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The Role of Risk Management in Healthcare

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Because of the nature of the healthcare industry, patients, staff, and organizations as a whole may be exposed to risk on a regular basis. Organizations work with healthcare risk managers to minimize these risks and their potential impacts whenever possible.

Duties of Risk Managers

Healthcare risk managers' duties and requirements are likely to change based on the services that each facility provides. In general, however, the role will include attention to finances, insurance, and claim management as well as event and incident management. Additionally, a risk manager will be responsible for a facility’s emergency preparedness plan, as well as its psychological and human healthcare support services. Through these practices, risk managers can identify potential risks to promote the safety of patients, staff members, and visitors.

Common Methods for Developing Risk Management Plans

It's a health and wellness management professional's responsibility to predict and examine all potential outcomes for patients and staff and to have a plan to address or mitigate any issues that may arise. The methodology may include asking questions such as "What are all possible outcomes?" "How likely is each outcome?" "How severe are the consequences of each outcome?" "Can this outcome be prevented?" and "If not, what's the best way to mitigate consequences of this outcome?" Examining and analyzing the conclusions of each of these questions can help with establishing policies to address potential risks.

Risk Management Strategies for Patient Care

In order to maintain the health and safety of all patients who rely on the facility, the healthcare risk manager will be responsible for implementing plans that will affect patients. These plans, once tested, should then be referenced for physician and staff training, and monitored to ensure success. Plans should mitigate patient risks such as avoiding filling expired prescriptions, checking in with patients about missing or delayed test results, communicating with patients about missed appointments, and maintaining records on every patient who used the facility. In addition to increasing safety, these programs can also help reduce readmissions.

The Expanding Purpose of Risk Management

Risk management has historically focused on the safety of patients as well as medical professionals. But in today's increasingly technologically driven world, cybersecurity management and patient confidentiality are increasingly common focuses of healthcare risk managers. Additionally, risk management systems are strong preventative measures to prevent the legal exposure of the facility.

At the Tulane School of Professional Advancement, we have the resources you need to further any career in the health & wellness field, including risk management. For more information, learn more by viewing all of our online programs and degrees or by calling us at (504) 865-5555.

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