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The policies and activities meant to decrease risk exposure are included in risk management for healthcare facilities. It entails the clinic's infrastructure, hospital care, financial transactions, fire safety, maintenance, and compliance with all applicable rules and regulations. Clinical risk, patient safety, personnel safety, patient visitors, and hospital volunteers are all concerns of healthcare risk management. To have a successful risk management program, management and personnel must collaborate. They should all be alert for unsafe circumstances, dangerous dangers, medical errors, and patient care blunders. Risk management issues for healthcare clinics include treatment of special patients such as newborns, elderly& the pregnant, the departmental communication( between doctors and nurses), reporting and analyzing of tests and education of patients on the various types of medical services offered.
One major risk management program for hospitals includes quality of care. An efficient program should be set up to identify issues in patient safety and help reduce medical errors in clinics and other healthcare facilities. Quality care is made up of various necessities such as highly qualified health personnel such as doctors& nurses, advanced medical technology, availability of sufficient drug supply and quick medical emergency response.
Quality care is important for various reasons such as:
Improvement of patient safety by reducing occurrence of errors that could harm the patients
Identification of risks that medical facilities face and analyzing ways to control the risks hence minimize loss
Ensures the clinic adheres to the legal regulatory requirements
Making sure patients are satisfied with the level of service and hospital care they receive
The five basic steps of risk management include establishing of the context, identifying the risks, analyzing of the risks, evaluation of the risks and managing of the risks. By establishing the context, the medication management and medication administration are noticed as the high priority risks faced by a patient. They include the Intensive Care Unit(ICU), The Emergency Room (E.R) and fluid transfusion services such as blood. The healthcare employees become aware of risks present in the healthcare services and its surrounding environment hence they identify the risks involved. Risks may be identified through: discussion of juniors with the department leaders, tracing of patients through passage to recovery, regular screening of new patients’ records, accidental reports, reports by the healthcare association infection, reporting of the incident and its results and satisfaction of the patients around.
Risks can be analyzed through understanding of the level of risks, underlying to causes of the risk and the already existing measures. Risk management allows the coordination between people with the same job or experience & they should have adequacy. The controls should be adequate for both of the people with the lowest level of effectiveness in minimizing risks and will be scoring applicable laws from those who minimize.
Evaluation of risks is beneficial to healthcare facilities as they are able to know which risks require treatment urgently and mode of solving required. Risks treatment should involve consideration of the healthcare’s environment and have the various conditions for it to be successful: actions proposed, availability of resources required, individual responsible for the action and dates for completion and review.
Risks can be controlled via redesigning of the systems and processes to reduce an outcome, strict policies& procedures, training of employees, maintenance of equipment, setting up of a back-up plan or chaos recovery plans and emergency procedures.
A number of agencies regulate and govern the technological side of healthcare; they include:
Office for Civil Rights(OCR) which is responsible for the auditing of healthcare providers and giving of fines for those who do not comply to the rules. It also provides training materials and guidance on health insurance portability and accountability act.
Centers for Medical and Medicaid Services(CMS) which is responsible for the administration of Medicaid and healthcare program involving children. It is also responsible for the defining of electronic health record technology, setting standards of the electronic health record technology and updating of the security regulations.
Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) which is responsible for the coordination of the country’s efforts to implement and use advanced health information technology. It also involved in exchange of healthcare information, implementing standards, certification of medicinal drugs, coordinating health policies and provision of leadership in development.
Food and Drug Administration(FDA) that is responsible for regulating effectiveness and safety of medical equipment such as X-rays. The FDA approves new devices before they are introduced into the market, it sets standards for manufacturing of the medical devices and performance standards.
The Joint Commission that is responsible for certification of healthcare organizations and programs. It also advices healthcare facilities on modes of protecting personal health information. It conducts surveys to ensure all facilities meet standards set.
American Society of Healthcare Risk Management has initiatives which focus on promoting effective and innovative risk management policies. The quality of care program complies to the ASHRM standards by developing and implementing of safe& efficient patient care practices, preservation of financial resources and the maintenance of safe working environments. This program ensures patients’ safety, use of trusted healthcare products and technology, employing of highly qualified personnel and reduces uncertainty of risks.
There are various recommendations that I would love to make concerning quality of care to enhance, improve and secure compliance standards on healthcare. These include:
semi-annual assessment of healthcare facilities to ensure the technology is up to date, assessment also helps to ensure the medicine available are good in quality and have met standards set by the governing bodies.
The hospitals should also perform regular check ins on the available medical personnel to ensure they all have met set recommendations and standards permitting them to work in hospitals.
Patients should also fill in their remarks on the quality of service they get when they visit healthcare facilities and make suggestions on the various areas that require amendments or improvements.
Healthcare facilities should set up a board who will be responsible for overlooking the services provided by the facilities, making decisions on the way forward.
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