A strategic approach for managing conflict in hospitals: responding to The Joint Commission leadership standard—part 1 and part 2.
Approach to Improving Safety
Setting of Care
In 2009, The Joint Commission issued a Sentinel Event Alert focused on adopting leadership standards to promote patient safety. A subsequent white paper provided comprehensive guidance to health care organizations around key leadership principles and topics. One element that these Joint Commission standards highlighted is the importance of a hospital's conflict management system and continued efforts to promote effective communication and conflict resolution. This set of articles offers a strategic framework for leaders to address conflict as a key component of providing safe patient care. In part 1, the authors outline an approach to conflict (moving from conflict avoidance to engagement), the utility of a formal conflict assessment learning tool, and aligning the organizational mission to its conflict management practices. In part 2, the authors focus on designing a process for managing conflict and developing competencies for leaders to engage their leadership groups when they arise.