Personal Risk Management: An Overview

Risk management measures improve patient safety and bring economic benefits. The deployment of trained risk managers ensures that hospitals evolve from a reactive to proactive risk culture. Structured risk management can be certified and is an advantage in competition.

Statistically, catastrophic events rarely happen by accident but are predictable. They are not accidental, but they are preceded by a variety of small mishaps or work mistakes. According to “Henry’s Law” of 1941, there is a close relationship between the frequency of serious and slight mistakes.

Every avoidance strategy and therefore risk management must therefore focus on avoiding the small mistakes in order to prevent the big ones. Sources of error in hospitals are similar to those in high-risk industrial areas. Therefore, the handling of errors and near misses can be handled similarly and the learning opportunities from the risk management systems of other branches in the healthcare sector can be used.

Personal responsibility of the organization

Not only are hospitals committed to the well-being and safety of their patients, but they are also subject to strong economic constraints.

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As a result, risk management measures are gaining importance not only with regard to improving patient safety but also because of vital economic interests.

The terms risk, risk management, or risk evaluation are by no means new in health care but have become increasingly important in recent years. Addressing individual risk is important and even mandatory for both private and public companies, especially hospitals. Increasingly, laws and their amendments refer to the increased ownership of the organization.

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The so-called framework of risk management itself is divided into strategic, operative, and tactical/dispositive functions. However, the order for systemic risk analysis with risk identification and risk classification, the chosen long-term goals as a management strategy for preserving the organization, can only be made by the actual risk owner in direct line communication or the so-called top-down loop. A risk can be avoided, reduced, or even accepted or insured. Completely according to the individual willingness to take risks (the risk appetite) of the management.

Tasks of risk management

Medium-term goals of an operational nature as temporary measures – such as the systemic risk analysis networked via risk tools and emergency preparedness or information or training management – are the tasks of the risk manager. A functioning tactical/dispositive management is the actual goal of risk management. Here, in the event of an emergency, crisis, or even catastrophe, it will become clear whether the strategic and organizational preparations were simple enough and effective enough.

Who is suitable as a risk manager?

The ideal image is certainly a strong personality, certainly on the smooth floor in the top management and also recognized at the base, professionally trained, equipped with the necessary temporal and service resources, educationally savvy for the essential training, leadership in an emergency, trained in the process – and structure management, with an almost perfidious imagination and a love for special situations … Whether the affiliation to the organization itself, the professional, personal and local knowledge, or the impartiality of an external consultant is given preference, is to be regarded as an individual.

The focus of risk management training lies in the theoretical knowledge of the basics and the structure of risk management up to civil protection, in the extensive spectrum of ecological and psychosocial aspects, the corresponding technical possibilities, the risk communication, up to the possibilities of individual existing risk tools.

What advantages does a trained risk manager bring?

The top priority here is the change from reactive to proactive risk, crisis, and disaster management. Preventive crisis preparedness in the form of manuals, checklists, or codes can ensure internal deployment in case of escalation. The mediated understanding of the responsibilities and possibilities of the professional and freelance task forces, training, and staff work as well as the right crisis communication within and also outside the organization makes it possible to survive a crisis or catastrophe.

In any case, process-oriented and structured risk management means specialization and can be certified according to ISO, EFQM, or ÖNORM. In the age of ongoing competition a very important step for the presentation and comparability of any company.

Prepare for the risks

Even if the definition of risk (risk = probability of occurrence x extent of damage) always has the same validity, every single organization has to deal intensively with its own risks. The company analysis or risk analysis must always be commissioned by the risk owner as a Corporate Identity ©, internally conducted, analyzed, and permanently pursued.

The systemic organizational analysis creates an individual risk landscape (risk matrix) as the prevailing actual state within the context of proactive risk, crisis, and disaster management with the first possibility of deliberately mitigating them with risk-minimizing measures. The regular evaluation of the risk analysis in a timeframe of two to five years shows the effectiveness of the risk policy or even new, prioritized risks. The risk matrix is thus an impressive state of the organization.

Collect risks holistically

How do you compare the risks fictitiously in the possible interaction between the hazard or the hazard, as a potentially dangerous process in the intensity or the probability and the vulnerability, ie exposure or susceptibility of the company? The analysis of the own critical infrastructure with the networking of the internal and external organizational units describes as criticality analysis the entire interaction and the at the same time existing dependence. These risk components are prioritized differently in importance and (restoration) value, whereby, of course, the health and the life of the person to be protected have the highest priority. The advanced vulnerability analysis defines how vulnerable a particular area appears to be too specific hazards. The vulnerability analysis allows an objective analysis of the corresponding hazard element in its intensity and provides the identification of the most effective crisis prevention measures and the possibility of evaluation at any time. In doing so, all previously implemented risk prevention measures are considered positive, ie all measures that reduce the possibility of harming a company. The following review of the system relevance via the protection objective categorization identifies the critical areas, the infrastructure with the highest vulnerability. About the Credible worst-case analysis, the analysis of the worst, but possible and credible event The following review of the system relevance via the protection objective categorization identifies the critical areas, the infrastructure with the highest vulnerability. About the Credible worst-case analysis, the analysis of the worst, but possible and credible event The following review of the system relevance via the protection objective categorization identifies the critical areas, the infrastructure with the highest vulnerability. About the Credible worst-case analysis, the analysis of the worst, but possible and credible event
it is considered as a so-called creativity technique through objective questioning of the interactions and allows, in the structure of the strategic top-down approach, the creation of a structured hazard list.

Risk management must be lived

This intensive preparatory work is, of course, exclusive and intensive desk work in close cooperation between the risk owner and the risk manager. However, to ensure that proactive risk, crisis, and disaster management can really live, as many people as possible need to be involved in the organization. The classified hazard list enables general system evaluation. For a comprehensive picture, on the one hand, there is an objectively designed form of evaluation, such as a questionnaire, but ideally also associated with a subjective brainstorming (inner hunch). For it is precisely the combination of objective judgment and subjective assessment, the primary leading human inclinations,
Of course, the time factor is very important, so my primary reference to the necessary resources, the promotion, and development of a proactive risk, crisis and disaster management, but for the entire organization means a tremendously positive development, calculability, and increased competitiveness.

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Personal Risk Management: An Overview. (2020, Nov 02). Retrieved from

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