Identifying and Managing Risks

March 24, 2015 | Health System Risk Management


Risk identification, a critical component of risk management, is the process through which the risk manager becomes aware of risks and exposures to loss arising within or outside the healthcare organization. Following risk identification, the risk manager conducts a risk analysis to evaluate and classify identified risks in terms of the potential impact on patient safety, the possible severity of loss associated with a particular risk, and the probability that such a loss will occur (i.e., frequency of occurrence). Analysis of identified risks helps the risk manager detect similarities in events that place patients at risk of harm and establish priorities for addressing various types of risks.

After identifying and analyzing risk exposures, the risk manager can turn to managing the risks by taking actions to improve patient care processes and modify risky circumstances or behaviors that can lead to losses.

Risk identification methods have two purposes:

Methods for identifying and managing risks can be formal and objective or anecdotal and subjective.

Objective. Objective, formal methods include quantitative methods or statistical analyses to identify trends and monitor...

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