Prevent turf conflicts by developing communication skills

Even in the greatest hospitals and systems, communication is a challenge, and care can be segmented. As an MSP, you have the opportunity to act as an advocate for your medical staff. In your discussions with physicians or hospital employees about initiatives that are starting, make it a point to suggest physician involvement and communication. One of the best ways to resolve turf conflicts is to prevent them. Help those that you talk with to bring communication with all the interested parties on the front end, and it will save you and your medical staff a lot of aggravation on the back end.

Keep your physician leaders informed on what’s happening in your facility. Develop a standing informal meeting with your medical staff officers and CEO each month. Make a list of set items that you will discuss monthly, but also try to make a quick list of the things you’ve heard about throughout the hospital that could impact physicians but that they wouldn’t be aware of. You will be surprised by what they are not aware of that would have a great impact on the medical staff.

Keep a friendly line of communication open with your medical staff. Stop through the physicians’ lounge and talk with your medical staff movers and shakers, the biggest dissenters, and those that are new to the staff. Ask them how things are going, and make a note of any issues that need to be taken to your medical staff leadership to address. Keep the lines of communication open by keeping a bowl of the “good candy” and salty snacks for your office guests. You are sending the message that physicians can come by for a snack, to ask a question, or to just chat. Keeping these lines of communication open helps to work with physicians during times of conflict, identify potential conflict, and communicate information that they may have missed.

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Medical Staff Services Department