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Risk Management in Healthcare Sector

Improvements in the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry has shown a great deal of improvement in recent years. The introduction of new technology has meant that effective means of treatment are being discovered each day. Diseases and medical conditions that were once considered fatal can now be easily managed using new drugs and medicines that have recently been developed. However, all this progress still hasn’t helped when it comes to patient safety. Even with all the high tech equipment and advanced machines present in hospitals, medical errors are still the norm. A number of patients have lost their lives because of errors that could have been prevented if proper steps had been taken to avoid their risk.

How Can Healthcare Risk Management Help?

Managing risks is a great way of ensuring that an error can be prevented even before it can occur. After all, errors occur if there is a potential risk involved. For instance, if there is a risk that a machine going off can kill a patient then managing it beforehand would ensure that no patient dies because of accidental closure of that machine. This is the reason why healthcare risk management is being seen as the way forward to bring an end to deaths caused due to machine glitches or medical miscalculations. The following are some ways through which healthcare risk management is helping in this regard.

Patient Incident Reporting

The first and foremost requirement for managing risk in the healthcare environment is detection of the risk. Finding out possible instances of risk would require hospitals to invest in some form of software that is capable of recording patient incident reports. Datix is the market leader in the healthcare risk management industry whose aim is to ensure patient safety in the healthcare sector. The company has come up with a patient incident reporting system for the healthcare industry. This system of theirs can record patient complaints and incident reports. It is already helping in providing risk managers the chance to view the incident reports and then find out the potential risks that caused the incident to happen. 

Risk Registers

Another Datix innovation in healthcare risk management is the creation of risk registers. These registers contain the list of all the potential risks that have been evaluated by the risk managers in each department of a healthcare provider. These risk registers feed into a central risk register which then groups these risks so that they can be better analyzed. Prioritization of risks can be done by using module information gathered from other Datix applications. These risk registers are helping hospitals in managing risks in a much better manner than before.  

IT Risk Management

The use of IT in healthcare sector has been going on for a long period of time. It has helped a great deal in improving patient care and quick diagnosis of diseases. However, there are certain risks associated with the widespread IT use in the healthcare industry as well. There have been many instances when patient reports and data have gone into the wrong hands because of security breaches. Moreover, malfunctioning hardware/software has led to patient deaths as well. IT risk management is thus another aspect of healthcare risk management that is a need of today. Simply put, patient safety using IT is the way forward and steps need to be taken by healthcare providers in this regard.   

Disclosure of Risk

Healthcare risk management is not a new terminology. In the past too, hospitals have had risk managers that were given the task to analyze risks after a high profile incident had occurred. This process was not disclosed to the public however. Things are starting to change in this regard though. People have been advocating for hospitals disclosure of risk for a long time now and finally the law is listening to them too. This is a step in the right direction. With the hospitals now required to disclose the risks associated with a treatment method, they will try to develop methods to manage it too. This would result in elimination of these risks.


Benefits of Healthcare Risk Management

There are various benefits of healthcare risk management. For starters, it would dramatically decrease the instances of patient deaths in the healthcare sector. If the potential risks of a treatment method or a lifesaving machine are identified in advance then it would be easier to manage them. As the risk is minimized, the chances of a death occurring because of it would be reduced too. A prime example of this is the aviation industry. After it adopted the risk management concept, there have been far less instances of deaths in that sector.


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