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Risk Management In Healthcare

2 min read
Oct 31, 2018

Risk management is essential in any business, but when it comes to the healthcare industry, it can involve components unique to the medical community. Read on to learn more about what is involved.

Risk management is used in any business and consists of clinical and administrative systems and processes and reports used to detect, monitor, assess, mitigate and prevent risks. When employed in the healthcare industry, it plays an important role in patient safety and the reduction of medical errors that can jeopardize an organization’s ability to achieve its mission and protect against financial liability.

With new technologies constantly arising, risk management in healthcare is becoming increasingly complex. New bundled payments and pay-for-performance programs also contribute to financial risks which only add to this complexity. For these reasons, healthcare risk management programs are becoming more reactive, working not only to promote patient safety but to prevent legal exposure and work on a broader lens throughout the healthcare ecosystem.

Risk management in healthcare involves several steps. These include the following:

Identify Risk: With the healthcare industry constantly evolving, new risks may arise at any time making identifying risks an ongoing process.

Prioritize Risks: Once risks are identified, it is important to prioritize them based on how likely they are to occur and how impactful they will be if they occur.

Investigate & Report Sentinel Events: Sentinel events are defined as unanticipated events in the healthcare industry that may result in death or serious injury that is not related to the natural course of the patient’s illness. When these occur, a course of action must be put into effect immediately ensuring a quick response and reducing the chances of future risk.

Performance Compliance Reporting: This is the act of reporting any incidents that occur because of an accident, error or malfunction.

Learn From ‘Almost Situations’: Situations may occur that could have potentially led to disaster but were avoided by preventative measures. It is important to learn from these situations to reduce future risk.

Latent Failures: These failures may be less obvious than some others but can be uncovered through analysis and critical examination.

Use Proven Analysis Models for Incident Investigation: Proven analysis models include the Sharp and Blunt End Evaluation of Clinical Errors model, the Failure Mode Effects Analysis and the Root Cause Analysis. All these models have proven to be effective and may save your practice the trouble of finding out about risks the hard way.

Invest in a Robust Risk Management Information System (RMIS): This is a platform for reporting and managing risk. It can enhance risk management by improving performance through available and reliable systems while providing overall cost reduction by automating routine tasks.

Using all of these methods can aid risk management in the volatile healthcare field. Find out what you can do to keep your practice safe.


Related: Creating Reliable Risk Assessments

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