Risk management in healthcare could quite literally mean the difference between life and death. While risk management is designed to develop strategies that help decrease and prevent financial loss and reduce insurance costs, it’s also about implementing solutions that achieve greater patient safety, care, and happiness.

In order to establish a solid risk management practice within your skilled nursing facility or long-term care center, consider following these five strategies.

1. Prioritize staff education

Creating and implementing a risk management practice at your center is futile unless your staff is also up-to-date on the strategy, especially your measures for response and prevention. This not only helps to ensure that your organization is protected and running efficiently, but guarantees that your patients are receiving optimal services that will aid in their care, longevity, and overall satisfaction. 

2. Promote transparency

At every company, but especially within the healthcare sector, most employees are afraid to be transparent because of the anticipated repercussions that could follow. As an executive at your facility, it’s crucial that you develop and promote an environment where staff can be transparent with information pertaining to your organization. The healthcare sector must move towards a future where everyone can practice open, honest communication with one another. This will not only improve care, but this is the best way to mitigate risks before they worsen.

3. Develop a reporting culture

This strategy is somewhat similar to promoting a center that values transparency. Your staff must be empowered to report any incidents that could compromise patient safety or your organization as soon as they happen, even if they’re at fault. They should be able to come to you or another senior member of your SNF or long-term care center, but there are also online reporting systems that can be used as well.

4. Create a standardized process

Whether your facility is small or large, it’s important that you standardize your risk management practice across all departments, as well as any additional locations as well. Without unity, your center runs the risk of misinterpretation and miscommunication, which could lead to problems down the road. So, it’s better to be strict and transparent about your processes from the onset.

5. Monitor progress

If you follow these other strategies perfectly, it’s important that you also continue to monitor your progress. You should know what areas are more vulnerable than others, so constantly keep a pulse on what’s going on everywhere within your organization. Monitoring progress will also help you identify weaknesses in your plan, and also show you where you are excelling — all of which are important to your growth.

A successful risk management strategy not only saves you time and money, it can also save lives as well.