Working Together and Not Just Side-by-Side: Cultivating Conflict Competence in Healthcare Organizations

Debra GerardiStephenKotev2-small

There has been an increased emphasis on teamwork and collaboration in the delivery of health services over the past decade. Much of this has been due to research that indicates the need for good communication and coordination in order to provide safe and effective care to patients. But for most health professionals, daily conflict can interrupt teamwork and make communication difficult creating risk for patients and diminishing morale for healthcare workers. In discussing this growing area of conflict resolution, Debra will talk about what conflict looks like in clinical work settings, why conflict is so hard to address among health professionals and what is happening to improve conflict management within healthcare organizations.

Debra Gerardi is a healthcare conflict engagement specialist and consultant providing executive coaching, mediation and facilitation services, conflict assessment, and professional development programs to healthcare organizations internationally. She is currently President and Chief Creative Officer for EHCCO (Emerging HealthCare Communities) a community of practice working to improve collaboration and conflict engagement among health professionals as a means of shifting the overall culture of healthcare.

Debra works with executives, clinical professionals, senior leaders, policy makers, researchers, and organization development professionals to support healthcare organizations that seek to innovate better approaches for delivering safe and effective patient care. The focus of her work is to remove barriers to collaboration, including ongoing conflict and miscommunication, so that health professionals can return to the work they were called to do.

Stephen Kotev is a Washington D.C. based conflict resolution consultant offering mediation, negotiation, conflict analysis, facilitation, training and somatic education to private and government clients. He holds a Master of Science degree from George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution and a black belt in the Japanese martial art of Aikido. He is a former employee of the Association for Conflict Resolution, the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution, the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Resolution and the D.C. Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency as an ADR Specialist.

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