Why Negotiation Skills Are Important in Health and Social Care?

Negotiation skills are a useful shot in the arm for healthcare professionals. When dealing with patients, co-workers, and other stakeholders, these skills can make a huge difference. Here’s why.

Conflict resolution

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The healthcare industry isn’t immune to conflicts. Tensions may simmer below the surface, and they can violently erupt. For instance, tempers may flare up between doctors over work scheduling, or between nurses over workspace organization.

Some doctors lean towards holistic, natural options, while others will not hear of it. Patients may also disagree with doctors and take a stand against recommended treatment. Not to mention families interfering in patient care.
Sadly, a conflict-ridden environment makes it hard to provide proper patient care. So, healthcare providers can learn how to negotiate to manage these conflicts well.

Negotiations courses aim to teach conflict resolution skills such as:

  • active listening
  • shifting perspective
  • hitting the pause button
  • managing emotional escalations
  • looking out for shared interests

Manage finances

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Healthcare providers are often forced to accept prices and conditions at face value. The Healthcare Financial Management Association says more than 66% of hospitals reported budget challenges. This was a direct result of constant hikes in drug prices.

Syntellis also says that hospital budgets buckle under economic pressures such as inflation. Since budgets are already tight these constraints have a ripple effect on patient care.

As a result, medical administrators would benefit from learning the skills taught in courses about negotiating to work on cutting the costs of supplies and services. This would help ease the pressure on budgets and improve the hospital’s financial management.

To communicate effectively

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In this age of information, more and more patients are approaching doctor’s visits as negotiations according to the Harvard School of Public Health. They come armed with possible treatment options and questions about side effects drawn from research on the internet before the doctor has even given a diagnosis.

So, healthcare providers need to communicate with patients so that they leave completely satisfied and willing to comply with treatment.

The Harvard School of Public Health also says that when patients hear public health stories in the media, they’ll reach out to physicians. Handling these messages requires a delicate balance. On one hand, you want to deliver an accurate message. However, you also don’t want to spark unwarranted panic. So, physicians need to learn how to tread the line and give the right responses.

Critical decision making

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Healthcare practitioners often face hard life or death decisions. For instance, say there are eight critical patients, who are holding on to life by a thread if they don’t receive treatment. Yet the hospital only has two of the needed machines.
The people responsible for these selections face huge dilemmas. On the one hand, they want to stay objective when choosing the best course of action. However, they also want to manage societal expectations. It helps to have strong negotiation skills such as:

  • psychological awareness
  • emotional intelligence
  • communication
  • critical thinking

As a bottomline, learning negotiation skills can help health professionals. So, consider taking training courses to master the key techniques. Also, make an effort to sharpen your skills through practice.