The concept risk refers to any factor, attribute, or an exposure of an individual that increases the chances of developing harmful situations such as diseases or an injury. Therefore, a medical risk thus refers to the scenario that increases an individual’s possibility to develop diseases (Farokhzadian, Dehghan Nayeri, & Borhani, 2015). Smoking cigarette is an example of the risk factor for developing lung cancer while obesity is the risk factor for developing heart diseases. Usually, there are various dimensions of medical where the physical risk is the likelihood that medical treatment, therapy, r surgery may harm to the patients leaving them in a worse condition than they were before they began the medication process. Some of the examples of medical risks include overweight, underweight, high blood pressure, cancer, and opportunistic diseases among others. Today, medical risks have become prevalent in various medical factors across the world. For this reason, the hospitals need to devise strategies that can help to mitigate and eradicate these risks as much as possible. Furthermore, managing these risks not only benefits the patients, but the enhanced quality of the healthcare delivery process boosts the operational efficiency of the facilities therein. Therefore, the paper aims at discussing the leading techniques that hospitals can integrate into managing risks especially among the hospitals in Michigan.
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1. Integrating Patient-Focused Interventions
The patient-focused intervention usually refers the situations where the medical practitioners recognize that the patients have an active role in contributing to the process of selecting the most appropriate and effective treatment option. Through disclosing the relevant information to the patients, they participate in selecting the safest healthcare processes (Guo, 2015). The aspect patient does not refer to a single person but also includes the family members and the community as well. Therefore, either the individuals or family members have an active role in managing their care. It can be done by embracing conditions and behaviors that aim at preventing the occurrence of any medical risks therein. Furthermore, by selecting the most appropriate treatment option through the help of the medical practitioners, they play an active role in managing serious illnesses and well as managing the long-term adverse effects associated with the treatment process.
In establishing an effective patient-focused program, Michigan hospitals need to follow a distinct procedure. The initial step requires the medical staff to assess the significant characteristics of the patients that may subject them to medical risks. Then, they select the most appropriate approach that accommodates these patients’ characteristics (McMyler, Ross, Saran, Urteaga-Fuentes, Anderson, Boothman, & Lypson, 2011). Finally, they assess the response of the approach to the patient’s medical procedure. This procedure ensures that the medical staffs are aware of the possible medical risks that may face the patients and thus devise strategies to mitigate these risks. It may entail strategies such as counseling, guidance, eating behaviors, participating in regular checkups, taking regular mammograms for women, engaging in physical activities, and avoiding substance abuse among others. Moreover, recognizing the significant contribution of the patients’ active participation in determining the most appropriate treatment process is fundamental in enhancing the efficiency and quality of the healthcare delivery system.
2. Regulatory Intervention
This aspect entails developing a regulatory framework that guides the nurses and other medical staff in handling the various patients’ cases in the hospital. In most of the cases, the medical risks occur due to the ignorance of the nurses or the lack of adequate information regarding the most appropriate procedures that can help in managing the subsequent risks (Speziale, 2015). The hospital management needs to establish a program that allows the medical staff to gain relevant knowledge in solving the problem at hand. It involves establishing frequent training sessions that equip the medical staff with the effective procedures that can help to overcome the common risks that face the patients. Sometimes, there exists a gap between nursing education and healthcare practice. Usually, using education may not equip them with the life skills that can help to handle patients in hospitals effectively. The lack of enough information often led to numerous mistakes which may place the life of the patients in danger. Thus, the management is supposed to introduce this training session to raise awareness and educate the medical staff on the skills they may be lacking. It involves incorporating the state laws and regulation regarding the problem at hand. Besides, the Michigan Medical law suggests that patients in critical conditions should not be allowed to use marihuana since it may create harm by worsening their health status.
Similarly, the management can establish a regulatory policy such that the medical staff who are often caught necessitating the medical risks face the set disciplinary measures; it is necessary to ensure that the staff is always careful and cautious while handling their patients. In the long run, it is an essential technique that can aid in minimizing and managing medical risks in Michigan hospitals. Furthermore, it is evident that upon focusing on quality improvement procedures the number of patient claims over medical errors in the University of Michigan Health System has decreased by more than 67% since 2005 (Enrado, 2018).
