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Alternative Dispute Resolution in Healthcare

Introduction

Instances of medical malpractice have become a topical issue in the healthcare professional community. Such cases cause major disputes, and the potential ways of their resolution have been an area of intense interest across industries. In the case of medical malpractice, namely allied health professionals, there is a growing need for an alternative framework as compared to court litigation. This review focuses on the existing literature regarding dispute resolution and healthcare, in particular, while examining the Biblical approach to the issue.

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Annotated bibliography

Amirthalingam, K. (2017). Medical dispute resolution, patient safety, and the doctor-patient relationship. Singapore Medical Journal, 58(12), 681–684.

In today’s clinical environment, increasing attention is paid to the concept of patient autonomy. However, this principle often conflicts with another major aspect of healthcare, which is patient safety. Amirthalingam (2017) refers to recent court cases to illustrate the changing nature of the clinical relationships, which is highly relevant within the discussed area. According to the article, medical disputes are more effectively resolved through alternative mechanisms, which consider the interests of all parties.

Kessler, D. P. (2011). Evaluating the medical malpractice system and options for reform. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25(2), 93–110

The article provides an evaluation of the situation in regards to the medical malpractice system in the United States. Kessler (2011) states that the country’s tort policies have caused heated debates, adding that the existing system fails to accomplish its mission. The flaws of malpractice legislation are presented, and the negative repercussions are discussed. This article provides a substantial foundation for the future discussion of alternative dispute resolution frameworks in healthcare.

Leflar, R. B. (2013). Medical malpractice reform measures and their effects. Chest, 144(1), 306–318

The article describes the issues surrounding medical malpractice and potential ways of reforming the system. The purpose of the discussed initiatives is to reduce the liability of health service providers, creating more space for their effective functioning. Leflar (2013) reviews potential models of medical malpractice system rework from a legal standpoint, revealing that all of them have downsides. The arguments from this article support the discussion in favor of alternative dispute resolution.

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Milligan, F., Wareing, M., Preston-Shoot, M., Pappas, Y., Randhawa, G., & Bhandol, J. (2017). Supporting nursing, midwifery and allied health professional students to raise concerns with the quality of care: A review of the research literature. Nurse Education Today, 57, 29–39.

This article summarizes a systematic review, which was conducted to evaluate the threats within the community of allied health workers. While the research is based on students, it is representative of the entire professional group. Milligan et al. (2017) concluded that potential disputes and their consequences pose serious concerns for allied health professionals. Accordingly, a need for an effective dispute resolution framework is observed supported by an extensive research base.

Ridley-Duff, R., & Bennett, A. (2011). Towards mediation: Developing a theoretical framework to understand alternative dispute resolution. Industrial Relations Journal, 42(2), 106–123.

In order to provide a critical evaluation of alternative dispute resolution frameworks, it appears instrumental to review the notion in its broader context. Ridley-Duff and Bennett (2011) examine the concept in its relation to philosophical ideas surrounding authority and knowledge. A correlation between mediation and direct democracy was revealed in the course of the study. Accordingly, this article would underpin the research by providing a fundamental basis for reference.

Shore, M. (2013). Religion and conflict resolution: Christianity and South Africa’s truth and reconciliation commission. Ashgate Publishing.

In the course of the literature review, a certain research gap has been observed in regards to the Biblical worldview perspective on conflict resolution in healthcare. This book by Shore (2013) examines the Christian idea of contemporary dispute management based on a practical example of South Africa’s truth and reconciliation commission. This piece of literature establishes an in-depth understanding of the Biblical concepts of conflict resolution, which can be concretized to reflect the needs of the healthcare system.

Sohn, D. H. (2017). Negligence, genuine error, and litigation. International Journal of General Medicine, 6, 49–56.

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In order to investigate dispute resolution in the cases of medical practice, it is required to understand the critical concepts behind the idea. Sohn (2017) argues that negligence is not always the cause of malpractice, and the current political environment is suitable for more efficient policies in regard to it. The article incorporates interesting ideas concerning the degree of medical staff’s guilt in certain cases, which appears relevant for the alternative dispute resolution discussion.

Sohn, D. H., & Bal, B. S. (2012). Medical malpractice reform: The role of alternative dispute resolution. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 470, 1370–1378.

The article under review evaluates an idea regarding a reform of the medical malpractice system in relation to alternative dispute resolution techniques. Sohn and Bal (2012) observe a growing interest in settlement tactics based on arbitration, mediation, and early apology in healthcare. The value of the research lies in the presented statistical data, which favors alternative dispute resolution models. This type of precise, evidence-based information will prove instrumental in the context of a related study.

Thomas, D. B., & Newman-Toker, D. E. (2016). Diagnosis is a team sport – Partnering with allied health professionals to reduce diagnostic errors. Diagnosis, 3(2), 49–59.

Allied health professionals have become an integral component of the medical system. Thomas and Newman-Toker (2016) focus on this community and discuss the importance of error prevention through effective interdisciplinary collaboration. The article provides insight into the nature of mistakes made by allied health professionals, which, in turn, may qualify as malpractice and lead to litigation. A better understanding of these ideas will relate the future study to a specific area of expertise.

Tran, J. C. W. (2020). Authentic forgiveness: A Biblical approach. Religion.

As the existing Biblical literature demonstrates a certain gap in regards to alternative dispute resolution in healthcare, an examination of broader-scope works is required. The book by Tran (2020) relies on the concept of genuine forgiveness as the primary Biblical principle of conflict management today. This notion corresponds to the nature of alternative dispute resolution methods, introducing a relevant Biblical perspective on the discussed research question.

Analysis

Overall, the examination of literature has revealed a need for a broader discussion of alternative dispute resolution models in healthcare. The current litigation-based policies have proved to be flawed, and the situation requires a new framework. The future direction of studies should comprise a concretized application of Biblical principles to the healthcare system while introducing specific methods of malpractice dispute management based on mutual understanding, timely apology, and forgiveness. The potential designs should also retain the emphasis on the well-being of the patient, finding the right balance between autonomy and safety.

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References

Amirthalingam, K. (2017). Medical dispute resolution, patient safety and the doctor-patient relationship. Singapore Medical Journal, 58(12), 681–684. Web.

Kessler, D. P. (2011). Evaluating the medical malpractice system and options for reform. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25(2), 93–110. Web.

Leflar, R. B. (2013). Medical malpractice reform measures and their effects. Chest, 144(1), 306–318. Web.

Milligan, F., Wareing, M., Preston-Shoot, M., Pappas, Y., Randhawa, G., & Bhandol, J. (2017). Supporting nursing, midwifery and allied health professional students to raise concerns with the quality of care: A review of the research literature. Nurse Education Today, 57, 29–39. Web.

Ridley-Duff, R., & Bennett, A. (2011). Towards mediation: Developing a theoretical framework to understand alternative dispute resolution. Industrial Relations Journal, 42(2), 106–123. Web.

Shore, M. (2013). Religion and conflict resolution: Christianity and South Africa’s truth and reconciliation commission. Ashgate Publishing.

Sohn, D. H. (2017). Negligence, genuine error, and litigation. International Journal of General Medicine, 6, 49–56. Web.

Sohn, D. H., & Bal, B. S. (2012). Medical malpractice reform: The role of alternative dispute resolution. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 470, 1370–1378. Web.

Thomas, D. B., & Newman-Toker, D. E. (2013). Diagnosis is a team sport – Partnering with allied health professionals to reduce diagnostic errors. Diagnosis, 3(2), 49–59. Web.

Tran, J. C. W. (2020). Authentic forgiveness: A Biblical approach. Religion.

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