Risk is anything that involves danger. Risk can be physical, emotional, health, or financial wealth. Life is full of risks and we all take risk in our lives in order to move forward. Risk can be big or small and can be taken intentionally or unintentionally. Riskassessmentrefers to the process by which the short and long-term adverse consequences to individuals or groups in a particular area resulting from the use of specific technology, chemical substance, or natural hazard are determined (Batterman, 2013). An example of intentional risk would be doing your assignment but not knowing that you will pass it or not and an example of unintentional risk is not doing the assignment because you did not know you had one. So in order to manage risk it is very important to have some kind of plan in place with can reduce the effect of any future risk, this is known as risk management. Therefore risk management is identification, assessment and prioritization of risks. There are two major ERM programmes (ISO 31000 OR COSO) which could be used by any organization as a guideline to reduce risk. In this assignment I have used ISO 31000 because it is the most-latest one and easy to understand.
Risk management should be well organized in the enterprise for this to happen the risk manager needs to find out the objectives of the organization in order to make a proper plan. This can be done by talking with the owner or other staff members of the facility. For example one of the most important priorities for any health provider is the health and safety of its clients and workers. It is crucial to have friendly and safe environment for the employees. This can be done by doing regular health and safety audits and teaching the staff and the residents about the health and safety. This as a result will decrease the percentage of accidents that happen at work and make it safer both for clients and workers.
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This can lead to exposure to lose as they have to put more money and labour into teaching the staff about health and safety. This can also result in loss of life or a serious injury. For example there can be an injury at the work place if the clients are not transferred from bed to the couch using a hoist. Using a hoist can be more safe, time efficient and as a result will decrease the number of causalities at work.
Like this there can be various other risks at the hospital so it is the duty of the risk manager to prioritize the highly likely and least likely risk for the enterprise and make the plan accordingly. For example hygiene is very important for the hospital, so it is important for the residents to have shower regularly. This risk cannot be tolerated as it will prevent spreading of diseases and cross contamination. This is one of the essential parts of hospital so risk manager should follow this first.
The model that I have used for this assignment is IOS-31000 to identify the high risk to health care business.
It was introduced in 2009. It is a code of conduct which is followed by the organization to provide standardized care to the clients. This can be used by any organization regardless of its dimension, action and segment. This can help the organization to increase the chances of improving their techniques, achieving objectives, allocate and use resources. It also provides guidelines for both internal and external programs. This organization can also compare and contrast their risk management policies with an internationally recognized benchmark therefore providing good principles for effective and corporate governance. ISO31000can be applied to any type of risk–with a few provisos. Firstly, the new definition of risk is “the effect of uncertainty on objectives”. The notes to the definition include: “Objectives can have different aspects, such as financial, health and safety, and environmental goals, and can apply at different levels such as strategic, organisation-wide, project, product, and process.” Thus, an organisation must set objectives that are relevant to its risk profile (Peace, 2009).
There are also other related standards some of them are IEC 31010 and COSO. A risk management technique focuses on risk management. Risk management also helps the organization to understand the risks and make the decisions accordingly so it could effectively meet the objectives. IEC 31010: 2009 also focuses on risk assessment concepts and selection of risk assessment techniques.
Risk management process contains five different processes which are firstly identify the hazard, secondly decide who might be harmed and how, thirdly evaluate the risks and decide on safety measure, fourthly record your finding and implement them and finally review your assessment and update if necessary (Five steps of risk assessment ).
In identifying the hazard the risk manager should be able to identify the risks that are most likely to happen in the hospital. The two ways to identify risk are retrospective and prospective risk.
Retrospective risks are the incidents that previously occurred, so they are easy to identify. This can be done by reviewing audit reports, costumer complaints. Prospective risks are those that have not happened before but might happen in the future. As compare to retrospective risk this is harder to identify. This can be done by brainstorming, researching and reviewing system designs. This can also be done by talking with the staff members or looking at the documentation of the hazards and make the plan accordingly. For examples if falls is one of the major cause of injury in the hospital then there should be a proper plan in place. This can be done by using wet floor sign, making sure floor is dry at all times and assisting the residents when going to the toilet and provide training if necessary to the staff.
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Secondly the risk manager needs to decide who might be harmed and how. This will help him to know which risk has greater impact than another. The three categories to determine risk levels are qualitative, semi-quantitative and quantitative.
Qualitative refers to the images based on some based on some characteristics rather than quantity. It is the most effective method of analyzing risk. Semi-qualitative test is one that doesn’t give you the absolute amount of analyses in a sample. Lastly quantitative is based on mathematical or numerical numbers and quantity rather than the characteristics. For example it does not mean differentiating everyone by their names, but identifying group of people. If you share your workplace, you will need to know your work affects other staff members or members of public and therefore identifying how they might be harmed.
In the third process of risk assessment the risk is evaluated and safety measures are taken. The risk evaluation involves measuring and comparing level of risks found during analysis process. Once risk has been identified it is the duty of risk manager to decide what to do about them. He has to be lawful and do everything reasonably practicable to protect people from harm. For example there is an infection breakthrough in the facility. It is the risk manager’s duty to make sure all the residents and works get immunized, all the clothes and bed sheets are cleaned properly and make sure everyone is safe from the infection and how can they prevent it in future. This can be prevented by using hand sanitizers, washing hands regularly, wearing gloves and using other precautions when necessary.
Fourthly recording and implementing the findings. It is about treating the risk that we not acceptable in the previous process of risk assessment. This step is used to either eliminate or reduce the effect of the risk. Monitoring and reviewing is a very essential step of the risk management process which will result in positive outcomes for the hospital. Risk needs to be monitored regularly so that new risks are captured in the process and are effectively managed.
For example risk assessment does not need to be perfect but it must be suitable and sufficient. A proper check must be made; you need to ask who might be affected; you dealt with all the other significant hazards, also took into account the number of people who could be involved; the safety measures are reasonable, and the remaining risk is low; and you have also involved your staff or their representatives in the process.
Lastly review the assessment and update if necessary. At work sooner or later, there will be new equipments and procedures that could lead to new hazards, so it makes very much sense to review them. Therefore all the risk management assessment parts are related to monitor and review. For example there is a new hoist at work which is more effective and fast but the workers do not quite know how to use it. So it is the duty of the risk manager to put a plan in place and teach all the workers how to use it and review it regularly. This as a result will prevent any future miss-happenings and make work more safe and efficient.
This concludes that it is very important for the organization big or small to have risk management program and team in place to minimize the risk and for the better growth of the business. It can save lives and money and can be extremely profitable for the enterprise and safe for the employs.
Batterman, S. (2013). Defination. Risk Assessment , 653-655.
Five steps of risk assessment . (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2014, from Health and Safety Executive : http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/fivesteps.htm
Peace, C. (2009). ISO 31000. Standard and Deliver , 44-47.
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