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Applying Wheatley’s Five-Stage Problem-Solving Approach

Applying Wheatley’s Five-Stage Problem-Solving Approach

Medication errors (MEs) are an issue of concern in healthcare and require devising prompt solutions to combat their adverse effects. Nonetheless, conflict regarding the best solution to MEs may result in unrewarding attempts to solve this problem. For instance, some multidisciplinary team members may prefer electronic health record systems, while others prefer barcode technology. Fortunately, Wheatley’s five-stage problem-solving approach would be applied to solve this problem and help the team identify the best system. Notably, the first stage is called quieting or cooling, where each party shares their perspective and understands how others view the issue (Weiss et al., 2018). Cooling also involves discussing the most important aspect of the situation; in this case, it is determining the most effective system. The second stage is enriching, where each party gives a detailed rationale for their perspective. Accordingly, each party gains new learning. In this case, each party would learn how the two systems work and their specific benefits. The third stage is magnetizing. Here, each party’s perspective broadens, allowing them to develop strong interpersonal relationships and collective acceptance. The next stage is destroying. Here, team members would let go of things that are not effective and identify what gets in their way, like miscommunication and misunderstandings. Finally, in the acting stage, the team finds a way to work together. They can do this by developing listening and analytical skills and working collaboratively to make a decision from which they would benefit collectively. In this case, the team would select the most practical and beneficial system achievable with the available resources.


Weiss, D., Tilin, F. J., & Morgan, M. J. (2018). The Interprofessional Health Care Team: Leadership and Development (2nd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.


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Applying Wheatley’s Five-Stage Problem-Solving Approach

Applying Wheatley’s Five-Stage Problem-Solving Approach

Refer to Chapter 9 of the textbook and identify one potential problem in health care. Use the five-stage model by Wheatley to approach problem-solving. What aspect of this situation do you think is most important? What new learning did you experience?  Which things get in the way of solutions? How will we work together?

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