Ways of addressing and streamlining the Risk Management Process in Hospitals
Risks are an integral part of all organizations, but risk management in healthcare is crucial because here the human lives are involved. This makes it a challenging proposition as risk managers have to cater to and juggle between many responsibilities to keep their organizations safe. Their primary responsibility is to increase patient safety. This crucial task involves identifying high-risk areas in healthcare operations management that could cause harm to all the stakeholders - patients, visitors, and employees; implementing risk mitigation programmes and creating a robust reporting framework for probable adverse events.
Mitigating healthcare risks calls for the services of healthcare consulting firms who devise good risk management plans which can reduce patient health risks as well as financial and liability risks. Hospitals, as healthcare entities, also face tremendous competition with risks and threats.
Hospital Management Consulting (HMC) should, therefore, consider these aspects to build a functional operations management system, by taking into account crucial factors causing potential risks. This includes patients’ outlook, existing market scenario, competitor threats, the internal organizational issues, healthcare regulatory requirements, technology advancements and financial aspects.
Need for Hospital Risk Management and Mitigation
- Compromised quality of healthcare services in patient care leading to dissatisfaction.
- Increased liability risks.
- Financial Losses.
- Noncompliance with Regulation and Standardization that is leading to litigation issues.
- Decline in hospital reputation .
Ways of addressing and streamlining Hospital Risk Management Process
- Implementing Robust Strategies for Patient Care and Safety – by adequately equipping hospital staff by training, encouraging strong communication and healthy interactions, providing counselling services and conducting competency assessments. Additionally, patient specific strategies include preventing medical abuse by not refilling expired prescriptions, doing follow- ups on missing diagnostic results, tracking appointments and ensuring physical safety by preventing falls and handling immobility.
- Making effective utilization of patient data – which aids in providing value-added patient care services by using.
- Reliable Clinical Decision Making Tools supported by robust quality standards and meaningful healthcare criteria.
- Seamless Information Exchange across all departments of the hospital including radiology, laboratory, preoperative, inpatient and outpatient units to make accurate patient information available in a timely and secure mode.
- Capabilities of Medical Reconciliation of Electronic Health Records (EHR) of hospitals to prevent adverse health effects of patients.
- Consolidated Patient Registries which clearly depict treatment roadmap and identify gaps for analysing and implementing care management techniques, thereby enhancing quality of patient care and impacting cost.
- Proactively promoting Patient Participation and Engagement – by clearly demonstrating the value of patient-centric services and value-based care for them. Key stakeholders include healthcare providers, insurance payers and patients in hospitals. This is challenging because the definition of perceived value differs between various entities. Thus, there is a need for building a robust consensus on many of these healthcare value propositions and agreeing on clearly defined goals around patient care objectives, healthcare processes and its associated costs.
- Handling and Managing Expectations of Multiple Stakeholders – A homepage pop-up for appointment will help the person who is looking to book the appointment or people in emergency situations. Include only the required details such as name, age, etc., and try to remove the unnecessary fields. People who are in urgency may not find enough time to fill all the details and sometimes it would become a task for them and they simply skip.
- Accurately Identifying Reportable (Adverse) Events – because this is crucial in the context of medical reimbursements and a hospital’s reputation. Hospital Risk Managers put substantial time and efforts for determining whether any incident constitutes a reportable event. Also, this evaluation happens across multiple hospital departments. Hence it is important to have adequate reporting tools and review this associated data in a single integrated repository and have a streamlined process to collaborate all concerned stakeholders in real time, enable feedback mechanisms and monitor the entire process through automation.
To conclude, a comprehensive and streamlined approach to hospital risk management process by HMC facilitates patient safety initiatives and also reduce risk of readmissions. This has a profound impact on attaining overall patient satisfaction and maintaining the hospital bottom line.