Frequently Asked Questions > Difference of Opinion within a Team


QUESTION — DIFFERENCE OF OPINION WITHIN A TEAM

What do we do when team members do not agree to a treatment plan or another aspect of care?

RESPONSE

In this situation, as in all others, the patient's/client’s best interests must always be the primary consideration.  Every professional will be expected to use his or her own knowledge, skills and judgment to determine whether and how to treat a patient/client.  You are expected to refrain from implementing care you believe compromises patient safety and well-being.  

Occasionally, professional opinions will differ.   When this happens, each member of the team bears the same responsibility to engage collaboratively to address the disagreement in the patient’s/client's best interests.  

Consider the following conflict management/resolution skills as you proceed:

  • Choose an appropriate time and place to communicate
  • Maintain a respectful dialogue, asking and listening to one another’s point of view
  • Incorporate the patient’s/client's point of view
  • Appreciate that differences can be enriching and enhance decision-making and patient/client care

If you cannot resolve the disagreement to your satisfaction, you should not take any action that you feel will compromise the patient’s/clients best interests. You may need to bring the disagreement to an appropriate third party.

You must document all clinical decisions in the patient/client record in accordance with the expectations of your profession.

Conflict management is a part of teambuilding and IPC, and it is identified as one of the six competency domains in A National Interprofessional Competency Framework, Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative, February 2010

LINKS

The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences IPC Certificate

A National Interprofessional Competency Framework, Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative, February 2010

COLLEGE LINKS
Acupuncturists
Audiologists

Position Statement on Resolving Disagreements Between Service Providers

Chiropodists
Chiropractors
Dental Hygienists
Dental Technologists
Dentists
Denturists
Dietitians

Enhancing capacity for Interprofessional Team learning Resume Guidelines  Winter 

Applying specialized knowledge, skills and attitudes to everyday work within our interprofessional teams Spring 2012 

Homeopaths
Kinesiologists
Massage Therapists

Position Statement - Inter-Professional Disagreement 

Medical Laboratory Technologists

CMLTO Professional Practice Learning Program (PPLP) “Professionalism and Collaboration” Learning Module. 

CMLTO Collaboration Practice Guidelines and Guidebook.

 

Medical Radiation Technologists

CMRTO Standards of Practice 

Midwives
Naturopaths
Nurses

Professional Standards

Professional Standards Learning Module

Conflict Prevention & Management 

Ethics Learning Module

Disagreeing with the Plan of Care

Occupational Therapists

Code of Ethics

Opticians
Optometrists

 

 

Pharmacists

Expanded Scope of Practice Orientation Manual

Code of Ethics

Model Standards of Practice for Canadian Pharmacists

Pharmacy Technicians

Model Standards of Practice for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians

Physicians and Surgeons

 

 

Physiotherapists

Standard for Professional Practice - Managing Challenging Interpersonal Situations when Providing Patient Care

Guide to the Standard for Professional Practice - Managing Challenging Interpersonal Situations When Providing Patient Care

Podiatrists
Psychologists
Psychotherapists
Respiratory Therapists

CRTO Standards of Practice: Accountability and Therapeutic and Professional Relationships 

CRTO A Commitment to Ethical  Practice 

CRTO Professional Practice Guideline- Documentation Documentation

Speech-Language Pathologists

Position Statement on Resolving Disagreements Between Service Providers

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturists