Healthcare Risk Management: What’s your biggest exposure?

Identifying a Proper Risk Management Solution

One of the biggest healthcare risk management issues on her mind was
patient safety. This topic has garnered lots of attention in the news,
and multiple groups have dedicated teams reviewing this initiative. I
asked Marsha Burke about all the advancements that hospitals have made
with respect to patient safety, and if it was still possible to walk in
to a patient’s room with unvetted access. The answer was yes. “Certain
areas have more security than others, such as the baby ward and the
intensive care units, but it would be very difficult to try to secure
all rooms of an entire hospital,” mentioned Marsha. It is true that
security can at times collide with commerce, but hence the term risk
management…not risk elimination.

The biggest concerns around healthcare risk management security issues
seem to still involve people. We see it all the time where doctors whose
medical licenses have been revoked are still practicing or where a
nurse who isn’t certified somehow gets through the system. How do you
fix this problem? Marsha said that “if there was a healthcare risk
management solution that could constantly monitor any changes in
criminal history or licensure status and instantly alert the employer if
there has been a new incident, that tool could be immensely helpful.”
Again, all of this boils down to cost.

Supply chains have also become a major healthcare risk management issue
for many industries. Many new laws now require that contractor employees
be screened almost to the same degree as any new employee beginning
work. With this amount of new work, it is almost impossible to operate
without getting new funding. In the healthcare field, securing new
funding, particularly for non-profits, can be difficult. “It always
helps to be able to draw a parallel between outgoing costs and securing
new revenue,” said Marsha.

Ensuring Patient Safety & Other Concerns

Being as risk-conscious as a CEO of a major healthcare chain needs to
be, Marsha successfully implemented a healthcare risk management
solution powered by the latest technology. Healthcare is a
technologically-driven enterprise, but even with all the advancements in
the world of MRI’s, CT scans, and robotic surgeries, it’s still a very
service-oriented business, and service requires people. You still have
lots of people coming and going. It’s pretty easy to make sure your
machines are secure, but the biggest risk is still people. That’s what a
hospital’s most important asset is. “Managing the risk between
patients, employees, suppliers, sales reps and everyone else coming onto
the property can be daunting, but it is still the most important part
of a healthcare enterprise,” Marsha re-iterated in closing.

Finding a risk management solution that works, while keeping to
financial constraints, is a necessity. Fortunately, there are healthcare
risk management systems that exist to assist with all of these
different issues. Some may do everything, or nothing, or anything in
between. The important issue to remember when it comes to finding a
healthcare risk management solution is DO NOT DO NOTHING. Patient safety
isn’t an issue that is going to go away and, with all the political
discussions regarding healthcare, now is not a time to be on the front
page news explaining a lack of a risk management solution. As Marsha
mentioned, there are many facets of riskHealth Fitness Articles, but people are still the
biggest one.

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