Healthcare, like every other area, has its own risks. In the case of healthcare, the risks have to be contained well because of the obvious fact that any unseen or unaddressed risk can be a potential source of danger to the patient’s health or very life. This is the most urgent need for addressing risk management issues in healthcare.
When talking about the top risk management issues in healthcare, one has to take a rather holistic look at this topic. This is because risks can arise in healthcare from any source, obvious or obscure. The healthcare unit has to be completely and fully open to the possibility of finding risks in almost any area of their work.
This is why top risk management issues in healthcare concern the whole gamut of the field of healthcare. Let us take a look at some of these top risk management issues in healthcare:
Risk from technology
Technology has the magical power to transform lives in a way that humans of an earlier era could not have dreamt. But wait a minute. For all the fantastic things that technology is capable of doing, it comes with a huge risk that is inherent into it. We are witnessing the explosion of all kinds of changes that life will see under technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, data science, Internet of Things, Big Data and their siblings. These technologies have unimaginable implications for healthcare.
While many changes can be seen in areas such as the way health and health administration are going to progress, there is no denying the fact that technology is primarily responsible for cyberattacks on healthcare records. To say that this is a dangerous trend is to understate a problem of gigantic proportion. The consequences of data breaches are terrible.
Individual healthcare providers may face penalties and other fines but how does the healthcare sector deal with it? What is to be done when critical data about patients go into unscrupulous hands? It sends the whole sector and the lives of millions of people into a tizzy, depending on the severity and consequences of the cyberattack. Data security ranks right among the top risk management issues in healthcare.
With healthcare being such a vast and varied field and being one that carries immense potential for misuse, governments have realized that the need for regulation is acute. Regulation is always done with very good intentions, but it has a major bearing on the healthcare providers. Why? They have to comply with a myriad set of regulations and rules concerning almost all areas of their work. The cost of compliance is high, but the cost of noncompliance is inestimably higher. Complying with all the regulations such as HIPAA is a gigantic task. Getting it right is something healthcare organizations spend a lot of their resources on.
Dealing with patients
One of the top risk management issues in healthcare is dealing with patients. Not all patients are expected to be sober and patient. In addition, patients having unrealistically lofty expectations of the treatment outcomes are common. Patient expectations are high when it comes to the provision of services, too. Many patients are difficult to handle because they think they have entitlement rights over many aspects of the health administration without being fully knowledgeable about the difficulties faced by healthcare providers.
Telemedicine is emerging as a novel means to provide healthcare across remote areas. While this technology is itself not totally new, it has undergone a few technological leaps that make it a lot easier to adapt and grow into more areas. This has exciting possibilities for the patient and for the field of healthcare but comes with its own challenges of implementation. Implementing telemedicine practices in accordance with the rules and within the regulatory framework opens up new avenues for healthcare but one cannot rule out the practicality of the challenges it comes with.
Dealing with the setup
People are part of the healthcare industry. There are both healthcare professionals and patients that need to be managed. This may be part of the job but still, it comes across among the top risk management issues in healthcare. To organize and streamline work on a daily basis, especially in very huge hospitals, is quite a task, even with all the support people and technologies provide. Dealing with issues and preventing and eliminating the smallest problem in the setup is a herculean task for even the most experienced healthcare professionals. This makes it important for healthcare professionals to learn ways of dealing with such top risk management issues in healthcare.