Think of defining who is a stakeholder in a healthcare system. For the sake of our discussion, stakeholders take the definition of entities that are integrally participating in the healthcare system and tend to be affected by reforms that take place in the systems (Robbins, 2008). Therefore, the primary stakeholder’s participants in this healthcare system are government, physicians, patients, employers, insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies. Looking at different responsibilities in our case, insurance companies sell health coverage plans to patients in a direct or indirect manner through their employers or governmental intermediaries (Robbins, 2008). For pharmaceutical agencies, they develop and market the medications as prescribed by doctors for the purpose of patient treatment. In such a case, they typically receive remuneration when people buy insurance covers or through government’s drug benefit plan (Dinkin et al, 2013). As for the employers role he or she offers health insurance coverage in different deductibles and co-payments for their employees. Physicians are responsible for maintaining that there is the delivery of healthcare. Thus, the patients are their recipients. On the other hand, the government tends to subsidize health care for the disabled, the poor and the elderly. Therefore, stakeholders tend to have different duties and responsibilities.
Considering the discussion above, it becomes definite that the interrelationship between stakeholders in the healthcare system is somehow complex. For instance, two stakeholders in this system the pharmaceutical firms and insurance agencies are publicly owned corporations in the stock exchange market. Therefore, they will aim at maximizing their stockholder’s wealth (Robbins, 2008). On the other hand, the main aim of an employer is to make money; thus, their provision of health insurance to the employees tends to be beneficial in a certain manner. Unlike the other stakeholders, overall physicians take the task and responsibilities of taking care of the incoming patients. Although their acts are paid through remunerations for the services they deliver, their relationship with patients tends to be sacred trust that is paid through monetary terms. For patients, they also have duties, rights, and responsibilities. Lastly, the government bears the overall duty and responsibility for its citizens, but there should be a unique manner that they use in defining the provision of healthcare to the citizens (Garwood-Gowers, 2015).
In any healthcare system, the competing system in healthcare tends to be complex and controversial because of the different visions in healthcare. Perhaps, it would be significant if I could outline some of the stakeholder’s visions, they include:
- Physicians- they tend to view and maintain the vision that quality healthcare should be provided in a technical sense. Hence, this is made possible through proper diagnosis, appropriate and effective therapies and resultant health outcomes.
- Payers- they carry out the vision of maintaining that they have attained the best cost effectiveness.
- Employers-they carry out their vision by ensuring that they keep their cost down, and ensure that their employees get back to work as soon as possible.
- Patients-their vision is an environment where there is compassion, and there is a proper communication channel.
Looking at the stakeholder’s visions above, certain conflicts tend to rise. Hence, the decisions revolving around the conflict often tend to determine whether the delivery systems would be a success. It would be of significant purpose if I could discuss some of the potential areas where conflict arises that is between patient and employers, and payers and providers.
- Patient and employer
It is the expectation of a patient that the employer offers a wide range of options regarding health delivery packages that could be integrally customized for their specific need. It is also perceived that they look for employers who can fund a majority of their healthcare insurance covers (Garwood-Gowers, 2015). Hence, their basic premise tends to maintain that there is the provision of most options and reduce their cost at the expense of their employees.
On the other hand, the employers want to lower the contribution cost. They want patients to seek for only need care, through the following of providers instructions and maintain quick recovery to full utility. They also recommend patients to consider exercising, diet and avoiding smoking cessations.
Hence, the conflict in such a case shows that employers want to lower their expense so as to cover less, while patients want more. As a result, this leads to conflict emerging.
- Providers and payers
Providers bear the vision of providing the best services possible using the accurate and recent tests and treatments, though they may be expensive (Garwood-Gowers, 2015). They also want to provide preventive care through insurance companies who are the payer which may not be covered.
As for they payers, their want is that providers should follow the clearest, evidence-based, diagnostic plan so as to reach an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan in a manner that has the fewest visits and low numbers of the test.
Based on the emerging conflicts above, different visions by the stakeholder lead to inefficiency across the delivery of healthcare in the care systems (Ross et al, 2012). Therefore, the following measures should be undertaken to solve the issue of rising conflicts among stakeholders, they are:
- Working Together
The healthcare delivery system is made up of professions. Hence, as professions, it would be of significant purpose if we could work together towards the provision of one vision that is the provision of healthcare service to patients (Dinkin et al, 2013). All this can be attainable if we develop certain skills across all stakeholders so that there can be effective communication. Hence, some of these skills would include conflict management so as to avoid rising of conflict, consensus where stakeholders share their visions in collaborative terms, and lastly, there can be negotiations so as come up with one vision and avoid the rising conflict (Dinkin et al, 2013). Although, these skills may not improve patient care what becomes certain is that they lower conflict that rise from personal visions and interest.
Collaboration is also an important aspect that stakeholders might put under consideration to solve the issue of conflict in healthcare. Therefore, through collaboration, each stakeholder tends to be involved in the process. Thus, there is a concrete working relationship and improvement of quality patient services. Also through collaboration, medics can prioritize the patient care needs, resources are easily pulled together, and eventually we experience a mutual benefit which shares a common goal (Dinkin et al, 2013).
In this instance, when negotiation is undertaken it means that all stakeholders come together and engage in honest communication. Here, we expect them to adjust their difference so that there can be a consensus. It is also expected that the people involved in the conflict tell each other their visions, needs and wants. Thus, they can adapt their needs and wants so that they can have a common goal (Ross et al, 2013). Although the process may take the time to learn and practice eventually, we will have a consensus and reduce the conflict in the healthcare delivery process.
In conclusion, hospitals tend to be complex institutions with different overriding missions that focus on improving the healthcare of patients and community. Conflict tends to be a destructive force that is ignored today by many because of the redefining opportunity that it creates (Parkin, 2009). Therefore, the step of managing conflict through collaboration, negotiations and working together builds trust and creates a future for quality healthcare delivery.
Parkin, P. (2009). Managing change in healthcare: Using action research. Los Angeles: SAGE.
Dinkin, S., Filner, B., & Maxwell, L. (2013). The exchange strategy for managing conflict in health care: How to defuse emotions and create solutions when the stakes are high.
In Perry, F. (2014). The tracks we leave: Ethics & management dilemmas in healthcare.
Ross, A., Wenzel, F. J., &Mitlyng, J. W. (2012). Leadership for the future: Core competencies in healthcare. Chicago, Ill: Health Adminstration Press.
Garwood-Gowers, A., Tingle, J., & Wheat, K. (2015). Contemporary issues in healthcare law and ethics. Edinburgh: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.
Robbins, D. A., & Healthcare Financial Management Association (U.S.). (2008).Managed care on trial: Recapturing trust, integrity, and accountability in healthcare. New York: McGraw-Hill.