In some health-care facilities, the risk management program also includes a health risk assessment program. Whereas, a risk management program is intended to reduce the incidents of malpractice lawsuits; to reduce preventable injuries and accidents; and, of course, minimize financial severity of claims; health risk assessment programs are more concerned with the education of staff and patients about the connection between lifestyle habits and disease with an outcome of lowering potential risk factors for disease.
- In your opinion, do you believe that there is conflict between the goals of the risk management program and the risk assessment program when they are both part of the same program?
- Discuss who in the medical profession should be on the risk management program and why they should.
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Risk Management & Risk Assessment
Both risk assessment and risk management help to understand how to assess and manage risk in healthcare. Both help to reduce the potential and impact of risk using different approaches. In the US healthcare, the financial impact of healthcare associated risks is very high. To manage this, hospitals require both risk management and risk assessment to identify and mitigate potential risks for patients, staff and the hospital in general. Risk assessment is an approach taken to educate individuals the different habits that put them at increased risk of diseases (Aven, 2016). This preventative approach works to ensure that there is a reduced probability of diseases. Prevention is the cheapest risk management approach. Risk management occurs when patients are already sick and in the hospital. It is important to ensure that while in the healthcare setting, potential risks such as accidents, miss diagnosis or any other action that may create unnecessary financial strain on the hospital is eliminated. Such actions may cause malpractice claims which are expensive to the hospital.
Risk management programs should include individuals with detailed knowledge of situations that may lead to liability claims. This means that the risk management program should have a trained nurse or clinician who understands privacy breaches, medical errors, surgical errors and hazardous conditions that may affect the patients negatively. These individuals have the skills to proactively reduce chances of liability (Aven, 2016). The risk management team should also include hospital administrators due to their detailed financial and legal knowledge which is essential in such cases. Collaboration between a health practitioner and administrator would help make an effective health management team.
Aven, T. (2016). Risk assessment and risk management: Review of recent advances on their foundation. European Journal of Operational Research, 253(1), 1-13.
The goals of a risk management and health risk assessment program are not in conflict because they are essentially the same. On one hand, the risk assessment program is designed to reduce workplace incidents and injuries that might otherwise be induced due to unfamiliarity. Essentially, the risk assessment program acts as a guide for how workers and employees can keep themselves safe first and foremost, and also reduce instances where production is halted due to accidents or even “never” events. The risk assessment program does this by identifying, evaluating, eliminating and/or controlling, as well as monitoring potential risk that can be found in the workplace (How, 2016).
The health risk assessment program is not in conflict with these goals because its a supplementary program that still focuses on employee health and well-being, but is instead focused on non-work related circumstances. This includes how to make better dietary choices, the benefits of living an active lifestyle, and the elimination of adverse habits. While one is mandated by legal reasons, both ultimately result in a healthier long term workforce.
Generally speaking, risk management programs are executive developed and lead, and enforced by middle management level personnel. The goal of a risk management program in a healthcare setting is to minimize the risk exposure to patients, staff, and the organization the organization at-large (The Purpose, 2015). As a result, the organization’s leadership must be intimately involved in its creation and execution. In addition to C-suite personnel, the risk management program is generally headed by a risk manager (The Purpose, 2015). This individual is trained to apprise and handle various risk related issues in a business setting, and is often specifically trained in healthcare risk management (The Purpose, 2015).
In addition to briefing the c-suite on all risk related matters, the duties of such individual include event and incident management, insurance and claims management, as well as emergency preparedness (The Purpose, 2015). The amount of responsibility will vary by organization, but the scope of work necessitates the creation of such a position to promote program effectiveness. In some cases this includes an entire department.
How a Risk Assessment Program Works. (2016, June 22). Retrieved from http://www.rmpresources.com/how-a-risk-assessment-program-works/
The Purpose of Risk Management in Healthcare. (2015, February 02). Retrieved from https://elearning.scranton.edu/resource/business-leadership/purpose-of-risk-management-in-healthcare
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