Improving health and health care efficiency through risk management

Stacy J. Park, Adam L. Sharp


It has been over a decade since the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported a high prevalence of preventable adverse events due to medical error and emphasized the need for a national effort to make health care safe (1). Despite intense efforts to increase the safety within healthcare systems, the adverse event rate has not improved significantly (2-6). The question remains, why are we not observing a demonstrable and measurable clinical improvement? Fernández-Castelló and colleagues (7) pose a standardized approach to examine the clinical risks to be managed under the integrated risk management framework and conclude that the risk management framework is essential for the prevention of adverse events by allowing hospitals to continuously identify areas of risk, to manage uncertainties and ultimately optimize organizational readiness to addressing clinical risks.