Mediation and Resolving Disputes Involving Emergency Nurses in Hong Kong: A Legal Empirical Inquiry
Cheng, Ka Ki and Le Roux-Kemp, A 'Mediation and Resolving Disputes Involving Emergency Nurses in Hong Kong: A Legal Empirical Inquiry' Hong Kong Law Journal (2017) Vol. 47, Issue 3, pp. 763-792
29 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2019
Date Written: December 23, 2017
As a result of a complex environment, overwhelmingly large patient volumes and the high unpredictability of emergency medicine, the professional roles of emergency nurses are continuously evolving and the risk for negligence and malpractice suits continues to escalate. Although the judicial system offers a fair and just means of resolution, it may not be the best solution in managing healthcare disputes. In this article, the role of emergency nurse practitioners is considered and the data of a legal empirical inquiry on the role of mediation as a viable alternative to settling healthcare disputes are presented. The data show that most emergency nurses perceive a moderate to high level of risk in their everyday work environment and activities and they are also of the opinion that mediation may be a viable alternative to settling healthcare disputes. Yet, very few emergency nurses have received appropriate mediation training or have participated in mediation. Curiously, while a significant percentage of the participants in this legal empirical inquiry agreed that mediation was a suitable means to settle healthcare disputes, only 44 per cent of emergency nurses were willing to participate in mediation. The data presented in this article show that the development of healthcare mediation is still in its infancy and support the notion that much more effort is required to clarify misconceptions and uncertainties around mediation, among practitioners and patients alike, before alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, like mediation, can further develop in the context of healthcare.
Keywords: Emergency Medicine, Medical Negligence, Mediation, Healthcare Disputes, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Alternative Dispute Resolution
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