The importance of risk management in healthcare

Risk management consists of control and prevention measures to avoid and reduce the likelihood of a dangerous or error situation. In healthcare institutions, a failure can lead to the patient’s death .

2016 data from the Yearbook of Hospital Assistance Safety in Brazil, from the Supplementary Health Studies Institute (IESS), revealed that, on average, 829 Brazilians died daily in hospitals due to errors and failures that could be avoided. Given these data, these errors in hospitals, reached the mark of 2nd largest cause of death in the country.

Do you know what it is and what are the benefits of risk management in healthcare? And what is the importance of risk management to avoid errors and the judicialization of health?

According to the latest edition of the Justice in Numbers Report , in 2016, 1,346,931 health court cases were processed in Brazil. Generally, the reasons that lead patients to sue a health institution are:

  • Delay and bad service;
  • Negative treatment by the health plan operator;
  • Diagnostic error , surgery , report, treatment and other medical errors ;
  • Early discharge;
  • Dissatisfaction with the results;
  • Hospital infection ;

Risk management in the health area is essential so that the situations mentioned above are avoided.

What is health risk management?

Risk management in the health area has the purpose of implementing preventive, corrective and contingency actions to ensure effectiveness and operational efficiency and to offer a health service with quality and safety to the patient. This consequently influences the profit and sustainability of the business.


The Resolution of the Collegiate Board – RDC nº 36 , legislation of paramount importance for health institutions, aims to institute actions to promote patient safety and improve the quality of health services.

With regard to risk management, this normative document adopts the following definition:

“Risk management: systemic and continuous application of policies, procedures, conducts and resources in the identification, analysis, evaluation, communication and control of risks and adverse events that affect safety, human health, professional integrity, the environment and the institutional image. ”

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Main results of health risk management:

  • Error reduction and elimination;
  • Increased quality;
  • Strengthening the institution’s brand in the market;
  • Prevention and reduction of legal processes and indemnities;
  • Effective and efficient productivity;
  • Attracting and winning external and internal customers ;
  • Effective business management
  • Reduction of costs and resources;
  • More assertive decision making;
  • Proactive and preventive management;
  • Business sustainability ;
  • Profit;

Main actions in risk management:

  • Identification;
  • Analyze;
  • Implement well-defined processes and procedures;
  • Side dish;
  • Continuous process improvement;
  • Rigid documentation;
  • Communication;
  • Control;
  • Evaluation;

All hazardous situations must be analyzed based on a checklist based on legislation, action planning and good risk management practices of the health institution.

Means used to manage risk:

  • Policies;
  • Procedures;
  • Conducts;
  • Resources;

Challenges of risk management:

Quality must be a basic requirement of the health business. Risk management in healthcare institutions must come from the top down. Top management must believe in its importance, make it happen, be committed and replicate this culture with the whole institution. It is necessary to have the involvement of everyone so that the processes, procedures and actions are followed to the letter.

Health institutions are increasingly concerned with risk management and quality improvement. Therefore, pay constant attention, analyze contexts and think about actions you can take to reduce or eliminate risks to the patient, professionals and the healthcare institution.

It is also very important that you know how to deal with legal situations related to health risk management. To prepare and better understand the phenomenon of the judicialization of health and to deal with it in a preventive and proactive way, visit the postgraduate course Medical Law & Legal Protection Applied to Health .


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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