Healthcare Conflict Analysis and Engagement
The American healthcare system is a highly complex system, or more precisely “system of systems,” that has a profound effect on all aspects of our life, our community and our economy. The healthcare system is also highly politicized and is expected to undergo profound change over the next few years. In recognition of the challenges that conflict creates in the healthcare sector, both in regards to patient care and costs incurred, the Joint Commission (on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) now requires healthcare organizations to establish policies and procedures for conflict management within their organizations.
As a highly complex system the healthcare sector is very conducive to conflict. Some of the factors that contribute to conflict include: the array of different professions, each with their own culture and perspective on understanding the world; the different methods of measuring success and health outcomes; the vertical and horizontal integration within the sector; the inherent contradictions in the sector such as a belief in individual self-sufficiency v. mutual support and a focus on for-profit v. for-health-outcomes.
This program specialization is intended for healthcare managers and professionals currently in leadership who are wishing to enhance their understanding and skills in conflict resolution, employees in the healthcare sector who are looking to advance their employment prospects in the sector and current conflict resolution professionals wanting to extend their practice to the healthcare sector.
CAE645 The Healthcare Sector as a Complex System (4.00 cr.)
This course provides the foundation for the healthcare concentration and explores the various components of the sector with a focus on the interaction of the numerous sub-systems that exist with in our healthcare sector. The course will provide a brief overview of the historical development of the sector. Legislative and financial structures that support the healthcare sector will also be explored. Particular attention will be paid to the various care delivery agencies, including the mega-hospitals, university/research-based providers, faith-based providers and the array of smaller agencies. Students will develop systemic understandings of the complexity of healthcare so they can understand and address the relationships and structures that generate conflict in the healthcare sector.
CAE646 Health Care as Intersection of Conflicting Professional Cultures (4.00 cr.)
This course focuses on the internal aspects of the healthcare sector to explore how the structural and internal cultural dynamics of the sector intersect. The emergence of the “healthcare manager” as well as the growing roles of other healthcare professions will be explored. Particular attention will be paid to the training regime and culture exhibited by each of the professions as a means to expose students to the many value and perspective differences that exist amongst the professions. The course will also expose the student to intra-professional dynamics, such as “horizontal violence,” that can encourage conflict to emerge. Students will consider how institutional or organizational and professional cultures in healthcare contribute to various healthcare-setting tensions and conflicts.
CAE647 Health Care Sector Culture in Conflict with Broader Community Culture (4.00 cr.)
This course shifts focus from the internal dynamics of the sector to exploring how the prevailing culture(s) in the healthcare sector align and compete with other values and cultures found in the broader community. The perspectives of ethnicity, age, and gender, particularly as they relate to issues such as life, death, interacting with authority and accessing/using information will be key aspects of this course. Particular attention will be paid to how broader community values related to safety, healthy living, community development and individual growth and responsibility find expression in the healthcare context or may give rise to conflict. Issues related to the aging population and the increasing mobility of family members and how these factors influence interactions with healthcare providers will also be explored.