A Healthcare Risk Assessment Matrix is a tool used to identify and evaluate potential risks within a healthcare organization. It involves identifying and assessing the likelihood and impact of various risks, such as clinical risks, operational risks, financial risks, and reputational risks.
The matrix typically consists of a grid that categorizes risks based on their likelihood and impact. Likelihood is often measured on a scale from low to high, and impact can be measured on a scale from minor to catastrophic.
Here is an example of a Healthcare Risk Assessment Matrix:
Risk Assessment Matrix
For example catastrophic means death or debilitating permanent injury and minor means requiring first aid.
Means How often? or probability of the event; this must be estimated over a stated period.
The healthcare organization can use this matrix to prioritize risks and develop strategies to mitigate or prevent them. For example, risks that are deemed to have a high likelihood and a catastrophic impact may require immediate attention and resources to minimize the potential harm to patients and the organization.
The risk scores are not intended to be precise mathematical measures of risk, but they are useful when prioritizing control measures for the treatment of different risks, and for follow up and re-assessment.
The following information is not meant to be prescriptive but is intended for guidance.
Low risk (green)
Quick, easy measures implemented immediately and further action planned for when resources permit.
Moderate risk (yellow)
Actions implemented as soon as possible, but no later than a year.
High risk (orange)
Actions implemented as soon as possible and no later than six months.
Extreme risk (red)
Requires urgent immediate corrective action.
It is often hard to judge the level of risk that can be accepted. This is because the risk is balanced against the benefit and whether there is a better alternative to accepting the risk.