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Miami Dade Hospital: Risk Management Officer Interview


The meeting was conducted with a Risk Management Officer at Miami Dade Hospital. The responsibilities of a Risk Manager include the identification of hospital risks, the making of recommendations regarding the identified issues, the introduction of a management program, as well as other responsibilities such as employee training or the development of risk management procedures. During the interview with the Risk Management Officer, three processes for error analysis were discussed; they included Root Cause Analysis (RCA), Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA), and Serious Safety Events (SSE).

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Root Cause Analysis

When discussing RCA, the interviewee indicated that it was necessary to understand the difference between symptoms treatment and the cure of underlying conditions. RCA is a technique necessary for determining why a medico problem occurred in the first place for identifying its origins and addressing them (Brook, Kruskal, Eisenberg, & Larson, 2015). According to the interviewee, tangible, human, and organizational causes are three types of reasons why a patient may suffer from a health condition. RCA is associated with looking at different types of cases and investigating patterns of poor well-being in order to discover specific processes that may improve a patient’s condition.

Failure Mode Effects Analysis

FMEA implies the identification of failures in the organization of the process of care. During the interview with the Risk Management Officer at Miami Dade Hospital, it was revealed that FMEA was an ongoing process that the practitioner implemented for determining the seriousness of failures and identifying steps to overcome them. As mentioned by the interviewee, the responsibilities surrounding FMEA were linked to the reduction or complete elimination of failures in the process of care, starting with the most problematic issues that affect the health outcomes of patients in the facility. After a brief observation of the interviewee’s work in the facility, it was revealed that FMEA made up a major part of the practitioner’s schedule because the entire procedure was complex and involved multiple steps. For instance, the Risk Management Officer had to gather a team of healthcare specialists that had some knowledge about the identified problem, measure the effectiveness of existing healthcare efforts, and complete an evaluation based on the findings of FMEA.

Serious Safety Events

Lastly, the interview proceeded with the discussion of Serious Safety Events. The interviewee mentioned the “Gettig to Zero” framework, which encompassed a range of investigatory procedures for determining the level of harm caused to patients (Hoppes & Mitchell, 2014). Within the framework, SSE is defined by a deviation from “generally-accepted practice or process that reaches the patient and causes severe harm or death” (Hoppes & Mitchell, 2014, p. 3). The interviewee mentioned that in order for the healthcare team to determine the rate of preventable harm and address it, the standardization of existing methodologies is needed. Therefore, SSE was identified as the most complex aspect of risk management since the continuous and consistent classification of risks was needed to ensure that Miami Dade Hospital could prevent harm caused to patients.

Concluding Remarks

In summary, the experience of interviewing a Risk Management Officer shed light on the process of risk identification and elimination. The responsibilities of the healthcare specialist ranged from determining why medical errors occurred to measuring rates of preventable harm in a hospital setting. Overall, the experience can be characterized as positive. A further investigation of risk management procedures at hospitals is needed to evaluate how different organizations structure their work to overcome various risks and challenges associated with the quality of care that they provide to patients.


Brook, O., Kruskal, J., Eisenberg, R., & Larson, D. (2015). Root cause analysis: Learning from adverse safety events. RadioGraphics, 35(6), 1655-1667.

Hoppes, M., & Mitchell, J. (2014). Serious safety events: A focus on harm classification: Deviation in care as link. Chicago, IL: American Society for Healthcare Risk Management.

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