Case Study- General Hospital Essay

Running head: ANALYSIS OF: “CONFLICT RESOLUTION AT GENERAL HOSPITAL” Analysis of: “Conflict Resolution at General Hospital” August 22, 2010 Abstract This is paper will address the conflict at General Hospital and discuss the conflict management styles that are evident in the case. Next, there will be a discussion of how General Hospital could have used teams to address the cost reductions needed to stay competitive. A description of how Hammer can use negotiation skills to get buy in for the cost reductions will also be included. Finally, a strategy for Hammer to resolve the problem will be recommended.

Cost control and management/physician agreement are the main conflicts at General Hospital. In order for cost to be reduced General Hospital’s CEO, Mike Hammer, will need to gain the support of the physicians on staff. So far Hammer has been unsuccessful in his past two attempts to control physician-driven cost: First when, “he had tried to convince Director of Medicine Dr. Mark Williams to get the staff physicians to become cost sensitive in their decision making. Even when Hammer spotted a wasteful practice, physicians defended their actions as the practice of good medicine. (Hellriegel & Slocum, pp. 546) Hammers second attempt was when he hired a consultant that made recommendations for a “formal comprehensive cost containment program” which was not supported by the hospital board of trustee’s because the director of medicine opposed it. (Hellriegel & Slocum, pp. 546) Somehow, Hammer and the physicians at General Hospital will have to work together as one to reach their cost reduction goals so that they may expand and remain competitive in the industry. The conflict management styles that are evident in the case are the Forcing and Avoidance Styles.

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The forcing style “refers to assertive and uncooperative behaviors and represents a win-lose approach to interpersonal conflict. Those who use this forcing approach try to achieve their own goals with out concern for others. ” (Hellriegel & Slocum, pp. 392) In the meeting that Hammer has with Marge Harding (the new COO), he advises he to select something that the physicians can do at less cost and implement the change…with no questions asked including terminations of at will employees. This allows Harding free reign to do whatever she wants without consulting anyone if she doesn’t feel it necessary.

Because of this Harding uses bad judgment when deciding to terminate attending Cardiologist Dr. James Boyle and replace him with computerized EKG interpretations. Dr. Boyle was respected by his peers, provided accurate and timely reports, never missed work, and always made arrangements for replacements when on vacation, which shows he was committed to his career and patients. Harding implements a computerized system without any testing or advanced notice, has her assistant (John Will) introduce the system to the physicians and staff and then goes on vacation.

The avoidance style comes into play when there are problems with the new computerized EKG system. The avoiding style “refer’s to unassertive and uncooperative behaviors. A person uses this style to stay away from conflict, ignore disagreements, or remain neutral. ” (Hellriegel & Slocum, pp. 394) During the first week there were several problems with the computerized operations such as: late reports, mis- filings, wrong patients EKG analysis, and misdiagnoses. These problems could incur further cost for the hospital and possibly lawsuits.

The physicians are upset because Dr. Boyle has been terminate and he always provide accurate EKG reports and the new system is faulty, so the take their complains to the Director of medicine, Dr. Williams. Dr. Williams called a meeting with the medical staff and requested Harding to attend which she avoided. Instead Harding sent John Will with a message: “General Hospital needs to stay abreast of ongoing technological developments in science and medicine, especially when costs are reduced. ” (Hellriegel & Slocum, pp. 47) Harding is staying away from the conflict by refusing to attend the meeting and sending the message through her assistant John Will. Discuss how General Hospital could have used teams to address the cost reductions needed to stay competitive. Teams can be used to negotiate salaries of all staff, infrastructure maintenance, new technology, medicinal and other financial needs. Staffing (can and some a few nurses) can be reduced in some areas since the numbers of beds being used have been greatly reduced.

Forming relationships with other medical center or specialized physicians to come in on a contract/ on call basis would also be cost effective in slow periods. Teams are able to brain storm to come up with ideas together and then put them into action as they are agreed upon as a common goal. Describe how Hammer can use negotiation skills to get buy-in for the cost reductions. The negotiation skills are very important to reach the desired goals of cost reduction and conflict resolution at General Hospital.

Instead of Hammer using the Distributive Negotiation Strategy (good cop bad cop) which is a win- lose situation he should use a Collaborative Strategy. The Collaborating style “refers to high levels of cooperative and assertive behaviors. ” (Hellriegel & Slocum, pp. 391) Hammer needs to gain the physicians trust and let them know that this is a win-win situation. To do this he must have involve them from start to finish … initiate meetings, ask for their thoughts for cost cutting techniques, let them know that this is vital to the survival of the hospital as a whole and that he need and values their input.

These meetings will bring about suggestions from the physicians, nurses, directors, and non- medical management. Together they can work as a team and take the selected ideas and begin implementing on a trial basis to find out which plans are a good fit for the organization as a whole. References Hellriegel, D. , & Slocum, J. W. , Jr. (2011). Organizational behavior: 2011 custom edition (13th Ed. ). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.


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