According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), 134 million adverse events happen every year due to unsafe medical conditions. Sadly, 2.6 million deaths result from this level of mismanaged care.
Patient safety, medical errors, and financial loss are several areas of concern for healthcare risk managers. This article aims to define risk management and identify its importance in healthcare.
What Is Risk Management?
To understand the importance of risk management, you must know the meaning of the term. Risk management entails recognizing operational vulnerabilities. And a risk management department finds ways to prevent the effects of those vulnerabilities from harming your business.
In risk management, you weigh the pros and cons of a situation. That allows you to devise the best risk management plan. In doing so you’re better prepared for events posing risks to your progression.
Let’s take a look at the process of managing risks. We’ll examine its criticality and discuss the role of risk management in healthcare.
Process of Risk Management
You exercise a level of risk management on a daily basis. You may not recognize it as such because it’s so instinctive. Evaluating threats and taking steps to prevent them defines risk management.
First, you have to look at what can go wrong. Threats to safety in healthcare evolve daily. They wreak havoc in 8 general areas of expertise in healthcare, including operations, finance, and technology.
It’s important to engage subject matter experts in identifying potential risks. Their input should derive from past data highlighting areas of exposure. It should also include expert opinions based on industry knowledge.
Once you identify risks, assess the likelihood of each event happening. Set out to prioritize your perceived risks based on how significantly they might affect your business.
You should reassess risks often. Evolving technology leads to new risks presented daily. Developing a heat map of the severity and frequency of risks could guide your efforts.
Strategize Risks Mitigation
After identifying the impact of your risks, develop mitigation and prevention strategies. You must decide how to categorize each risk—acceptance, avoidance, control, or transference.
The difference lies in recognizing which risks come as a cost of doing business. Otherwise, you must reduce risk contributors or control their impact. If neither option looks feasible, plan how to assign the risk to someone else.
Implement and Monitor Risk Strategy
Healthcare risk management strategies most likely affect many aspects of your healthcare system. Change management should include professionals at every level. This promotes an understanding of the importance of implementation, the expected benefits, and ongoing process updates.
Once implemented you have to manage the effects of change. Risk management is an ongoing process. The best success measurement for risk management is fewer adverse effects of risks.
Risk Management Saves Lives
Lack of accountability in healthcare could be deadly. Improve patient safety, medical errors, and financial losses through your risk management efforts.
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