In a healthcare organization, workdays are hectic, understaffed, and heavily regulated by the government and other organizations such as insurance companies. These regulations create minimal tolerance for error in healthcare businesses, as any unfavourable incident can significantly affect an organization’s operations, reputation, and profitability. Healthcare organizations continuously analyze potential risks leading to adverse effects such as reimbursement and profitability. In a healthcare organization, risk management involves a thorough analysis and identification of potential risks in professional operations and patient outcomes (Donaldson et al., 2021). The risk quality assurance and the risk management team evaluate and rank risks in the organization and inform the management team of which risk to address first, how to address it, and possible solutions for the identified risks.
Risk identification, prioritizing, and addressing potential risks in healthcare are pegged on risk management schemes. Organizations with effective risk management teams can timely identify potential risks and mitigate the risk before adverse effects. In healthcare organizations, in healthcare settings, risk range from clinical risks, operation risks, legal risks, and environmental risks. Effective risk assessments in healthcare can concurrently identify these risks, analyze, evaluate, and rank them based on priority (Pascarella et al., 2021). This paper aims to illustrate how healthcare organizations identify, prioritize, and address potential risks in healthcare.
Identifying risks and possible solutions in a healthcare organization depends on risk assessments. Risk analysis involves evaluating risks, their sources of risk, implications, and the severity of the outcome of risks. The American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) recommends using an enterprise risk management framework in healthcare to analyze and manage risks in healthcare effectively. In the risk identification stage, all the healthcare organization’s stakeholders are involved in brainstorming sessions to help identify possible healthcare risks. These sessions highlight stakeholders’ problems and perspectives on potential organizational risks. The teams also analyze the hospital data to identify new trends indicating possible risks (Pascarella et al., 2021). Triggering events such as voluntary resignation and high healthcare providers in the organization indicates potential risks in the healthcare organization that need to be mitigated.
According to Lockhart (2020), an organization’s low employee retention rate leads to losses resulting from low performance and the cost of retraining new employees. It is also closely associated with low morale among care providers. It can lead to low patient outcomes and satisfaction which causes healthcare organizations to incur tremendous losses due to low reimbursements and patient transfer to other facilities. The healthcare facility should treat healthcare provider high turnover as a potential risk of understaffing in the healthcare organization, which can negatively impact the quality of service delivery.
Risks assessment tools
Several tools exist that healthcare organizations can use for risk analysis. These tools allow healthcare organizations to analyze the impacts of different risks identified in the risk identification stage. Such tools include the risk matrix and Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA). The risk matrix is frequently used in risk assessments to determine the amount of risk considering the severity, probability, and consequences of a healthcare provider or patient harm following exposure to a hazard. Severity describes the amount of harm a risk can cause, ranked from negligible to catastrophic, while probability indicates the chance of a risk occurring. It is also ranked on a scale of 5, with 1 as improbable and 5 as frequent (Ferdosi et al., 2020). This tool helps the risk management team assign quantitative measures to risks, informing planning and probable solutions.
Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a risk analysis technique created outside of the realm of healthcare but is currently used to evaluate the risk of process failure and harm and pinpoint the most crucial areas for process improvement (Ferdosi et al., 2020). FMEA allows the risk management team to evaluate an ongoing or new process in healthcare for potential failures and prevent them from occurring. Primary prevention reduces risk occurrences, promoting patient safety, optimum service delivery, and employee satisfaction.
Probable solution and implementation
High healthcare worker turnover is associated with poor organizational human resource welfare, low workplace morale and motivation, and low employee satisfaction. This turnover leads to losses in healthcare organizations as they incur the cost of hiring and training new employees, advertisement costs, and low patient retention (Lockhart, 2020). According to jolly et al. (2021), improving the working condition and human resources well fare reduce employee turnover. The other noted that offering incentives and allowances to employees is associated with increased morale and job satisfaction among workers in any company. In addition, other employees resign due to lack of growth in their current job hence presenting a platform for continuous training and learning in healthcare is likely to maintain academic growth among employees, thus reducing turnover. Maintaining a balance between work and life has also been associated with high employee turnover in usually busy and tight workplaces, especially healthcare organizations (Lockhart, 2020). Therefore, creating a more flexible working environment will boost this balance allowing healthcare works to have more time for themselves and family thus care providers reducing turnover.
The risk management, in this case, should analyze the organization’s budget for the possible positive adjustment that will create more funds to help the organization increase human resource welfare in the healthcare organization to mitigate the risk of employee turnover. The human resource department must create a program to incentivize healthcare providers who heat their monthly target. The incentives can be offered in terms of money, presents, and certifications (Lockhart, 2020). The management team will use monthly reports, such as financial statements, to track how well these solutions are implemented in the organizations. Employees’ satisfaction survey will also be carried out quarterly to assess and monitor changes in employees’ attitudes which is associated with employee turnover.
Financial constraint is a limiting factor for implementing most ideas and plans in healthcare organizations. Limited resources such as money necessitate choosing the most profitable implementation in the organization. A potential return on investments is among the key financial performances used to prioritize organizational implementation. After using risk matrix analysis and Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, the need to address healthcare providers’ turnover in the organization stood out. This risk is associated with tremendous losses and declining performance in the organization. Implementing a solution to employee turnover is also likely to yield potential returns compared to the cost of investments (Baid et al., 2021). Conducting a potential yield on investments will inform the healthcare organization’s management team of the potential extra income the organization will generate and possible evaded losses the organization will successfully evade. This key performance analysis will help the organization prioritize employee turnover risks and inform on the next risk to address.
To mitigate the risk of high healthcare provider turnover, the management team intends to make several human department changes involving economic and operational changes. According to Mathisen et al. (2021), psychosocial support and human resource welfare in healthcare organizations reduce employee turnover in healthcare. This is associated with providing presents and incentives to best-performing healthcare providers as a way of appreciating their performance/. In addition, ambient shift time allows healthcare workers to maintain a balance between their life and career, especially female care providers; rescheduling the shift to a more comfortable schedule increases employee retention. The author also noted that adequate promotion based on merit boosts healthcare providers’ morale, increasing job satisfaction and optimum service delivery. The healthcare organization should increase the budget of the human resource department to enable the department to offer an incentive to the employees. This will also enable the department to hire new healthcare providers to reduce the workload, creating time to be invested in employees’ work/life balance (Mathisen et al., 2021). The hiring of new employees will be toiled toward the current trends in healthcare management, such as nursing informatics, to ensure the organization hires the right employees to maintain low employee turnover.
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Lockhart, L. (2020). Strategies to reduce nursing turnover. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy, 18(2), 56.
Mathisen, J., Nguyen, T. L., Jense, J. H., Rugulies, R., & Rod, N. H. (2021). Reducing employee turnover in hospitals: estimating the effects of hypothetical improvements in the psychosocial work environment. Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health, 47(6), 456–465. https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3969
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