Indicators of success : an exploration of successful conflict management in U.S. hospital settings
Charlton, Paul William.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This paper investigates how success is defined in managing healthcare conflicts. It introduces a framework for analyzing the different conflict management dynamics in healthcare, dividing conflict into four main categories based on the parties involved: provider-provider; patient-provider; provider-administration; patient-payer. Reviews of the literature and interviews with ten healthcare conflict management practitioners were used to analyze these four dynamics and identify key features of the conflicts and conflict management responses associated with each. The interviews further explored definitions of success, clarified training and research needs, and identified emerging trends in the field.; The findings suggest that dividing healthcare conflict into relationship-based categories of conflict is appropriate due to significant differences in the types of conflict experienced in these dynamics and the corresponding divergence in conflict management goals, focus, and interventions. Conflict management approaches in the four dynamics largely shared the aims of improving relationships, improving communication, and saving money, though each dynamic included additional aims. Specific definitions of success varied, at times widely. There were noteworthy difference in context and perspective between two of the largest categories of healthcare conflict, patient-provider conflict and provider-provider conflict. Patient-payer conflict interventions diverged from the others in being less relational and more transactional. Early intervention in conflict management was important in all dynamics.; How programs define success has implications for how hospitals design conflict management systems. The literature review suggests that the orientation of many existing healthcare conflict management programs may overlook certain conflict dynamics, unintentionally leaving certain types of conflicts unaddressed. The conflict dynamic framework presented here can help design conflict management systems that capture the breadth of healthcare conflicts in more integrated ways.; Important trends in healthcare conflict management identified by the research include a shift away from interest-based negotiation models towards relationship-based approaches to conflict management; a reorientation towards prevention and early intervention, raising expectations that healthcare providers take the lead on conflict engagement and increasingly supplanting third-party intervention models; a push to include conflict management training in health professional schools; and utilization of a nested training-mentoring-communities of practice approach to developing healthcare providers' conflict management skills.
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