I would like to become an occupational therapist and I was able to locate the American Occupational Therapy Association's (AOTA) Code of Ethics and compared them to the CLAS standards. The standards that the AOTA sets are very similar to the CLAS standards. This makes a lot of sense as the CLAS standards are set by the US government as standards that should be followed in all healthcare interactions. Both the AOTA and CLAS standards make quality care the principle standard.
The principle CLAS standard states that healthcare providers should “provide effective, equitable, understandable, and respectful quality care and services” (U.S Department of Health and Human Services CLAS Standards). The principle AOTA standards consist of “beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy, justice, veracity, and fidelity” (American Occupational Therapy Association Code of Ethics) or in simpler terms healthcare that keeps the patient’s welfare, safety, and sense of self; as well as equity, accuracy, and commitment to the cause of making a person better in mind. These core values are very similar and promote the same things. Another similarity is the emphasis in both standards on checking to make sure the healthcare being provided is the best it can be. In the CLAS standards, standards 10-15 focus on reassessing and improving on healthcare that is being provided. Within every one of the core standards of the AOTA, there is an additional standard that discusses reassessing the therapy being given multiple times and always rechecking with the patient to be sure that they are still okay with the care they are receiving.
The big difference between the two standards is the subject matter. The CLAS standards are very general in order to embody all healthcare professionals and focuses mainly on how to ensure quality communication between professional and patient. The AOTA standards, however, are extremely specific to occupational therapy and focus more on the quality of care that is being provided and making sure that consent is maintained through the entirety of the therapy procedure. The similarities in these two standards make a lot of sense as occupational therapists would also abide by the CLAS standards. The differences also make sense as the occupational therapy field obviously needs a very specific code of ethics of its own.