When there is an issue at your medical practice, the issue may lead to an incident, which may lead to a loss.
This brings up the question – how can you proactively identify potential issues?
The next question becomes – once you have identified an issue, how can you manage the situation to prevent an incident from arising and a loss from occurring?
The answers to these questions can be found in effective risk management practices.
Policies and Procedures
Ideally, you want to identify potential issues before they occur. This is where having a policy and procedural manual comes in handy.
A policy and procedure manual is a resource designed to help you manage and respond to situations consistently.
Staff members should not only be familiar with the policy and procedure manual, but they should also conduct regular reviews and updates.
PSIC Risk Management Hotline
Our toll free, risk management hotline can be a valuable tool to help you think through an issue so it does not become an incident.
Sometimes, an issue that has not previously occurred at your practice arises and is therefore not addressed in your policy and procedure manual.
Should this happen, you should call PSIC’s physician risk management hotline at 1-888-336-2642. Our staff members will discuss the issue with you and they may be able to offer suggestions to help you address it.
If the risk manager you speak to feels that a claims representative should be involved, they will also alert our claims staff and have them get in touch with you.
Tips for Dealing with Risk Management Issues
Address issues immediately. This can help you get ahead of the problem and make sure you are prepared should it happen again.
Look for the root cause of the issue. Rather than looking purely at the issue (e.g. “I have a disgruntled patient who is refusing to pay the bill”), you should look at what happened to cause the issue in the first place. Was there a communication breakdown? A system breakdown? An operational breakdown?
Once the issue is resolved you should review the policy and procedural manual to see if it needs to be updated to help address similar issues in the future.
Over the lifetime of a practice, issues are inevitably going to arise. The PSIC staff is here to help you address these issues and develop risk management techniques to minimize repeat occurrences.