When you hear the word risk, the next thing that usually follows is how to manage it. But what really is risk management? Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization. These threats, or risks, could stem from a wide variety of sources, including financial uncertainty, legal liabilities, strategic management errors, accidents and natural disasters. IT security threats and data-related risks, and the risk management strategies to alleviate them have become a top priority for digitized companies. As a result, a risk management plan increasingly includes companies’ processes for identifying and controlling threats to its digital assets, including proprietary corporate data, a customer’s personally identifiable information and intellectual property. Risk management involves understanding, analyzing and addressing the risk to make sure organizations achieve their objectives. So it must be proportionate to the complexity and type of organization involved. Another industry where managing risk is a big issue is the healthcare industry. But how is Risk Managed in Healthcare? In the healthcare industry, risk needs to be handled in an accurate a timely fashion as a failure to do this can most likely result in lives being lost.
As a society, we need to take risks to grow and develop. From energy to infrastructure, supply chains to airport security, hospitals to housing, effectively managed risks help societies achieve. In our fast-paced world, the risks we have to manage to evolve quickly. We need to make sure we manage risks so that we minimize their threats and maximize their potential. Because risk is inherent in everything we do, the type of roles undertaken by risk professionals are incredibly diverse. They include roles in insurance, business continuity, health and safety, corporate governance, engineering, planning and financial services.
Taking into account the huge importance of risk management in healthcare, it is important that the healthcare industry has a proactive approach to it. One way they do this is through the use of Enterprise Data Warehouses. And Enterprise Data Warehouse also referred to as EDW helps a healthcare organization to streamline workflows and provide more accurate and real-time information. In addition to these, it also helps to empower risk managers to be more proactive. Risk management is, by nature, a reactionary process — an event occurs, and risk managers respond to it. Completely eliminating the reactive nature of this work is unlikely, but an Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) makes it possible for risk managers to be more proactive in managing potential risky events. Specifically, the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) enables trending and surveillance of adverse events. With this information in hand, risk managers can look at the relationship between correlation and causation. For example, is there an increase in the number of patients or nurses falling at night? Are there more adverse drug events on the weekend when the pharmacy isn’t as fully staffed? How does risk increase or decrease based on staffing levels? In short, surveillance and analytics enable hospitals to identify their risk points.
As risk managers become more proactive, they can collaborate in positive ways with departments throughout the hospital. And this kind of positive collaboration can drive a much-needed culture change that reduces the stigma associated with a risk event. If a department is being assessed by a risk manager, it typically means they’ve done something wrong. But if departments shift their perspective to view risk managers as collaborative partners who are there to help them avoid the adverse event in the first place, the hospital’s culture as a whole will become less reactionary. The end result? The culture will transform into one where teams work together to proactively address patient safety issues. This not only benefits patients but also the hospital’s bottom line.