Thursday, June 11, 2015

Negotiating at Telluride

The main focus of the Telluride Patient Safety Camp is to enhance the ability of doctors and nurses to bring about lasting change in the health care system to create safer and higher quality care.  A large portion of the curriculum is centered on the issue of improved communications in clinical settings.  Several years ago, organizer Dave Mayer asked me to present a module on negotiation, and I have done so at each session since then.

Obviously, in the short time allocated, I can't offer a full course on the theory and practice of negotiation, but we are able to cover some key topics and give the students a chance to practice them.  Here are some of the comments they posted later about the experience:

Our second session focused on negotiation skills and applying negotiation to clinical practice. This exercise was so fun! It required problem solving, critical thinking, planning, reflection, teamwork and open-mindedness to reach the best possible outcome of the deal. These are the same skills required by all members of the healthcare team to achieve good patient outcomes. Patient Safety is about harnessing the creativity of the human members of the healthcare team to come up with solutions for the patients in their care. (Alexandra)

Throughout medical school, I have enjoyed and actively participated in counseling patients about lifestyle changes, medication compliance, preventative care and other difficult issues. By implementing strategies of assessing readiness for change and instituting small changes, I had done a fairly good job in engaging patients to instill positive changes in their lives. Today,  I realized was that what I had been doing was negotiating with my patients. Negotiations are not easy, and I certainly fall short when negotiations involve finances, as I am less skilled in navigating this world than I am in the medical field. But I realized that these are vital skills that can be translated clinically.

Paul Levy taught us today that we need to get past the positions and think about the underlying interests. This presents an interesting and effectual way for us to negotiate with our patients and to create value for them. We must always remember that every patient has a unique motivation and the only way to uncover these motivations and use them for the benefit of the patient is to get to know them as individuals and not just as “patients.” I have a long way to go with my skills as an effective negotiator, but I am grateful to have realized what an important skill this truly is and will continue to practice until I get it right. (Ani)

Clarifying and understanding what was behind respective positions, trying to resolve both sides of the coin simultaneously where our and their interests became interlocked, we were able to work in a much more positive environment where differences did not drive us apart but rather served as a key source of value in negotiation. (Daewoong)


Anonymous said...

What they need is harmed patients added to that list. I see a ton of "quality" groups, none of which include patients (unless maybe a token one who is not given a voice). Harmed patients are your best data sources for mining. After that current patients. I suggested several things and have yet to hear anything from a group that has the most problems and the most admin.

Carole said...

Anonymous- fair and good suggestion, a harmed patients imput best source for information to create positive changes.