Healthcare Attorney Role in Healthcare Facility Conflict Management(CM) Program

Your Roles:

  • Help make the case to Governing Body and leadership for using CM and mediation skills to make everything work better in the facility
  • Bring your perspective to hospital policy about building a CM Program and a CCF (conflict competent healthcare facility)
  • Contribute to assessment of current hospital practices and CM resources
  • Provide guidance regarding confidentiality of different communications and practices that may take place within CM and related processes
  • Provide guidance on ongoing basis regarding selection of appropriate dispute resolution processes to use in any given situation
  • Provide guidance on use of outside assistance (e.g. neutrals and consultants) when appropriate
  • Provide input from your vantage point as to the effectiveness of the program

A Checklist of Possible Helpful Steps To Prepare and To Participate

  • Acquire general understanding of steps whereby a CM program can be constructed, critical values to be observed in such program, and conflict management and mediative skills
  • Start with AHLA’s Conflict Management Toolkit (www.healthlawyers.org/adr)
  • Make sure you are aware of assorted ADR processes so that you can better guide selection of the right process at the right time
  • Self-evaluate your own related mediative and facilitative skills; your own role in how conflicts play out
  • Assess from your vantage point how conflict typically arises and is handled in your facility
  • Identify what you see as embedded or chronic disputes and conflict; consider which you’d suggest be addressed perhaps as a pilot for a CM program
  • Reflect upon lessons learned when trying to establish other programs like compliance programs – what to repeat and what to avoid
  • Compile your own list of success stories – crises well handled that may serve to bolster the case for  value of creating a CCF
  • Consider what help you will need and what resources the facility will need to implement CM
  • Look into the EADRSolutions onsite training program for lawyers, and healthcare leaders, doctors and nurses!
  • Bear in mind and remind your clients that building buy-in and trust in a CM program is critical to its long term success. Achieving buy-in and trust takes time, and a steady, honest commitment. One small success leads to another. Treating CM as perfunctory, as window-dressing, or some other short shrift paid will communicate that the program is not one in which players can place their faith.