Resolving conflict in your practice

October 1, 2005

Office conflicts are inevitable. Left unchecked, they can lead to mistakes, decreased efficiency, and eventually lost revenue and time with patients.

Office conflicts are inevitable. Left unchecked, they can lead to mistakes, decreased efficiency, and eventually lost revenue and time with patients. Some of the best strategies for ensuring harmony in your practice include open communications, clear job descriptions, and a culture of teamwork.

According to consultants, keeping the lines of communication open is a key step in preventing conflicts from occurring in the office. You might chat with staff members at their desks or hold team-building sessions. "A physician who interacts with staff creates a culture in which staff members can be friendly with each other and address issues without bottling them up and letting them fester," reported American Medical News (8/1/05).

Part of developing teamwork is creating specific job descriptions for each member of the staff. This way, each staff member knows exactly what his or her responsibilities are, and can take ownership of those duties. In addition, a recognition program can reinforce good behaviors and let staff know what behaviors are unacceptable.