Manage Risk in 6 Steps

Step 1: Identify the hazards (what can go wrong?)

Understand what is likely to go wrong and how and why it may go wrong. 

Take into account things that have gone wrong in the past and near-miss incidents.

  • Walk around the workplace
  • Interview patients and staff.
  • Describe the activity to be assessed.

Step 2: Who might be harmed?

Patient, staff, or others; consider the number of patients or staff that might be affected over a stated period of time.

Remember that the most vulnerable patients are more likely to suffer harm.

Step 3: Analysis or Evaluation

How bad? How often? is there a need for further action?

Consider consequence (how bad?- severity) and likelihood (how often?- probability). Use risk matrix

Is there a need for additional action?.

Step 4: Register

The assessment findings is recorded. An efficient and succinct system of documentation is essential.

Good documentation is important because things are always changing, and those changes can alter existing and/or introduce new hazards.

Step 5: Action Plan

The solutions to reduce the risk to acceptable level, who is responsible and target date.

It may be reasonable to accept some degree of preventable risk, if the benefits to be gained outweigh the risk.

Step 6: Re-assess

Review your assessment and update :

  • When you are planning a change;
  • Routinely at least on an annual basis;
  • When there has been a significant change.
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Dr. Khalid Abulmajd

Healthcare Quality Consultant

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