Instructions: In a paper, discuss the implications related to risk with patients, staff, and organizations with a focus on mitigating such risk through management practices. Include the following:Interpret an existing operation, or identify typical issues you might find in a health care organization, with indications of the potential risk.
- Describe methods for monitoring and analyzing identified potential areas of risk.
- Document 5 key strategies for addressing identified potential areas of risk and how they will be implemented.
- Document how you will assess the value of the programs implemented in reducing risk.
The paper should be 4–6 pages, excluding cover page, abstract page, and reference page. Students need to support their work with at least 4 academic or professional peer-reviewed sources published within the past 5 years.
Risk Management in Health Care Institutions
Risk management is an essential part of the health industry more than any other given industry. It is defined as the organized effort to assess, identify and reduce risks to visitors, patients, staff and organizational assets where appropriate. Risk management in the health care industry is designed to minimize incidences of preventable injuries and accidents which also reduce the financial loss to health institutions should an accident or injuries occur (Best &Slavin, 2002). In other organizations risk management strategies are implemented to mitigate and prevent financial loses but in medical facilities, the primary concern is patient safety which can ultimately determine an individual’s risk of death raising the significance of managing all forms of risk. The activities associated with risk management can be proactive meaning they are geared towards preventing a potential loss or can be reactive which refers to damage control after the projected risk occurs.
Malpractice in health care is one of the major threats that have plagued the industry to the point of becoming a crisis. Negligence results to lawsuits which inadvertently raises the insurance rates and decreases the availability of particular specialties. The approach to risk management was reactive before the malpractice crisis which created the need for a more proactive approach that is preventative. Apart from malpractice, the other types of potential risks are property which includes structural, equipment and vehicle theft among others. Casualty or liability risks and employment benefits risks which include disability claims and the cost of benefit plans are also potential hazards to the health care sector (“Case in Health Care Management”, 2015).
Poor results after treatment, a problem reoccurring after medical attention have been sought; equipment malfunction is amongst the indicators of there being an issue in the treatment conditions that are being rendered to patients. Dissatisfied patients, complaints from relatives concerning the staff members are signs of poor patient relations between the employees and patients. Poor record keeping and lack of policy and procedures indicate that there is a problem with practice management (Dionne, 2013). The conduct of staff outside the health care facilities, rude behavior and lack of supervision as well as personality conflicts all together can be red flags for potential risk occurrence in the medical institutions and are indicators that something needs to be handled before it can cause harm or irreparable damage.
Four major steps are usually used in the risk management process to protect assets. The first step is identifying the potential risk by collecting information concerning current and past events. The second step is analyzing the identified risk which is an evaluation of current exposure to the potential hazard and previous occurrence of the given danger to limit the impact of the given risk when it occurs. Thirdly there is the risk treatment or control which is a response of an organization to the significant areas of risk which are geared towards limit the liability that is associated with the occurrence of the risky events. Given that a risk cannot be controlled or managed there is the risk acceptance step when all possible measures have been taken to prevent a potential hazard and nothing further can be done (Rehr& Rosenberg, 1991). Lastly, there is the risk financing action whereby after the treatment technique has been implemented the results are monitored for effectiveness.
For any given potential risk there is a risk management ladder that is followed which means certain risks are prioritized before others given the nature of the damage they can cause. In the health care setting safety is prioritized over finances because safety is more severe in nature and can cost the life of an individual. Therefore, for the risk management process to be effective, there is a system set to create order and monitor the process which is led by a risk manager. A risk manager is experienced in handling issues that are related to risk in diverse settings. They identify and evaluate risks reducing the potential risk t patients, staff members, and visitors. They also analyze the current risk management strategies. They determine if certain procedures that are used for certain medical conditions have dangerous side effects and alter them to ensure the patient is safe (“Risk Management Handbook for Health Care Organizations,” 2011). They also conduct special training for the employees and show them how to implement the strategies set into motion for prevention to individual risks and how to reach of a given risk is unavoidable as well as who to report to when a risk management concern arises. The risk manager should, therefore, be a keen listener, a team builder and have an art of persuasion to carry out his or her given duties and responsibilities effectively. They should also stay up to date with relevant information concerning their organization to customize the risk management strategies to suit the health care institution.
Many patient risks can be averted by adequately training the staff and physicians and encouraging communication between employees as well as providing counseling services for those who are working with patients and those conducting competency assignments. Other risks that are posed to patient safety that can be mitigated through patient oriented risk management strategies include; sending adequate patient notification of expiration dates reducing potential prescription medication abuse. Secondly following up on test results that are missing when patients fail to follow appointments or when test results get lost can ensure proper communication with patients to ensure they have adequate information and comprehend the procedures and medications issued can reduce the likelihood of misinterpretation which can lead to improperly taking medication. Fourthly making sure falls and immobility are prevented by enduring the hospital facilities are safe can minimize the risk of such hazards. Lastly enduring sufficient record keeping for an extended period can be useful in monitoring the progress of the patient’s health. In case, some documents need to be disposed of there should be a risk management protocol that is in agreement with the federal laws set into place to dispose of records in a legal and ethical manner (Best &Slavin, 2002).
In conclusion, risk management is important in all organizations, but it is particularly more important in the healthcare sector since human lives are at danger of being lost. An effective healthcare risk management plan can help avert the patient risks as well as liability and financial risk. A comprehensive risk management strategy in health care facilitates safety initiatives as well as reduces readmissions which is ultimate leads to overall patient satisfaction and ensures the services rendered are up to standard as well as being very efficient.
Best, M. &Slavin, L. (2002). Clinical Risk Management. Quality Management In Health Care, 10(3), 79-81. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00019514-200210030-00016
Case in Health Care Management. (2015). The Health Care Manager, 34(1), 41-43. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/hcm.0000000000000037
Dionne, G. (2013). Risk Management: History, Definition, and Critique. Risk Management And Insurance Review, 16(2), 147-166. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rmir.12016
Rehr, H. & Rosenberg, G. (1991).Social-Health Care. Social Work In Health Care, 15(4), 95-120. http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/j010v15n04_05
Risk Management Handbook for Health Care Organizations. (2011). International Journal Of Health Care Quality Assurance, 24(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/ijhcqa.2011.06224bae.004