An important task of a nurse practitioner is to identify the possible risks in the specific area of profession. Such risks can be related to both medical specialists and patients, and therefore, require integrated measures to eliminate them. Many local and state organizations are concerned with the rules and standards that would help reduce risks in different fields of nursing. This paper will study the community-focused risks and ways to manage them; the specific risk management program will be evaluated and compared to the standard risk-related procedures and regulations.
Community-Focused Risk Management Plan
A medical specialist working with communities can face different kinds of risks, from contagious diseases to the patients’ violence. Patients, on the other hand, should also be guaranteed high-quality healthcare services without possible risks for their health. The specific community-related risk management plan that is going to be analyzed is designed and described by Ballard (2017). The plan focuses on eliminating hazards connected with community healthcare and ways to manage them; it emphasizes the significance of patients’ safety and the legal aspects of employment in the healthcare sector (Ballard, 2017). The choice of this program can be explained by the importance of public healthcare and the wide range of workplace risks that may occur.
Risk management standards used in different medical institutions may vary. In this paper, a community hospital will be considered as an example. Even though Ballard (2017) suggests a generalized plan for community-focused risk management that can be used by small and large organizations, it would be better to consider a big community healthcare institution. Such an organization includes a big number of employees and serves large groups of the population, which increases the number of workplace hazards. Therefore, risk management measures should be especially clear and comprehensive to guarantee overall safety.
Standard Administrative Processes
The risk management plan described above can be compared to a standardized set of regulations provided by a MIPPA-approved accrediting body. In this paper, the typical risk management policies will be analyzed on the example of the Joint Commission, which is an organization aimed at controlling the quality of healthcare services. Standard risk management procedures of The Joint Commission include evaluation of medical institutions every two years (Ziemer & Haverich, 2017). It helps determine whether patients are granted high-quality services for appropriate payment and if these services are safe for the community.
In the analyzed example of the risk management plan, the principles of service quality and safety are also considered the most important. According to the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act, medical organizations are to provide reports that would allow collecting data about possible community healthcare risks and areas for improvement (Ballard, 2017). The risk management program follows the regulations of the Joint Commission: Ballard (2017) mentions the importance of risk identification, proper clinical care, claims management, and the safety of the workplace environment. However, there is not so much attention paid to the financial risks, unlike in the Joint Community regulations.
It is important to emphasize that different levels of authority are involved in the risk management process. In the discussed example, local and state departments collaborate to examine the possible community health risks; the risk management standards can be adapted to the local demands (Ballard, 2017). As for the Joint Commission, the organization has an important federal status. For example, national agencies like Medicare and Medicaid, take part in defining the healthcare standards (About our standards, n.d.). Therefore, the regulations of this accredited organization have more significance on the federal level, than on the state and local.
Key Agencies and Organizations
Safe medical practice in the community healthcare should be provided and controlled by the joint efforts of different organizations. These bodies and departments have different functions and focus on certain aspects of risk management. For example, special institutions responsible for advocating patients’ well-being are referred to as patient safety organizations (Ballard, 2017). The responsibilities of such agencies include creating appropriate working conditions for nurses, installing safe medical equipment, defining privilege and confidentiality regulations that can be applied to patient safety, and giving recommendations to healthcare providers.
Another example of responsible institutions is related to risk assessment. Emergency Care Research Institute is an organization that collects data about possible risks with state and local support. As for the Department of Health and Human Services, this agency is authorized to consider the cases when the privacy of patients is violated (Ballard, 2017). It also defines sanctions for the breach of the confidentiality provisions, such as monetary penalties. The system may include other parties; however, the discussed departments are responsible for the most significant community-related risks.
Risk Management Plan: Evaluation
Privacy and confidentiality are the necessary elements of high-quality medical services. According to the analyzed risk management program, privacy issues should be monitored and recorded, and their violation may lead to fines or lawsuits (Ballard, 2017). The same principles are emphasized by the Joint Commission, according to which the privacy of both patients and healthcare providers should be respected (Ziemer & Haverich, 2017). For example, nursing practitioners are not allowed to provide confidential information about their patients’ health conditions to third parties.
As community healthcare workers may face personal risks at the workplace, the Joint Commission emphasizes the corresponding regulations. According to the organization, such risks are often associated with patients and visitors of the medical institutions (The Joint Commission, 2018). The risk management standards include multiple measures, such as identifying hazards, installing properly working alarms, and designing exit routes. As for the example risk management plan, it does not emphasize the risk of violence, but mostly covers legal aspects of workers’ safety, such as contact details. As for patient safety, the program fully corresponds to the Joint Commission regulations. The standards, such as high-quality medical services provision, safe working conditions, and reports about the violation of the rules are only some of the multiple measures emphasized in the plan.
The risk management program proposed by Ballard (2017) includes a variety of integrated measures that mostly correspond to the Joint Commission regulations. The example program is based on the principles of patient safety; it pays a lot of attention to identifying hazards connected with healthcare providers’ negligence. At the same time, the plan does not emphasize the significance of healthcare workers’ safety. It would be appropriate to create a set of regulations aimed at identifying risks that nurses may face in the workplace. All nurse practitioners should be aware of the possible risks of violence or other offensive actions of patients, colleagues, and healthcare institution staff. The example plan also mentions that healthcare workers should understand local legal requirements (Ballard, 2017). However, additional measures to provide the workers’ safety may include the improvement of alarm systems and security in the workplace.
Community healthcare is an important element of medicine, where nurses have to deal with a significant number of individuals. Such conditions create certain risks connected with the health and safety of patients and medical specialists. The comparative analysis of a standardized risk management plan and the example plan demonstrated that state and local organizations try to adapt their regulations to the national standards, emphasized by the Joint Commission. However, there are still areas for improvement, and integrated measures are needed to make community-focused services more effective and safe.
About our standards. (n.d.).
Ballard, D.C. (2017). Risk management. In D.C. Ballard & P.D.Grant (Eds.), Law for Nurse Leaders (2nd ed., pp. 141-164). Springer Publishing Company.
The Joint Commission. (2018). Sentinel event alert [PDF document].
Ziemer, G., & Haverich, A. (Eds.). (2017). Cardiac surgery: Operations on the heart and great vessels in adults and children. Springer.