The healthcare sector has gone through an unprecedented time of late, which means a service that was already under pressure has seen existing risks exacerbated and other new challenges emerge.
These challenges include an even higher demand for services and the need for additional cleaning and social distancing thanks to the pandemic.
As we move forward, the market faces further challenges, which is why leaders in the healthcare industry need to be prepared and work to manage the risks that they, and their frontline teams, face.
With health such a valued commodity, not just physically but financially, we look at some of the best ways to manage risk and improve the quality of care at a reasonable cost.
By reviewing these tips, healthcare leaders can improve their service offering and support patients, staff, and other vital stakeholders.
So, whether you manage a private healthcare clinic or an NHS service, you should explore these ideas to help you manage the risks you face over the coming 12 months.
Investment Is Always Needed In IT Infrastructure
Care and communication with patients have been growing throughout the sector as technology advances, but this is happening at such speed it can be difficult to keep up. Studies show that 67% of UK healthcare organizations experienced some kind of cyber security incident during 2019. This illustrates that it is now an area that needs planning for, rather than in case of.
The same report suggests nearly half of all breaches were due to third-party devices like thumb drives being targeted by malware. So, while wider planning of contingencies in case of system failure is needed through investment in infrastructure, training of staff on best practices will protect systems, providers, patients, and overall costs.
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Patient Care Is Paramount
The number one priority of healthcare is to provide a service that meets needs when it comes to patient care. In early 2021, further guidance to ‘The NHS Patient Safety Strategy’ looked to spell out how improvements will be made to make things safer, but the fact remains that almost all targets are being missed and the vulnerability of patients is a big management issue.
The disabled or elderly within the system is still the most at risk. One way to protect against the challenges they face with treatment is for a greater understanding of how needs differ. Training in an infection prevention course would mean specialist cases are more likely to be managed effectively. Staff would even have a better understanding of their risk level in a particular setting.
Mental Wellbeing Of Staff
The pressures that the healthcare sector is feeling are often felt most by those of the frontline who are responsible for the delivery of care and standards. It is often the case that there is a sense of obligation on the part of staff to keep things running to the detriment of their mental health. Early research from the Queen Mary University of London shows that 1 in 4 healthcare professionals sought help for issues such as depression and sleep problems.
Line managers within organizations need to be aware of this risk and work to create a culture that is destigmatizing, helpful, and appropriate. By being proactive and working to support your staff, you can reduce the chances of your team taking days off because of stress-related illnesses and other absences that could put a strain on your workplace.
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Risk management is important for any setting but it is a cornerstone in healthcare because human lives are on the line. Healthcare risk management plans can not only save lives but reduced financial and liability risks to the sector allowing money to be spent elsewhere.
The key is in developing the right approach, implementing in the right areas, and constantly monitoring for change. Use these tips to help you manage risk in your healthcare business. You’ll then be able to drive excellence in your organization and take it to the next level throughout 2022 and further into the future.