The Delphi methodology is used for the resolution of conflicts or problems, which by their very nature are difficult to reach an agreement.
Its interest therefore for the nurse manager, focuses on all those problems that arise in the dynamics of work and that are relevant to the normal flow of the group.
When thinking about its application, we can think of cases such as the continuity of care of groups of nurses, the use of devices, non protocolized situations, conflict resolution, etc.
Its objective is to reach a consensus regarding the subject to be dealt with and therefore to suppress variability when acting, focusing or dealing with different situations.
In order to try to acquire consensus regarding the problem or situation to be dealt with, action can be taken by holding meetings or drawing up questionnaires that allow positions and consensus to be established.
When working with Delphi methodology we must know that the quality and usefulness of the results will depend to a great extent on the thoroughness with which the planning is carried out with respect to the problem or situation to be dealt with.
The characteristics of the Delphi technique aimed at solving problems within the nursing groups are:
Anonymity: no other expert knows the identity of the rest of the members of the discussion group.
Controlled repetition: by means of it, the members of the group get to know the positions of the rest of the people and modify their own.
Presentation of results: not only should the majority points of view of the members of the group be shown, but also statistical data should be shown so that each person knows in which position he or she is in relation to the others.
Phases of the Delphi method
Establishment of objectives: this is where the points to be addressed and the objectives to be achieved are determined and prioritised.
Selection of experts: it is necessary to establish the criteria when choosing the participants in the process. Knowing that it is not the same is the scope is a nursing unit, a nursing area or the entire organization. It should not be forgotten that a priori the nurse manager who plans this work process should try to include the right people regardless of the starting positions, which she may know. Disregarding relevant opinions may lead to failure to achieve the objectives.
Establishment of questions and questionnaires. They are designed in such a way that the interpretation is simple and they can be easily classified and weighed.
Results Through repetition in the application of questions and questionnaires, it is possible to clarify the opinion and get closer to points of consensus. When establishing results, it is important to extract the reasons and the differences between the different members.
Discussion rounds must be established beforehand. However, the possibility of modifying them according to the results obtained should be considered. In the same way, alternative solutions should be contemplated with respect to the controversies that can arise during the celebration of the planned rounds.
Advantages of the use of this method by the nurse manager:
- She gets many points of view.
- The analysis is varied.
- It allows the participation of large groups.
- Systematically addresses the problem.
- Eliminates direct clashes between people.
- Inconveniences of using this methodology:
- The celebration time is longer than with other methodologies.
- It requires the involvement of the participants.
- A correct and meticulous preparation of the process is necessary.
- It has high risks of bias in the choice of participants.