A dilemma is a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially ones that are equally undesirable.
Healthcare is full of dilemmas as a result of the huge number of stakeholders with conflicting goals, multifaceted interactions and constraints, and multiple perspectives, which change daily. Dilemmas are created when safety conflicts with productivity, cost efficiency, and flow. A focus on one patent’s safety may conflict with a focus on all patients’ safety.
It is vital that the different stakeholders talk to expose dilemmas and reveal the hidden trade-offs or adjustments that are kept secret because people are fearful of the consequences. Articulating dilemmas helps us to find a way to bring people with different interests and incentives into a conversation that meets everyone’s needs.