Welcome to Healthcare Risk Management Week!

This week the healthcare industry recognizes the critical role risk managers play in the overall improvement of safety and risk at healthcare organizations. So, naturally, it is also the week to discuss solutions that proactively support adverse event prevention. This year’s theme, Leading Innovation in Risk Management, shines a light on significant contributions being made by healthcare risk management professionals throughout the country.

So what do risk managers do? Their duties can vary from organization to organization, but common functions among them include risk financing, regulatory, clinical, and business issues. Aggressively identifying risks that lead to serious—and avoidable—safety events helps to change the dynamic, transitioning the industry from reactive to proactive. Innovative, proactive risk management is the on-ramp to a high reliability journey.

As the industry continues to evolve, we have identified three key areas that should be top of mind for leading risk management innovators:

  1. Timely, Actionable Quality Data

    Value-based care has necessitated the cooperation of both risk and quality managers around patient safety. This patient-centric focus means that siloed functions must collaborate to ensure their organizations deliver safe, high-quality patient care and continue to minimize risks. Collaboration requires access to data in order for organizations to react in real time. Those data include information around events, near misses, and potential risks and claims.

    The industry shift to proactive management for safe care delivery across the care continuum means data must be accurate, timely, and actionable.

  2. Transparency 

    In 2016, CMS moved forward with its Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating program, which assigns hospitals a performance rating. Recently CMS drafted a regulation that would make all accreditation survey data public. That kind of transparency makes right now the time for healthcare organizations to ensure that their continuous patient safety and compliance efforts are ready. Savvy health systems are learning to preserve and enhance their reputations by maturing their approach to risk. They are developing a credible plan to survive by preventing adverse events, engaging patients, and preparing for greater transparency.For more information about the proposed rules and preparatory approaches, read our article in Becker’s Hospital Review.

  3. Data Security

    Bigger investments in healthcare IT create increased risk around data security. One example includes a recent threat from a particularly invasive ransomware named WannaCry. The costs to notify patients of a record breach, identify and repair the cause, and handle potential lawsuits can be crippling to a healthcare organization, especially when coupled with damage to the organization’s reputation. Facing cutbacks and the difficulty of finding top IT professionals, many health systems are getting more comfortable with best-in-class vendor partners. Managing organizational risk includes selecting vendors with advanced skill in cybersecurity and advanced platforms such as Verge Health’s use of Alto Networks Next-Generation Security Platform on AWS.

    The rapid pace of change in the healthcare industry is not likely to slow down anytime soon. With emerging new technologies, legislation reform, and shifting demographics, risk managers must quickly respond to provide safe, efficient, and effective patient care.

    Verge Health thanks the healthcare risk managers nationwide for their hard work and dedication in protecting patients and margins, not just this week, but every week.

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