Risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risk followed by corrective action to minimize or control the probability of its occurrence in the future.
In risk management the term "risk" is used to mean simply the probability of something, usually harmful, happening while the term hazard means the event, or source, or situation that caused the harm.

Why conduct risk management?

The benefits of integrating risk management into clinical practice are many such as:

  1. Helps in creating a safety culture
  2. Improves patient safety
  3. Improves understanding and communication within healthcare team
  4. Improves quality of care
  5. Reduces complaints
  6. Helps in accreditation and revalidation
How to guarantee a successful risk management program?

The following issues are vital to settle before attempting to introduce a risk management program:

  1. Leadership commitment
  2. Patient safety culture
  3. Active incident reporting system
  4. Adequate resources (human and financial) to support the program
  5. Audit system to ensure that the program is delivering its intended output

When is risk management useful?

  1. When introducing a new process
  2. When redesigning an already ongoing process
  3. Evaluating the safety of an ongoing process
Approaches to risk management

Risk is part of everyone’s daily life. Clinical practice is no different and is full of risks to both patients and their carers. Traditionally risk management was reactive in its approach; waiting for the harm to happen then seeing how to prevent it from happening again. Nowadays, a more proactive approach is required where hazards are identified and the risk of harm anticipated and measures taken to prevent it or lesson its effects.