Risk control

Ideally all risk should be eliminated but in reality this is not possible. However, certain steps can be taken to minimize the likelihood of its occurrence, lessen its consequences and increase its detection. This can be done through the following:

  1. Risk reduction

This is the main line of dealing with any risk in clinical practice. Risk reduction aims at preventing the risk from happening and either minimizing its harmful effects or preventing it from reaching the patient in case its occurrence could not be prevented.

  2. Risk acceptance

If the risk cannot be totally eliminated and the consequences are minimum then it can accepted as part of practice, however, all involved should be made aware of such risk and trained to deal with such risk effectively in order to minimize any harm resulting from it.

  3. Risk transfer

If the facilities and expertise available are limited then by transferring the service to another unit that is more equipped and trained the risk is minimized. This also applies to the involvement of insurance companies in the management of highly complex and costly treatments.

The following table is a summary of methods of risk control:

  Risk Control


Identifying and implementing alternative procedures or activities to eliminate risk.


Having a pre-arranged plan of action that will come into force as and when the risk occurs.


Putting in place measures to stop a problem from occurring or having impact on a work area or organization.


Taking action to minimize either the likelihood of the risk developing or its effects


Transferring the risk to a third party.


Tolerating the risk when its likelihood and impact are relatively minor, or when it would be too expensive to mitigate it.