Every time a patient enters your care or someone crosses your threshold, they bring risk with them. How much risk you expect and are willing to take versus events that occur can vary greatly and is often a convoluted process for healthcare entities. Moving from reactive to proactive, and ultimately preventive mode begins with creating a culture of safety. This is much easier to talk about than do.
Risk management in healthcare may have originated from other industries to avoid and reduce similar financial losses, but risk management in healthcare is uniquely greater than in any other industry because it includes patient safety and at times that could mean the difference between life and death.
Traditionally, risk management in healthcare has only existed for about fifty years and has tended to be reactive; problems were only dealt with as they occurred. That began to change after the medical malpractice “crisis” in the 1970’s. From there, risk management’s focus became proactive—anticipating and correcting issues before they become a problem. The shift to a proactive risk management strategy improves the opportunity to protect patients and improve profits.
All health organizations should have a proactive risk management strategy. The most successful strategies include the following key steps:
- Incident reports. Aggregates data so it can be statistically analyzed to identify areas of risk and exposure. Focusing on a culture of safety encourages healthcare workers to report incidents appropriately.
- Training and engagement. Safety starts and ends with the healthcare workers in the facility. Healthcare workers should be familiar with all risk management techniques and trained to detect, respond, analyze, and prevent risks.
- Early notification and collaboration. Learning about potential risk events early allows the risk management process to mitigate that risk and protect against malpractice claims.
If your healthcare organization is in need of a risk management strategy, partner with Inspirien today. Learn more about our risk management program here.
We can provide you with guidance on developing a proactive risk management strategy that will help protect your patients and organization.