The promotion of a secure and successful patient care practices are an essential priority of a healthcare organization. It is vital for its financial sustainability as well as in the promotion of a safe working environment.
There are numerous risk factors that are identified to affect the success or failure of a hospital, among which include the following:
- There is a growing competition among hospitals as well as other groups of physicians.
- Governmental policies and regulatory changes.
- Thin marginal profitability.
- Relations to the community with resistance to permit and zoning.
- The expenses incurred for loans and the state of bond marketability.
- The success parameter for inducing support from the community and the generation of funds.
- Staffing factor like the age of the medical employees, dependence on key medical providers such as physicians and preferences for admission.
- A fixed structure for high expense liabilities and costs
- Medical technology advancements and its consequent influence on length of stay and admissions.
The Cleveland Clinic
The Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio is a popular medical establishment widely known not only in the United States but to the global medical community as well. It is popular for its expertise as a non-profit multispecialty academic medical institution that implements the successful integration between clinical practice and medical research and education ((A–Z), A. T., n.d.). Owing to four dedicated physicians, it was established in 1921 with the goal of delivering an outstanding patient care service that is founded on three pillars of principles of innovation, cooperation and compassionate approach to patient care delivery. The U.S. News & World Report is consistent in citing out Cleveland Clinic to be one of the best hospitals of the nation in its “America’s Best Hospitals” annual survey. What are the reasons behind the key success of this medical organization that makes it a consistent frontier leader in their field of industry annually?
Essential steps for identifying and managing risks
In order to be consistent and gainfully successful, there are essential steps that are crucial in identifying and managing risks. The Cleveland Clinic is able to determine the risks and very well addressed them to sustain its highly respected status and reputation but most of all it also recognizes that the steps to be taken should be highly beneficial to their patients as well. In a healthcare setting, there are undoubtedly several instances where inaccuracies and flaws may occur. Most often, the inability to plan and control anticipated events could foster an organization’s exposure to risks (Hutchins, 2010).
The clinic has the ability of avoiding certain activities that may potentially expose it to risks. It is like living up to the principles of reaping what you sow and that it does only engage in activities which it believes will benefit the organization with less risk exposure. It is like pursuing activities with the anticipation of cause and effect in mind with the ultimate goal of risk avoidance and prevention using an emergency reaction plan that aims to set a barrier to potential harms to the organization. Even when the risks are present, the organization immediately recognizes and addresses them to curtail its long term effect. The clinic is known to rely on insurance in order to guard its interests and protect itself from loss exposures.
Potential risks that can affect a healthcare organization
Malpractice is a widely recognized risk that adversely affect an organization and its stakeholders. While it is bad enough to be medically ill, it becomes a worse scenario when death or more serious condition occurs because of medical negligence by the healthcare providers. One of the approaches used by the organization to address this risk is keeping their medical records intact (EBSCohost, n.d.).These are important evidence in any malpractice suit and in order to avoid compromising the organization’s reputation owing to malpractice suits, it keeps a comprehensive record of their patients to be able to provide assistance to their medical staff in any legal suit they may encounter.
Financial risk is another recognized issue that hospitals may commonly encounter. Studies reveal that there is a growing concern among hospitals in terms of financial losses. It turns out that hospitals that are economically distressed are likely exposed to a costly management of their hospital with less occupancy status and taking care of underinsured patient as compared to financially stable hospitals. Cleveland may be exposed to the same risk because it also has a network of smaller hospitals to manage. In order to maintain sustainability of a healthcare organization, being able to take steps in managing costs and financial conservation is crucial. Proper budgeting and appropriation for materials and supplies for the operation, whether it is for the maintenance of facilities or services, is essential. It is important to set a boundary on how much capital losses you are willing to embrace for the operation of the organization and set a contingency plan to manage financial losses (EBSCohost, n.d.). The Cleveland Clinic is able to implement a financial plan that addresses any future financial obligations in advance.
The safety of the personnel of the organization is another recognized risk factor in the healthcare setting. The employees and medical personnel of a healthcare organization are important for the sustainability and delivery of patient care. Any untoward accident that will compromise their safety may affect the hospital’s services that could likewise be adverse to its reputation with resulting compromised interests of the organization’s stakeholders. Cleveland Clinic, through its Board of Directors, is able to recognize the needs of their patients and their family, as well as that of the community. It is able to address their needs and included their interests in the implementation of the organization’s framework of success. The recognized stakeholders of the organization include its patients, their families and other groups of people that are the recipients of its health services. They are able to benefit the most from the hospital’s quality standards of healthcare services. The employees, medical staff, and other healthcare service providers within their neighborhood are also important stakeholders that help the hospital to grow professionally and successfully.
The majority of organizations these days are already anticipating risks and able to implement a risk management plan to address them. Corporate managers and leaders now recognized the importance of establishing a risk management structure that would deliver better efficiency to their organization in preparing how to mitigate risks or completely avoiding it altogether. The implementation of a risk management plan is important in order to help the organization sustain a healthy business operation amidst the potential risks present. The fundamental success of a successful risk management plan is to obtain knowledge and continuously improve the same according to circumstances (Weerdenburg, 2009). Risk managers find themselves implementing their risk management plan in certain circumstances, thereby allowing them to have the opportunity of identifying its effectiveness and giving them room to alter their plan and improve their risk management approach. Employees should also be taught to understand their accountability as healthcare providers and identify the significant effect of risk taking in their profession. This will make them more accountable and responsible individuals who can help the organization in mitigating risks in its business. In order to survive, organizational leaders should focus more on recognizing factual truth on the existing conditions and be straightforward in taking the steps to effectively address them in order to mitigate risks. Most successful organizations are able to implement an effective risk elimination process through diligent preparedness on its risk management action plan which is essential in making them more ready to embrace greater risks in the future.
(A–Z), A. T. (n.d.). Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from http://my.clevelandclinic.org/default.aspx
Weerdenburg, N. (2009). Can We Improve Continuous Improvement? Quality Digest. Retrieved April 21, 2013, from http://www.qualitydigest.com/magazine/1981/jan/article/can-we-improve-continuous-improvement.html
EBSCOhost: Risk management frameworks for human health and environmental risks. (n.d.). EBSCO Publishing Service Selection Page. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from http://ehis.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?hid=121&sid=94170099-d04f-4951-935f-7f4d2244bbe0%40sessionmgr112&vid=6&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=mnh&AN=14698953
EBSCOhost: Risk Management. (n.d.). EBSCO Publishing Service Selection Page. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from http://ehis.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?hid=121&sid=94170099-d04f-4951-935f-7f4d2244bbe0%40sessionmgr112&vid=6&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=e6h&AN=32124893
Hutchins, G. (2010). 21st Century Leadership—Enterprise Risk Management. Quality Digest. Retrieved April 21, 2013, from http://www.qualitydigest.com/inside/quality-insider-article/21st-century-leadership-enterprise-risk-management.html#