Last week we celebrated Health Care Risk Management Week (June 15-19, 2020) an annual campaign of ASHRM (American Society for Health Care Risk Management) to raise awareness of the critical role health care risk managers and safety professionals play in protecting patients and organization’s reputation.
The theme this year “Celebrating Decades of Advancing Safe and Trusted Care” commemorates ASHRM’s 40th Anniversary and the health care risk management profession’s many achievements over the decades.
Health care risk managers (HRM) are professionals who play a vital role in protecting patients by preventing harm. HRMs identify risks that could lead to serious, preventable safety events and then design systems to prevent these events from occurring. HRMs also play an active role in a healthcare organization’s clinical, risk financing, regulatory, and business issues. They are the go-to professionals in a crisis and communicate with patients’ families; interact with physicians and clinical staff; educate medical staff, board members, and senior leadership.
HRM work domains include safety, patient care practices, quality assurance, safe work environments, and risk reduction. Risk managers also promote solutions to help prevent some of the most common events that cause harm to patients.
Per Katherine Lee, RN, BSN, CPHRM, an experienced health risk manager, patients often think that the risk managers are there to protect the institution. Rather, they are working in the back to ensure patient safety and identify what can be done better. Katherine Lee says, “RMs have to be creative and use whatever tools they have to facilitate communication with all parties involved to bring everybody to the table to create results and change. The integration of strong risk management programs within a healthcare institution improves patient safety and satisfaction while benefiting the core priorities of the organization.”
SafeStart’s design transparently includes the patient in the safety process from the moment of patient intake until the start of an invasive procedure in any clinical setting. Our cloud-based platform reduces handoff and communication errors by sharing the same image-rich “Playbook” (all PHI, consents, radiographic key image, etc.) with the patient, staff, and surgeons. Safe start supports a just culture by engineering a process that takes into account a balance between accountability and patient safety.
Risk managers view SafeStart as a tool with a targeted solution that also:
According to Katherine Lee, RN, BSN, CPHRM, “SafeStart offers a targeted solution to eliminate one of the biggest [classes of] errors in surgery (wrong-site, wrong-patient, wrong-procedure errors) by engineering a tool that compensates for system errors and human factors. It creates a process to balance accountability and patient safety”
Risk managers work alongside the medical staff every day to reduce risk and ensure that patient safety is a number one priority. We recognize the important role each employee plays in promoting safe and trusted health care. As we celebrated this special week, we applauded everyone’s safety efforts. Thank you!