You have just been hired as a consultant to the chief executive officer (CEO) of a health care organization. Your duty is to improve the management tools and practices needed to work in teams, build cross-functional teams, and facilitate collaborative decision-making.
You need to identify elements found in an effective health care work group and identify barriers to communication that may cause conflict within a group. Also, forward communication techniques that can be used to avoid conflicts within a team where individuals hold different roles.
You need to address ways to improve communication among departments in an organization to avoid conflict. Finally, identify strategies that may be used to avoid recurring conflicts and ways a leader can prevent conflict within team in the organization.
Based upon what you have learned in this class, prepare a 1000 word paper in which you propose a quality improvement plan to present to the CEO addressing these issues.
Cite at least four references to validate your proposal. Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines.
Quality Improvement Plan
The primary objectives of this plan are to identify the elements in an effective health group, determine the barriers to communication within the group and the techniques to address the barriers. The plan also aims at establishing the techniques to improve communication among departments and identifying approaches to avoid future conflicts in the organization.
The expected outcome includes improved communication within groups and among departments, reduced conflicts between workers and among departments and the organization in general. The plan is also expected to reveal more approaches in dealing with conflicts now and in the future.
Elements in an Effective Healthcare Group
Effective teams practice cooperation in various activities. Cooperation enables the team to release and multiply the effectiveness of individual members. The resulting synergy allows the members to develop better, more acceptable and successful solutions. Darley (2002) explains that teams that work cooperatively exhibit a greater potential to succeed.
Teams that work effectively also demonstrate impeccable communication and interpersonal skills (Darley, 2002). The teams have the freedom to interact freely and make it possible for each member to raise issues affecting their operations. Excellent interpersonal skills enable the team to respect each other irrespective of their socio-economic economic background and position in the organization. Moreover, it helps team members to respect each other despite variances in level of education. Such factors may induce prejudices among team members.
Barriers to Effective Communication within the Group
Nisbett (2008) identifies discrimination and prejudices as the major barriers to effective communication in the health sector. This problem arises from some doctors who consider themselves learned compared to other members such as nurses. The problem also extends to the management who believe associating with subordinates is a sign of weakness. Discrimination and prejudices adversely affect the running of the group.
Dysfunctional physicians are presenting a problem in the communication between members, a problem, Ramsey (2001) identifies as a new twist in health management. These physicians increase stress in the workplace, which results in the breakdown in communication practices among the team members. Team members withhold information towards the dysfunctional characters that further results in poor communication in the group.
Communication Techniques to Avoid Conflicts
Choosing the right atmosphere is a communication technique that is efficient in handling conflicts at the workplace. Darley (2002) advises that team leaders should create time and space to discuss the conflict with the involved parties. Such communication should be done in a peaceful manner to avoid aggravating the problem.
Focus on the ‘’I statements’’ is proving an effective technique in conflict resolution among team members (Ramani, Mavalankar & Govil, 2008). These statements put workers in a defensive position rather than heeding to their mistakes. As the team leader, one should not focus on the I statements such as ‘I feel disappointed when work is not done according to set guidelines’. This approach reduces criticism and conflicts plummet.
Active listening also presents a fundamental way of solving conflicts. The leader should always display the will to listen to concerns of the colleagues to alleviate conflicts arising from the issues at hand. Body language such as nodding in agreement and making eye contact shows you are listening, and this helps to calm the atmosphere in the discussion Nisbett (2008). You may not agree with everything but try to make points to show that you consent and validate the opinion raised.
Techniques to Improve Communication among Department
Communication among departments is crucial in maintaining harmonious coexistence between workers across the organization. Techniques to improve communication and avoid conflicts across departments include the following. First, identification of the decisive information always required. Ramani, Mavalankar, and Govil (2008) explains that every department has the responsibility to formulate a list of absent particulars from other departments and their routine expectations. The need to gather information leads to the need to workers.
Moreover, ensuring camaraderie among the heads of the departments is also a crucial intervention. This step presents an excellent avenue in team building in addition to improving communication. Development of quality leaders who communicate on the same channel spills over the benefits to other departments. Team building significantly develops the level to which department heads and associated teams work together with each as well with other departments.
The third intervention involves developing and utilizing processes inclusive of communication across departments. Every department is required to include procedures that outline how and when information flows across departments. This phase comes before, during and after establishing that the strategies are congruent with the company’s vision.
Investing in software to manage operations is also a pertinent response. Ramani, Mavalankar, and Govil (2008) agree that achieving smooth communication across departments is vital, but bringing it together with software takes it a new level. The software should focus on a whole range of functionalities within the organization. This requirement brings efficiency to the entire process.
Strategies to Avoid Recurring Conflicts
The most effective method is to establish a code of conduct to deal with potential conflicts. This code should not be limited to the health organization but also the medical staff through laws and group practice policies as well. Develop a disciplinary structure to ensure those mechanisms and the transfer patterns to superior authorities are comprehended. Therefore, employees need to understand that the firm poses limits on inappropriate character (Ramsey, 2001).
Ramsey (2001) further stresses that understanding the cause of the conflict is also an important intervention. Conflicts may arise from employees or the management. Recognizing the direction from which the conflict arises plays a critical role in counteracting it. The management may view the employees as underperforming while the workers may consider the employer as being unfair. Understanding the views from both sides determines how well you tackle the conflict at hand.
As the leader, avoid the pitfalls that lead to conflict Umar, Litaker, & Terris (2009). Such pitfalls include exploiting people, inability to honor promises, failure to take responsibility for actions, and failure to ensure integrity and diligence. Understand that the primary survival technique in management is to develop your emotional intelligence and utilize it in the work environment.
Darley, M. (2002). Managing communication in health care. Edinburgh: Balliere Tindall in association with RCN.
Nisbett, M. J. (2008). Developing a performance improvement plan for the health care environment.
Ramani, K. V., Mavalankar, D., & Govil, D. (2008). Strategic issues and challenges in health management. Ahmedabad: Centre for Management of Health Services.
Ramsey, M. (2001). Ethics CME. Conflict in the Health Care Workplace, 14(2), 138-139. doi:10.1108/ijhcqa.2012.06225faa.015
Umar, N., Litaker, D., & Terris, D. D. (2009). Toward More Sustainable Health Care Quality Improvement in Developing Countries. Quality Management in Health Care, 18(4), 295-304. doi:10.1097/qmh.0b013e3181bee28d