How to manage risk in healthcare
20 April 2022
Managing and identifying risks in the healthcare industry can be a challenging task, especially alongside the busy schedules and responsibilities of healthcare workers. However, the problem with not prioritising risk management is it could directly jeopardise patients’ and workers’ health and safety, as well as damage an organisation’s reputation and credibility with regulating bodies.
But what are the best practices for managing risks and how can risk management strategies encourage improvement in patient care?
Risks that healthcare organisations face and the importance of implementing a structured risk management plan
There are a vast and ever-growing number of risks associated with healthcare. Types of risk can include (but is not limited to), compliance, quality, technology, and processing risks. These could look like a health and safety breach, human error when inputting data, miscommunication between workers, a lack of workforce training, or improper reporting of incidents – the list is endless and some risks can be unique to specific services.
In addition, certain risks if not dealt with efficiently can lead to further risks emerging. For instance, high impact risks such as the Covid-19 outbreak have inevitably resulted in increased threats; a shortage of staff, workforce burnout, a reduced number of resources, health and safety risks to both patients and workers, and so on.
When dealing with patients and vulnerable people on a daily basis risks are constantly emerging – this is something that will, unfortunately, never change within healthcare, but can be contained and minimised with active and consistent reporting, evidencing, and managing of the risks at hand.
5 step strategy to improve your risk management:
Strategic risk management in healthcare drives continuous improvement within an organisation, by encouraging workers to be assessing issues and creating and executing action plans to resolve them, resulting in improved patient safety.
Take a look below at our 5 step strategy for improving risk management:
1. Use one central system to create, track, and monitor risks
Storing all risks within one main area makes it easier to manage and track their progress, and reduces the chance of any incidents. A central risk management program also increases visibility, allowing multiple roles to access and view organisational risks.
2. Identify and acknowledge the risks within your organisation
Healthcare services need to establish all potential threats to their organisation, including everything from treatment errors and health and safety concerns to staff shortages. This step is vital to ensuring patient health isn’t put at risk.
3. Notify the right people at the right time
Poor communication and a lack of organisation can lead to a risk going unresolved and reoccurring. Therefore, effective communication with all relevant staff members is critical for the functionality and safety of a healthcare organisation.
4. Integrate action plans
Action plans are great for promoting continuous improvement, which is something that investigating bodies (like the CQC and Care Inspectorate) look for when awarding ratings. It is important to actively show and be able to evidence that you’re constantly carrying out improvements. All action plans should include attainable step-by-step objectives, to ensure that all risks are managed efficiently and quickly.
5. Review and track the progress of your risk management regularly
Reviewing and tracking the progress of your risks is essential for creating a safer healthcare environment for both your staff and those using the service. Luckily there is now configurable risk management software that helps you become more aware of any operational or regulatory threats.
Revolutionise your risk management with Radar Healthcare
Radar Healthcare’s risk management software enables healthcare organisations to identify, track and manage any potential problems that may prevent them from delivering the highest possible quality of care.
Our fully configurable risk register supports organisations in understanding which risks are prevalent, their ability to control those risks, the likelihood of reoccurrence, and establish the impact that this may have on their organisation. This means they can then easily prioritise and delegate actions accordingly. Combining the risk register with our action plans creates a well-rounded strategic approach to identifying, managing, and mitigating risks.
All of Radar Healthcare’s modules have been designed to be flexible to any compliance changes an organisation may experience, offering a comprehensive risk management solution for all purposes and incidents.
Our evolution of health and safety and quality wouldn’t have happened without Radar Healthcare. We haven’t grown our team, yet we’re doing about 60% more than we’ve ever done before thanks to the software.
Interested in upping your risk management game plan?
Get in touch today! Book a free consultation to find out more about how to manage your risks more efficiently and in one central location.