Conflict Resolution in Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
Conflict resolution is a dynamic process. Conflict does not always appear in the same form or from the same people. One essential element of effective conflict resolution is the recognition that there are stages of conflict, with appropriate interventions at different stages.
The stages of conflict can range from robust argument within a single meeting to longstanding opposing, entrenched positions of medical staff, administration, and the governing body. Depending upon the culture or needs of the organization and the type of conflict, an administrator or leader can use various communication skills and negotiation techniques to manage a conflict.
The goal in hospitals and healthcare facilities is to develop and implement a conflict management process so that conflict does not adversely affect patient safety or quality of care.
Foundational principles necessary to support conflict management in healthcare include:
- A willingness to acknowledge existence of conflict;
- Open communication;
- Dealing with conflict within an environment of mutual respect;
- Acceptance and tolerance of different perspectives through the process;
- Commitment to fundamental fairness;
- Educating all stakeholders about conflict management in healthcare;
- Developing a conflict management process with policies and procedures with input from the stakeholders; and
- Holding stakeholders accountable to use the conflict management process.
The opportunities inherent in a conflict management system include: (1) recognition of conflict as an indicator to allow early identification of problems, (2) promotion of a proactive response to problems and conflict, (3) encouragement of a culture of mutual respect, open communication, and problem solving during inquiry or intervention relating to conflict, and (4) a means of working towards potential resolution.
The opportunities for conflict management in healthcare can be categorized according to various functions and relationships, as indicated below. While the Joint Commission leadership standard 2.40, effective January 1, 2009, focuses on governance and organization relationships among and between three hospital entities: (1) the medical staff, (2) the governing body, and (3) administration, the opportunities for conflict management extend far beyond the those relationships into areas of patient care, employment, and business operations.
Contact Safer Healthcare about Conflict Management in Healthcare
We welcome your questions and inquiries about conflict resolution in hospitals and other healthcare facilities as well as question about our numerous other patient safety programs, products and services.
Contact Safer Healthcare's team of Crew Resource Management experts to learn how we can help your organization increase levels of patient safety and improve the quality of safe and reliable care while maximizing profitability.
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