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March 6, 2023

3 Reasons Why Conflicts Arise in your Healthcare Practice & How to Avoid

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3 Reasons Why Conflicts Arise in your Healthcare Practice & How to Avoid

Workplace conflicts happen everywhere, and healthcare is no exception. Conflicts may arise between physicians & staff, staff & health care team and between staff & patients. Understanding the reasons behind conflicts can help tackle problems before it turns into a face-off between departments or violence. Managing conflicts at healthcare facilities is not only important but necessary for healthcare professionals. Ignoring conflicts can be costly and neither the physicians nor the staff and certainly patients can benefit out of it. No matter whatever the conflict is, it will have an adverse effect on productivity and patient care. Most importantly, conflicts at healthcare practice may result in inefficiency, miscommunication, poor morale and high staff turnover.

So, what appropriate measures you have to take to avoid and prevent conflicts at your healthcare practice?

Preventing Conflicts at your Healthcare Practice

Establishing a professional code of conduct in hospitals can prevent professionals from indulging in conflicts. Setting ground rules will make it easy for healthcare as it takes the personality out of the equation. A disciplinary structure should be outlined so that the workflow process and the referral pattern to higher officials can be well understood. Understanding why conflicts arise is important. From an employee perspective, conflicts may arise due to lack of communication, preferential treatment, unfair criticism and being put down, whereas, from the management perspective, they may arise due to improper communication, delayed responses, poor prioritizing, so on and so forth.

Avoid taking people for granted, failing to keep promises and taking responsibility for own errors can help prevent conflicts to some extent. Cultivating emotional intelligence and collaboration within your healthcare practice is the best practice to prevent conflicts.

Existing Systems can Create Conflicts

Conflicts may arise due to inappropriate behavior that could give rise to liability or professional discipline. Reasons can be anything - filling of a peer review grievance or filling a receipt of an alert. Many processes exist to illustrate the preferred communication pathways to handle these events. Each process is for a different purpose and has an owner, so when a conflict arise, various independent systems come into the picture and offers limited access to the critical information necessary to handle conflict. This is where your practice has to take appropriate action; deploying an EHR system that offers centralized access to the information you require can help resolve conflicts quickly.

Poor Communication Breeds Conflicts

With all the informal communication happening in hospitals, it is no wonder that conflicts can arise both formally and informally. At each stage, information sharing, and effective communication can make a significant impact in improving the system of care and treatment quality. Communication failure is the primary reason for most unintended outcomes in health care. If the review process is not properly organized, you will not be able to protect the information generated for self-improvement. Maintaining the patient information securely can reduce the risk and ensure proper care. Therefore, proper communication and taking a systematic approach can make people feel secure and support patient safety.

Old-fashioned Workflows

There might be some areas in your practice that needs to be overhauled. The changes that are made to system policies and procedures may become unidentified as they get implemented as and when discovered. Sometimes, these changes in the systems may result in unintended outcomes for which there would be no accountability. A systematic review of these changes can be beneficial and may not result in any medical liability.

Ignoring conflicts at your practice can make matters worse. Deploying the right EHR system can increase staff productivity and reduce staff turnover while creating a conflict-free environment.

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