Making the Case: Why explore and adopt uses of mediation and mediation skills in health care?

© Jeanne F. Franklin and Jane Reister Conard of EADRSolutions

When asked why healthcare providers should act early to handle conflicts and disputes, this is part of what we remind them:

  • Hospital and healthcare conflicts often have multiple components; personal values play a large role in how and why conflict develops. Such values, including cultural ones, are of great importance to people and need acknowledgement to strengthen effective working relationships.
  • Healthcare conflicts can ignite quickly - often because they are so personal;
  • There is strong need for many medical relationships to continue and such relationships need nurturing attention
    -Internal relations (interdependent teams)
    -External relations – consumers, payors, reputation
  • Rapid change peculiar to the healthcare environment creates stress and instability – shrinks “white space;”
    - facilitation, consensus building, authentic team building, communication skills building are preventive practices that can shore up morale, avert blow-ups, and create learning environment  in which change can be absorbed without sinking the ship
  • It's desirable to manage costs and redirect resources toward positive uses of time
  • It’s happening now so become literate and seize the opportunity to work this into management
  • Wrap up points as to “why?”
    - A lot of today’s conflicts are a consequence of communication failures. People are doing more things at the same time, with less support, but with more oversight and criticism. Mediation skills facilitate communication, get you back to “core stuff,” and can have positive spill-over effects.