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When Team Conflicts Threaten Quality of Care: A Study of Health Care Professionals' Experiences and Perceptions

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Published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes. 2019, vol. 3, no. 1, p. 43-51
Abstract Objectives To explore professionals' experiences and perceptions of whether, how, and what types of conflicts affected the quality of patient care. Patients and Methods We conducted 82 semistructured interviews with randomly selected health care professionals in a Swiss teaching hospital (October 2014 and March 2016). Participants related stories of team conflicts (intra-/interprofessional, among protagonists at the same or different hierarchical levels) and the perceived consequences for patient care. We analyzed quality of care using the dimensions of care proposed by the Institute of Medicine Committee on Quality of Health Care in America (safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, and equity). Results Seventy-seven of 130 conflicts had no perceived consequences for patient care. Of the 53 conflicts (41%) with potential perceived consequences, the most common were care not provided in a timely manner to patients (delays, longer hospitalization), care not being patient-centered, and less efficient care. Intraprofessional conflicts were linked with less patient-centered care, whereas interprofessional conflicts were linked with less timely care. Conflicts among protagonists at the same hierarchical level were linked with less timely care and less patient-centered care. In some situations, perceived unsatisfactory quality of care generated team conflicts. Conclusion Based on participants' assessments, 4 of 10 conflict stories had potential consequences for the quality of patient care. The most common consequences were failure to provide timely, patient-centered, and efficient care. Management of hospitals should consider team conflicts as a potential threat to quality of care and support conflict management programs.
Keywords Quality of careTeam ConflictsTeamworkHuman factors
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PMID: 30899908
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CULLATI, Stéphane et al. When Team Conflicts Threaten Quality of Care: A Study of Health Care Professionals' Experiences and Perceptions. In: Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes, 2019, vol. 3, n° 1, p. 43-51. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:116821

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Deposited on : 2019-05-02

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