Conflict Resolutions at General Hospital Research Paper

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Conflict Resolution at General Hospital

Over the last ten years, a variety of businesses have been facing a number of issues as far as leadership is concerned. Where, the lack of leadership at a variety of organizations has been having a negative impact on: on earnings, productivity and costs. This is despite the fact that many executives / administrators believe that they are addressing the different issues. Where, many organizations will often claim that the staff / employees are their greatest assets. Yet, when it comes to addressing employee concerns, most business will place less importance on this aspect. Evidence of this can be seen by a study that was conducted of different business executives, with found that 73% of companies rate employees as their greatest asset. (Chitwood, 2004) However, when you look at where employees stand within most organizations, it is clear they are less important, with this being ranked fifth in the order of operational significance. What this shows, is that many companies will often pay lip service to understanding employee issues. But, when it comes to actually listening and addressing the needs of employees, most entities will often place employee issues far behind other operational goals. In the case of General Hospital a similar trend has been occurring. Where, the cost overruns and the ability to maintain them has created a heated atmosphere between doctors and administrators. To rectify the situation various conflict resolution strategies must be utilized by: examining the conflict that is occurring, discussing the different conflict management styles, looking at how the use of various teams could have addressed the problem, discussing how the CEO could use these negotiation skills to entice compliance and recommending possible solutions for addressing the impasse. Together, these different elements will provide the greatest insights, as to how General Hospital can address these issues, to achieve its operational objectives.

Discuss the conflict that is occurring at General Hospital.

General Hospital has been facing a problem since the renovation was completed a few years ago. Where, the organization has been at the cutting edge for offering a variety of innovative health care treatments. Yet, the various technological innovations, along with improvements to the facility, have caused occupancy rates to decline and costs to increase. To mitigate these negative effects the CEO of the hospital (Mike Hammer) has been identifying areas where costs could be controlled. One of the largest expenditures is related to the different resources that physicians are using, in delivering health care services to the general public. The CEO has tried to reduce these expenses, by having numerous discussions about the importance of implementing such a procedure. However, his ideas are often refuted, because they would reduce the overall quality of services. This has forced Hammer to bring in Marge Harding as the COO. Where, she has been given the power to make radical changes to the business model. The first such change is: to reduce the overall costs that are being paid for the EKG services. What happened was: she decided to implement these procedures without discussing the changes with the staff. This has created a heated atmosphere in the hospital, where the head of EKG division (Dr. Boyer) was abruptly fired. At which point, the overall quality of EKGs became so bad, that doctors are threatening to stop admitting patients. To make matters worse, Harding went on vacation while implementing these changes and has refused to attend meeting, with the staff to discuss this issue. While Harding was away, the actions that she took, has caused the levels of contention between the staff and administrators to increase. Various physicians have tried to approach Hammer about these issues, but are quickly rebuffed by his sense of indifference. Once Harding returns a meeting is scheduled to discuss the matter. Instead of attending, she sends her assistant in her place. The actions taken by Harding have caused the situation to spiral out of control, to the extent that doctors are starting to refuse to treat and admit new patients.

Discuss the conflict management styles that are evident in the case.

There are two types of conflict management that both Harding as well as Hammer is using to include: avoiding and competing. Avoiding is when someone is trying to avoid the problem, by not wanting to discuss it. In this case, Hammer is using avoidance when he is approached by doctors about the new changes. Instead, of dealing with the situations he choose to avoid the issue. At the same time, Harding is using avoidance, by going on vacation when the plan is being implemented and by refusing to participate in staff meeting about the issue (after she returns). Competing is when an individual is putting their own self-interest above the objectives of the organization. In this case, one could argue that Harding is using this strategy to be able to force dramatic cost reductions, in hopes of becoming the CEO at some point. These two conflict management strategies are troubling, because they create division between management and the staff. The strategies that were utilized by Harding are making the situation worse, as they make her appear as if she is out of touch with reality. ("Choosing a Conflict Management Style," 2010)

Discuss how General Hospital could have used teams to address the cost reductions needed to stay competitive.

If both Hammer and Harding had used the team approach for addressing the problem, they would have been able to reduce costs as well as improve the overall quality of care that is being received. The reason why is: the administration would be utilizing a similar strategy that is being used, by physicians in the delivery of health care services. Where, doctors work together, in using technology and different treatment options, to effectively diagnose / treat a variety of conditions. If you remove a key element from the team, it can cause the overall quality of care to decline. When, Harding fired Dr. Boyer this would reduce the overall quality of care to the point; that many doctors were refusing to treat patients. This is because they were not receiving the correct EKGs, which made diagnosing the patient's condition difficult. At the same time, it created divisiveness in the organization. If they had used the team approach to address the problem, doctors could have been able to identify different ways that they can reduce costs, while keeping treatment options consistent. The reason why, is because the team approach has been shown to: reduce the length of the patient stays and wastefulness. At the same time, it helps patients to have improved levels of care. A good example of this can be seen at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Where, they used the team approach to reduce the length of stays for: primary diagnosis and secondary diagnosis. This allowed the hospital to see cost reductions of nearly 50%, while the overall quality of care improved. This is significant, because it shows how if a team approach had been used at General Hospital, they would have seen a reduction in costs and an improvement in the underlying quality of care provided. These different teams could have been used to identify areas, in which costs can be reduced on the department level. Where, working together with them to identify / mitigate the problem, would help to improve communication and collaboration. If you can have all the different teams identifying ways to achieve this objective, it can help provide a variety of areas, where wasteful spending could be occurring. (Parsons, 1997, pg. 128)

Describe how Hammer can use negotiation skills to get buy-in for the cost reductions.

If Hammer had used some kind of negotiating skills when initially trying to reduce costs, he would have been more effective. The reason why is: his approach created divisiveness among the staff. Where, he tried to implement these changes a few years earlier, but was prevented from doing so by the board of directors. This created the divisions between the administration and the staff. Then, with Harding implementing radical changes without discussing them, these views were only strengthened. If Hammer had used negotiation skills at this or any other point during the process, he would have been able to show everyone the seriousness of the problem. This is because, negotiation is not about winning or losing; instead, it is focused on finding an effective solution for the problem. Where, you are using various tools / tactics, to disarm the negative barriers that are standing in the way. Some of the most notable would include: listening carefully, showing empathy and addressing ways that the situation could be rectified. If Hammer had utilized this strategy, it would have allowed him to overcome the negative emotions from doctors about cost reductions, while helping them to understand that the survival of the hospital depended upon achieving these objectives. If he could rephrase the issues in this light, it would have addressed the concerns of physicians and helped them to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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