Today, business ethics are an oft discussed topic. NightHawk Radiology Services is doing more than talk about them. The company is acting, publishing “Rules of Engagement” that will inform the way it does business with its present and future hospital and radiology partners.

According to a company release, the company will only do business with hospitals if that facility doesn’t have a radiology group providing services or hasn’t had one for some time, the hospital’s radiology group invites NightHawk to enter into a service agreement with the hospital, or if the hospital opens a competitive bidding process for service and neither the incumbent radiology group nor any competing radiology group is a NightHawk customer.

The genesis for making the long-standing rules public, according to Dave Engert, president and CEO of NightHawk, was the increasing rise of what he terms “predatory” practices by other teleradiology groups. Engert, in an interview with Tech Edge, noted that the extent of the problem and its potential for damaging NightHawk was illustrated last year when the company was indirectly involved in a situation that “produced a difficult and unfortunate result” for a customer.

Engert added that there has been long-standing fear among radiology groups that teleradiology services—including NightHawk—were in the business of dominating the market and undermining their customers. By making this statement NightHawk has become publicly accountable and can “answer the concern without bringing it up,” said Engert. And the reaction thus far from NightHawk’s existing customers has been overwhelmingly positive, with many promising to give the company more business.

The announcement is a reflection of Engert and the rest of the executive team’s long-term approach to business. “We’ve walked away from many deals because they haven’t been in the long-term interests of the particular radiology group or NightHawk,” he said. “I believe that doing the right thing wins in the long term.”