The interviewee – J. J. RN – focused on three main risk management strategies: employee education, corporate culture, and technology usage. Regarding employee education, Methodist Hospital Texas organizes constant training for all levels of the staff. The organization positions itself as an educational destination for professionals and has a global academic network. Furthermore, Methodist provides training on health care compliance topics to its vendors and contractors. This paper focuses on Methodist Hospital Texas’s risk management programs, relying on particular insights in order to identify their possible flaws and suggest solutions.
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Regarding the behavior of employees, the company concentrates on promoting reporting culture. One relevant example of such culture is a non-retaliation policy adopted in the company. Employees of Methodist who report any action believed to violate the law in good faith are protected from retaliation by this policy and federal and state laws. Moreover, the interviewee stressed that the company is committed to fighting fraud and has complied fully with state and federal laws. Finally, regarding the use of technology, according to the interviewee, the company is determined to acquire and implement the most cutting-edge technologies to ensure the safeness of its procedures. For instance, Methodist widely uses risk management information systems in its routine operations.
Regarding educational risk management, to avoid such issues as negligence, malpractice litigation, and vicarious liability, the company constantly informs its employees about the significance of a professional code of conduct. Furthermore, Methodist organizes regular training and examinations of its employees in the professional, ethical, and legal spheres as various studies recommend such practices (Jahn Kassim & Abdul Manaf, 2017). According to the interviewee, the company’s employees must be able to recognize, report, and manage difficult situations in the mentioned spheres.
Regarding emergency triage in high-risk areas of health care service, Methodist follows a straightforward procedure. Firstly, the company produced a standardized list of possible emergencies that will require a specific answer. Secondly, the guidelines to follow in these scenarios were created and customized for the hospital in general, its particular departments, and staff. Thirdly, the company allocates and maintains extra supplies and resources necessary for emergencies according to respective scenarios, as this is one of the most impactful parts of the strategy (Ugarte et al., n.d.). Moreover, the procedures for rapid reallocation of resources within the hospital are also designed, and the staff is trained to follow these procedures whenever necessary. Finally, the interviewee also emphasized that the company made support agreements with some other local facilities, stakeholders within the community, and governmental bodies in different emergencies.
Due to the interviewee’s specialization, the challenges in managing and controlling infectious diseases were discussed. The interviewee highlighted two key challenges: adapting to new microorganisms and strains of diseases and an increased need for healthcare workers. As the ongoing pandemic has demonstrated, new diseases can develop rapidly. Moreover, they can evolve and produce differing strains faster than healthcare systems can adapt, launching new waves of disease (Ellyatt, 2021). Healthcare organizations suffer from these rapid changes as they may have to quickly and dramatically reshape their procedures as a reaction. These are costly and complicated procedures that require flexibility and quick decision-making in a situation of lack of information. Regarding another challenge, healthcare organizations understand that their main asset is their personnel. Therefore, the current shortages of human resources that the interviewee described causes serious problems, especially in the field of managing and controlling infectious diseases (Qasim Hussaini, 2020). This is the case, as the employees should be highly qualified, trained, and responsible because their actions determine the difference between an outbreak and its prevention. The demand for such specialists has grown enormously due to the pandemic; however, their supply has not adjusted yet; thus, it is challenging to find them.
The company has two strategies regarding compliance maintenance – internal and external. In the first case, Methodist uses its own internal resources and procedures to assess the risks, including compliance. The company’s compliance officer evaluates the work of employees based on the company’s written standards of conduct and internal compliance policies and procedures. Previously mentioned training activities for employees also include compliance part; such practices show their effectiveness throughout the world (Andrawes et al., 2019). In the second case, the company requests an external review of its processes by independent agencies, which helps to get a different point of view on the situation and assess the procedures against external standards.
Considering the information provided by Methodist on their risk management program, it seems that the company has designed an effective system to reduce risk in many fields of its practice. This is also the case even for high-risk healthcare and possible legal concerns. The interviewee drew attention to the fact that due to the company’s long history, they could successfully adapt to both legal and people’s demands regarding risk control and reduction. However, on the other hand, the interviewee mentioned that one of the vulnerable spots in the company’s risk management strategy is the human capital strategy. In particular, the company has still not fully adapted to one of the trends in healthcare today that is supported statistically – large-scale shortages of nurses (Haddad et al., 2021). Therefore, it seems rational to claim that the human capital strategy and procedures should be revised urgently.
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To conclude, the above discussion provided a number of insights regarding risk management programs of the specific organization obtained from the interview with J. J., RN from Methodist Hospital Texas. Despite the fact that this organization has a number of significant points within the scope of the topic, a critical issue was identified. It was suggested that due to the absence of the full-scale implementation of large-scale shortages of nurses, the human capital strategy is to be revised shortly.
Andrawes, S.Y., Fakhry, S.F., & Abd El Azeem, H. (2019). Nurses’ compliance with patient safety standards in an accredited hospital. Egyptian Journal of Health Care, 10(1), 65-79.
Ellyatt, H. (2021). New Covid wave could be imminent as delta variant sweeps Europe, WHO says. CNBC.
Haddad, L.M., Annamaraju, P., & Toney-Butler, T.J. (2021). Nursing shortage. StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.
Jahn Kassim, P.M., & Abdul Manaf, N.H. (2017). Integrating patient safety and risk management: The role of law and healthcare organizations. Journal of Global Business and Social Entrepreneurship, 1(2), 115-125.
Qasim Hussaini, S.M. (2020). Dearth of infectious diseases physicians as the USA faces a global pandemic. The Lancet, 20(6), 648-649. 10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30377-7
Ugarte, C., Amsalu, R., Tieffenberg, J.A., Romig, L.E., & Vu, T.T. (n.d.). Planning and Triage in the Disaster Scenario. American Academy of Pediatrics.