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Resolving Conflict in Healthcare workshops
examples of healthcare conflicts

How ADR can help you

The benefits of alternate dispute resolution and managing conflict makes your institution a better place to work

Conflict is inevitable. It cannot be erased. What we do is help you and your staff manage the conflicts that arise. Managed conflict creates a culture of increased trust within a workplace. Increased trust creates a culture of openness and job satisfaction that leads to the following;

  • Increased retention
  • Successful recruitment
  • Decreased  sick time
  • Decreased disability claims
  • Fewer clinical errors
  • Effective managers
  • Better communication

Our clients report that our services have been successful in retaining staff, improving morale, assisting with recruitment and improving the delivery pf quality patient care.

If mediate.calm helps your organization retain just 1 experienced RN, we can save your organization a minimum of $100,000 in recruitment and replacement costs.


Why You Need Conflict Management

Conflict is the #1 issue for health care professionals. A 2005 survey by the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto, found that the biggest issue in medical ethics was the growing occurrence of conflict between health care providers, their patients and patients' families.

  • Conflict is a greater problem than resource issues, waiting lists, funding and shortages of adequately trained professionals.

  • Conflict occurs between and amongst various groups of healthcare providers, between providers and families, between providers and patients and between providers and administration.

  • Unmanaged conflict leads to increased sick time and disability claims. It leads to problems with retention and recruitment increased grievances and other claims.

  • Unmanaged conflict creates an unsafe environment for patient care leading to an increase in clinical errors.

  • Conflict creates stressful workplaces and stressed out workers. Stressed workers are less productive workers.


Examples of Healthcare Conflicts

Large Community Hospital Specialty Group Conflict
We provided an external review of the causes, implications and possible short-and long-term solutions to a conflict within a specialty group. The situation had escalated to the point of involving other departments within the facility, as well as potentially compromising services to patients in several smaller communities.

Patient / Physician / Administration Conflict in Ambulatory Care Setting
Dissatisfaction with the care provided in a  clinic as well as that of several of its physicians, led to a formal complaint to the licensing body concerning the physicians. We participated in a mediation process which led to better understanding of the situation by all parties. A letter written by the complainants endorsing the conclusions reached in the mediation led to closure of the complaint by the licensing body with no further action.

Small Community Hospital Governance Dispute
In partnership with another CR services firm, we were active in providing advice and direction to an outside agency charged with resolving a long-standing and bitter dispute involving multiple parties concerning the overall strategic mission and governance of a small community hospital. Parties included the Board, the management team, the hospital staff, different groups within the medical staff, related community services, and patients and family members.

Reintegration of Specialist Physician at Large Urban Hospital
A long-standing conflict between the nursing staff, the administration and several physicians led to the referral of one specialist to the licensing body . After review and action by the licensing body, we facilitated a series of discussions concerning the reintegration of the physician, eventually leading to the development and signing of a multi-party facilitation agreement that detailed the expectations of all parties.

Training Workshop in Conflict Resolution                                                                                                                     A government agency retained our services to conduct a one-day session for a group of case managers involved in the organization and delivery of health services to their clients across the country. Through the use of case studies, role plays, exercises and didactic presentations, the members of this group were to better able to deal with the challenges facing them in their work environment.

Specialized External Hospital Clinic Dispute

The clinic was mired in conflict involving nursing, clerical and medical staff.  Patient care was being compromised. Over a 3 month period, a working group was created with representatives of all parties meeting weekly to discuss issues and develop options for solutions. The working group drafted a number of proposed implementation plans that were presented to the entire staff at an all day retreat. During the retreat, the implementation plans were revised and specific accountabilities for going forward were determined.  A team building process was developed.

RN/RPN Conflict on In-Patient Surgical Unit

In-patient surgical unit of 40 nurses, undergoing significant conflict over a number of years. Many long-time members of staff were acting negatively towards new staff. Various cliques had developed. In-fighting between RN’s and RPN’s was affecting patient care. Unions for the RN’s and RPN’s collaborated with management to seek a mediated process to improve the team work and morale of the unit.

Specialized Unit in Community Hospital

Multi-disciplinary group involving various medical specialties, nursing and allied health were undergoing significant conflict over a number of years.  Facilitated process was developed to address ongoing issues. Various processes were utilized including individual mediations, coaching, training and formation of working groups to resolve issues.

Faculty Student Dispute in Collaborative University Program

Dispute arose between a group of 200 allied health students and faculty. Legal proceedings had been threatened by students who felt they had received incorrect information about program requirements. Information gathering process used to gather data. Facilitated meetings held with representatives of student body, faculty and administration were held to develop options for resolution.

Private Family Practice Dispute

Family physicians working together in a private clinic were involved in a dispute relating to their partnership agreement. Legal assistance had been sought with no resolution of issue. Provincial medical association had attempted to assist with no progress. Short-term mediation held over 3 hours and issue was resolved satisfactorily.

Management Challenges in Community Hospital

Staff in clinical units expressed concern about management style and approach. Interviews held with all staff to determine scope of issues. Management coaching was provided to assist in developing effective management skills. In addition, staff’s working groups were created to deal with ongoing non-management related conflicts and interpersonal disputes. Individual mediation was also used to resolve specific difficult situations.



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