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The new normal: How important is risk management as we move into the next stage of COVID?

28 October 2020


  • Primary Care

We held a webinar featuring Ann Highton, Governance Advisor for the Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS, Local Maternity System, and our own Molly Kent, National Business Development Manager, covering risk management in the NHS as we move onto the second stage of COVID.

They discussed: 

  • The importance of using integrated technology that can help you work across multiple locations 
  • How board assurance frameworks will impact on COVID risk management 
  • The importance of sharing best practice from regular risk reviews and monitoring 
  • How you can manage risks from anywhere, anytime by using the right technology 
  • How we can shift from a reactive to a proactive approach to managing incidents and risks 

If you missed it, here’s a recording of the webinar:

We received a few questions during the webinar, and have taken the chance to answer them below:

How will the NHS cope with winter pressures in light of further COVID spikes?

There is no doubt that winter will be complex this year, with mounting COVID pressures, local lockdowns, winter pressures and the restoration of services, there will be more pressure on our NHS and staff this year than arguably ever before. The key to success throughout this period will be reducing manual overheads, automating processes where possible and using a data-driven approach.

If we take the example of infection control, it is extremely resource-intensive to manually track and monitor a full infection control process. In Radar Healthcare, the inbuilt AI monitors your data and in real-time flags if something has happened, activating the correct process and assigning actions to the most appropriate people. This speeds up the ability to act, because any human delay has been removed and it ensures that the correct procedure is always followed.

Ultimately, patient safety should always be at the centrefold of all activity, and it remains there by reducing the margin for human error through the use of intelligent technology.

Our organisation fear tech, how can I change this and encourage them to use tech to manage risk better?

This is a common concern; we get used to the status quo and if there is disruption to our daily processes, we may become concerned. At Radar Healthcare, we recognise this and help encourage staff in organisations to use our software.

Firstly, Radar Healthcare is fully configured to your organisation’s processes, ensuring that staff don’t have to relearn daily activities such as accessing a policy, logging an incident or reviewing a risk.

Secondly, our software adopts a User Centred Design process. Our focus on user-centred design means that customers are an integral part of our product development process. From involvement in co-design workshops to Beta testing, our customers help to continuously drive product improvements to help us meet the quality and compliance needs of the healthcare industry.

Finally, Radar Healthcare has world-class deployment and customer service processes. We have developed a joint-marketing approach to ensure that everyone in your organisation is ready, willing, and able to use Radar Healthcare from day 1 of our go-live.

For tech averse organisations it’s very often helpful to identify influential individuals who understand the benefits of its use and use their support to find a small win that has a big impact. The fear of the unknown is strong in healthcare but once you can demonstrate the benefits of tech in the language of patient safety or cost you will find you will generate more and more support.

How do we prioritise during the second phase when there’s so much going on?

The key to effective prioritisation is removing the clutter. How often do you receive an email, and a subsequent chain from everyone “replying to all”? We have stripped back and simplified communication processes in Radar Healthcare. You can centrally disseminate information, give it a Red, Amber or Green rating to communicate the urgency of the notice, and Radar Healthcare will automatically track, manage and monitor who has received the information, who has confirmed to have understood it, and importantly who hasn’t. Radar Healthcare automatically reminds and escalates overdue tasks, completely removing the need to follow up manually.

Any tips on better engaging staff in playing their part of risk management?

Staff need to understand how effective risk management benefits their patients, themselves and the organisation and not see it as something that must be done to satisfy a regulator. This can be achieved through good training and working alongside staff using examples relevant to them to demonstrate the specific improvements which result from good risk management.

How do we keep on top of this as we’re constantly learning?

Keeping the end goal in-sight can be a great incentive as well as taking a staged approach if this is something you’re new to as an organisation. Clearly define the stages of the process (desired outcome) and appoint individuals who will take the lead. Sharing the responsibility will not only ease the burden, it will also encourage your team and organisation to invest in the new way of working.

Would it be possible to have a recording of this sessions please? These points would have a significant impact to upcoming procurement activities.

Thank you for your comments, there’s a copy of the recording at the start of this blog. Many organisations use Radar Healthcare in their procurement activities as it is an up to date compliance and assurance log. On top of this, ERS Medical have said “When the CQC has seen Radar Healthcare, they have been really impressed, as have our NHS customers, who now specifically ask for data out of Radar Healthcare.”

One take away is the ability to evolve quickly, and flexible systems will enable this.

It is arguably more important now than ever before to use systems which are truly configurable and flexible. Radar Healthcare is built on this ethos. An example of this flexibility is the work we did with Methodist Homes at the start of the pandemic. In under three weeks, we got them up and running with their full COVID-19 toolkit, which was deployed remotely to over 90 location across the UK.

Do you think we’re more equipped to deal with the second wave than we were the first and how?

Yes absolutely. The NHS is continually learning and have more information on the virus which places us in a stronger position to treat patients more effectively. They also have more available PPE and specific equipment.

Technologies such as Radar Healthcare are changing so that they are best placed to support healthcare organisations and systems. The NHS have reviewed and decluttered their internal systems, as well as used risk assessment to redesign their service provision such as outpatient departments and wards. Ann said, “It’s my opinion that there has been a shift from being risk averse to organisations now embracing risk management and understanding its importance in shaping improvement for the future.”

Have any other questions? Let us know and our friendly team will get back to you as soon as they can. Alternatively, book a demo using the form below.

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