Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Exchange Strategy for Managing Conflict in Healthcare by Steven Dinkin

Book: The Exchange Strategy for Managing Conflict in Healthcare: How to Defuse Emotions and Create Solutions When the Stakes Are High
Author: Steven Dinkin, et al
Narrator (if applicable):N/A

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: The authors give explanation to the "Exchange" method of conflict resolution and its applications in the healthcare setting. 

Components of this method include:
  1. Conducting private meetings between those in conflict
  2. Development of an agenda
  3. Hosting a joint meeting
  4. The development of resolutions 

The author then went onto identify areas for the method to be used including:
  1. Employee relations, including team (mainly employee to employee conflicts)
  2. Patient/family relations 
  3. Physician relations
  4. Interdepartmental relations

My rating: 1.5 Stars
My opinion: Writing this review from the perspective of someone with over a decade in healthcare management/consultation,  I had numerous thoughts going through my mind as I read this book. 

These included:

  • I found this book to be incredibly wordy. What I mean by this is in working with those in executive management, conciseness is key.  To be honest, I had several moments that I felt like I was almost reading a book written by a teen girl with language choices, the feeling that the writing "rambled on" and word usage. 

  • I found the method to be good in theory; however impractical in practice.
    I was explaining to another healthcare executive that it had the feeling of attending a conference where in that setting everything lays out perfectly in lecture and role play exercises, yet attendees look at each other and the presenter knowing that (s)he fails to take into account real life.

  • I felt that the author focused too much on nursing issues. In the days when more and more is demanded from all aspects of our healthcare providers, time is of the essence.  For example, unless it was a serious conflict seriously affecting patient care, I can't see pulling nurses off a floor to say "Let's go discuss why you are upset. Oh, by the way, make sure all your tasks are done before you sign out for the day."  In my humble opinion, the better chunk of nurses that I have worked with in my 15 years in healthcare were more professional than the author gives them credit.
  •  I thought that the authors focused too much on "conflict" as in arguments, even taking it as far as patient relations. In healthcare today, I am seeing conflict not only in the stress of the daily aspects of the job, but in the different "agendas or focuses" of departments, physicians, even organizations within the health system, etc. that I didn't feel was touched on enough. It doesn't have to be "in your face" arguing to be considered a conflict and the resolution that the authors discuss may not be possible, yet cohesiveness may be key. 
  • I found this method nothing more than "common sense" conflict resolution, i.e. why is a person angry and what can be resolved with a twist of over thought and process?
  • Where the author really lost me was the final chapters on using the system at home. Say what? This was a book about conflict management in the healthcare sector. I didn't think I was reading a book about a new lifestyle choice .

In the end, I must say that I had the feeling that the author developed a method and tried to figure out a way to fit it into healthcare.

Source: McGraw Hill Professional
Would I recommend? : No
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

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