What is Risk Management?

Risk Management is the systematic identification of risks within an activity, system or process, and the implementation of actions which will minimise harm arising from these risks. One of the most important aspects of risk management is learning from mistakes or near misses in order to reduce the risk of them recurring.

Risk Management and Patient Safety

‘Freedom from accidental injury; ensuring patient safety involves the establishment of operational systems and processes that minimize the likelihood of errors and maximize the likelihood of intercepting them when they occur.’  Kohn LT, Corrigan JM, Donaldson MS. To err is human: building a safer health system. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 2000:211.

Patient safety is concerned with finding out ‘why it happened’ by encouraging staff and patients to report and review incidents.  An understanding of why something has happened gives you an opportunity to change the way care is delivered. Therefore patient safety involves minimising the risk of error to patients.