invites “private”||☐ Schedule interviews in a confidential location|
|☐ Whenever possible, do not include managers/supervisors in direct report interviews||☐ Limit information shared with managers/supervisors (minimum necessary; need to know)|
|☐ Prepare interview script and questions||☐ Anticipate interviewee answers/reactions/behaviors/questions and plan your response|