Risk management in healthcare organizations is responsible for identifying high-risk areas that could cause harm to patients, visitors and even employees hence it involves implementing programs to avert risks and managing a robust process for adverse events that might and do occur. The process of Managing Healthcare Risk Levels needs adverse event information to be accessible in a central location where all collaborating departments can see it simultaneously. That is where a healthcare enterprise data warehouse (EDW) comes into play.
The principal function of an EDW is to serve as a single source of knowledge by aggregating and validating data from various source systems across an organization so everyone has access to the same accurate data.This web-based data collection tool enables users, like risk managers, to create simple forms and publish those forms to a set of collaborators. Instead of communicating with a group of collaborators via email and attempting to capture feedback in a spreadsheet, risk managers — and everyone else involved in the process — can see and comment on the adverse event in one location and in a timely manner.
Managing risk is difficult, especially when risk managers don’t have the right tools for collaboration and they can’t easily access all of the necessary information in a centralized location. Risk management can be significantly improved when departments and risk managers are able to review, tag, and follow all of a reportable event data in one central repository.
An EDW provides such a repository and offers a single source of access that all collaborators can rely on for their assessment of each event. With the addition of a data entry application tool on top of the EDW, risk managers and their collaborators gain the ability to streamline their workflow processes, reduce manual errors, and proactively recommend risk management improvements — all of which are critical components to increasing patient safety in this environment of Accountable Care.
In addition to being able to view information about the event, there are additional benefits to using an EDW with a data entry application tool. Each department’s representative can submit and save his or her feedback about the event, which is then accessible to the other parties involved. Everyone can also see who has evaluated and signed off on the event. This solution not only streamlines the review process; it also makes the process more accurate. By replacing manual work with automation through the EDW, the likelihood of data entry errors are reduced because risk managers no longer need to consolidate information from various emails and spreadsheets.
This approach to risk management adds more functionality than what’s available from the many standalone risk management applications currently on the market. While such applications are able to track events, that’s the extent of what they can do. They aren’t able to monitor the evaluation and investigation process for each risk event, and their usability is limited to drop down answers that aren’t robust enough to capture the unique details of each event. In other words, standalone risk management applications just track the event and the outcomes of the event.
Because hospitals have a lot to lose in terms of both reimbursements and reputation accurate identification of adverse events is critical. Hospitals, and particularly risk managers, devote a lot of time and energy to determining whether an incident constitutes a reportable event. In fact, all incidents are evaluated and vetted by multiple departments to determine whether the event is indeed reportable.