COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Reports to an ethics and complaints hotline for the University of Missouri system nearly doubled in the past year.
There were 74 reports to the hotline last year compared with 39 complaints in 2012. The Columbia Daily Tribune reported that most of the calls came from MU Health employees, accounting for 50 of the complaints last year and 23 the previous year.
MU Health public relations manager Mary Jenkins said an increase in reports to the hotline is not surprising. She said it has been included in the health system’s daily newsletter going to 10,000 employees since August 2012 and is promoted on the employee intranet system.
“We’ve been giving the number out widespread through internal publicity and letting employees know they can and should call that number if there’s a problem,” Jenkins said.
Complaints reported in the hotline calls have varied. Four reports still under investigation by university administrators deal with unfair treatment or inappropriate behavior toward employees by health care managers. Others have focused on billing issues or raised allegations about privacy violations.
Privacy issues were at issue in two other complaints during the past year. One still is under review and the other has been deemed investigated with no action necessary.
Jenkins said there are “numerous policies and procedures in place” to protect patient information. She said staff members “adhere to the highest level of industry standards in terms of computer network security.”
UM system spokesman John Fougere said hotline reports are investigated and that depending upon the results, appropriate actions is taken based upon university polices including its rules and regulations and human resources manual.
Global Compliance is contracted to operate the hotline for the university.