As a medical professional, you know things don’t always go according to plan. The medical industry always involves some amount of risk.

Discover how building a successful risk management program for your practice helps manage risk, better protects your employees and patients from harm and shields your business from associated costs.

Fundamentals of Your Risk Management Program

A successful risk management program should be developed proactively ahead of potential risks, so that you aren’t caught off guard by the unexpected. For this reason, organizational leadership should take responsibility of planning.

Start by establishing the four key fundamentals of the program:

  1. Reasons and objectives: State the reasons for establishing the program. Your objectives help determine a proper depth and scope for your program development.
  2. Policy statement: Draft a policy statement to share with employees. Outline program objectives and explain the goals of a successful and effective program.
  3. Assignment of responsibilities: Assign responsibilities to all employees. Ensure everyone gets involved and has a role to play in program success.
  4. Plan for communication: Implement a system for quick and efficient communication between employees and leadership. Reviewing program results can also help identify areas for modification and improvement.

Establishing plan fundamentals will give a supportive foundation for developing your risk management program. Keep in mind that a successful program takes time to build. New elements can be added as needed and past policies can be refined for better results, once a strong foundation is in place.

Elements to Include in Your Program

Including these seven plan elements can to lead to improved safety and fewer claims:

  1. Selection and placement of personnel: Remember proper role placement is key. Make sure you assign the most qualified person for each role.
  2. Establishment of safety rules and procedures: Develop general and specific rules and implement the guidelines that employees will need to follow.
  3. Accident reporting, investigation and analysis: Create a system to ensure all accidents and injuries are reported immediately. Promptly investigate and analyze incidents to uncover facts and causes and implement corrective actions.
  4. Training: Implement a program to provide initial and ongoing training for all employees.
  5. Safety inspections: Establish procedures to maintain practice safety. Check regularly for any unsafe conditions or operating procedures.
  6. Emergency preparedness: Designate procedures to follow for building fires, workplace violence and natural disasters.
  7. Engagement and motivation: Keep employees engaged in the risk management efforts. Establish a safety committee or incentive program and create posters, handouts and more.

Four Strategies for Reducing the Risk to Your Practice

Businesses like yours face unique risks. Make sure your risk management program addresses these added business risks. Here are four simple strategies you can easily implement to reduce your risk:

  1. Don’t rush hiring: Pre-screen candidates and hold multiple interviews before hiring to ensure a good fit and minimize turnover.
  2. Minimize slip and fall accidents: Remove hazards by cleaning up spills and keeping floors free of clutter and trash. Reduce risk by checking for proper extension cord storage, clear foot-traffic areas and consistent wet floor sign usage. Get rid of any damaged or wheeled seating.
  3. Make continuing education a priority. Whether due to limited resources, budgets or expertise, many private medical offices fail to meet their requirements when it comes to CME opportunities for their staff. Set aside specific time and money to ensure your employees meet industry requirements and continue learning throughout their career.
  4. Maintain safety signage: Make sure safety signage is posted and positioned at point of use. Reduce visual clutter by removing signs that are no longer needed. Replace any signs that are out of date, damaged or missing.

For more information about establishing a risk management program and building a comprehensive insurance plan for your practice, contact Lockton Affinity, administrator of the CMA Insurance Program.