3. Establishing Effective Staffing Programs
Lack of sufficient medical staff as compared to the number of patients is also a significant aspect that increases the medical risks in most of the Michigan hospitals. In most cases, when the numbers of the nurses are few, it harms the quality of the healthcare delivery system since most of the patients do not receive adequate care (Rodriguez, Storm, & Burris, 2009). As a result, it increases the risk of high mortality rates and in some instances; the medical conditions of the patients may deteriorate. As a way to manage these risks, the hospital management should deploy adequate staff to enhance the quality of the healthcare delivery. Also, when the medical practitioners are few especially in intensive care units, they often experience a huge workload that may lead to burnouts. In such scenarios, these medical staff will often deliver poor services.
However, with adequate staffing, the staff can share duties with the aim of ensuring the each of the patients receives sufficient care as much as possible. Furthermore, when the staff is enough, each of the patients is guaranteed adequate time with the nurses such that they can assess the distinct characteristics of the patients and provide the relevant guideline therein. It is also essential to avoid instances of medical practitioners’ overtime. Hence, the management of the Michigan hospitals should scrap overtime as a way to ensure that this medical staff does not overwork which may compromise their efficiency in delivering quality healthcare services to patients.
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4. Adequate Supply of Medical Resources
Similar to inadequate staffing, the shortage of drugs and other medical supplies increases the chances of experiencing medical risks. Some of the medical conditions require specialized medical equipment and drugs as well. It is noted that in 2017, most of the hospitals in the United States were forced to delay a significant proportion of the major operations and chemotherapy session due to lack of sodium bicarbonate solution. Precisely, the University of Michigan Hospitals were also experiencing a shortage of injectable hydromorphone, morphine, and fentanyl. In such cases, it means that the patients will be delayed from accessing the necessary medical procedures which may place their medical condition at risk. When the hospitals encounter a shortage of drug and other medical equipment to treat a particular disease, they may opt for other treatment options that may not be as effective. It thus places the patients at a risk where the recovery process may be delayed which may also lead to death. For this reason, the hospital management needs to set aside adequate financing to ensure that the medical practitioners. It is essential to ensure that the hospitals have reliable suppliers who provide the medical facilities with sufficient medical supplies and equipment (Speziale, 2015). It ensures that the patients receive the necessary medical attention when necessary with the appropriate medical equipment to avoid any possible medical risks posed due to a shortage of drugs.
5. Developing a Culture of Error Prevention
Lastly, it is essential that the hospitals embrace the culture of error prevention in the working environment. It can be done by always advocating for quality improvement and minding the safety of the patients (Guo, 2015). The management should not focus solely on punishing the medical staff that often necessitate medical errors but should take it as an opportunity to learn. The medical staff should work as a team to evaluate the medical risks at hand and together they can devise procedures that can handle the problem effectively. Additionally, the management should also focus on employing highly qualified medical practitioners to enhance the quality of healthcare delivery and minimize the possible errors as well. It is worth noting that when the medical staffs are professionals on the various areas, they will tend to exhibit common errors that place the patients’ health at risk.
In conclusion, the individual medical staff and the management have the responsibility to solve the possible risks that may occur within the institution. The hospitals need to adopt the above procedures as a way to enhance the safety of the patients and a way to avoid any further damages that may face the patients. The proposed strategies are also relevant to the healthcare organizations with an internal risk manager who may seek additional guidelines that may aid in managing the medical risks in their institutions.
- Enrado, P. (2018). Hospitals face risk management head-on. Retrieved from https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/hospitals-face-risk-management-head
- Farokhzadian, J., Dehghan Nayeri, N., & Borhani, F. (2015). Assessment of clinical risk management system in hospitals: An approach for quality improvement. Global Journal Of Health Science, 7(5). doi: 10.5539/gjhs.v7n5p294
- Guo, L. (2015). Implementation of a risk management plan in a hospital operating room. International Journal Of Nursing Sciences, 2(4), 348-354. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnss.2015.10.007
- McMyler, E. T., Ross, P. T., Saran, K. A., Urteaga-Fuentes, A., Anderson, S. G., Boothman, R. C., & Lypson, M. L. (2011). Mainstreaming risk management education into new resident and fellow orientation. Journal Of Graduate Medical Education, 3(3), 395-399. doi: 10.4300/jgme-d-10-00143.1
- Rodriguez, M., Storm, C., & Burris, H. (2009). Medical errors: Physician and institutional responsibilities. Journal Of Oncology Practice, 5(1), 24-26. doi: 10.1200/jop.0918502
- Speziale, G. (2015). Strategic management of a healthcare organization: engagement, behavioural indicators, and clinical performance. European Heart Journal Supplements, 17(suppl A), A3-A7. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/suv003
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