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What Is Risk Management in Healthcare, and How Do You Turn It Into a Career?

Risk Management in Healthcare

You may not realize that risk management knowledge and experience can transfer to healthcare, creating a compelling career opportunity. Healthcare compliance is a growing and changing field. Constant adaptation and a wide variety of unique issues make it an invigorating field to work in—one that is needed by patients, providers, managed care, biotech companies, pharmaceuticals, nonprofits, advocacy groups, government health agencies, and healthcare facilities.

How do risk management and healthcare complement each other? How can risk management be used in the healthcare system to become a compliance officer? Read on to learn more.

What is Risk Management?

Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing, and controlling threats to an organization’s capital and earnings. Risk management is used in many fields, such as finance, as well as healthcare. Professionals who work in risk management may be referred to as compliance officers.

As a compliance officer, you:

  • identify risk using data,
  • quantify and prioritize the risk,
  • investigate and report events,
  • perform compliance reporting,
  • develop analysis models for investigation,
  • develop a risk management plan to mitigate risk,

How Does Risk Management Intersect with Healthcare?

Healthcare organizations have many priorities, including safety, finance, and patient care. The world of healthcare can be temperamental. As a result, risk healthcare managers are trained to handle issues under a wide array of circumstances in many different settings.

In healthcare, there are risks to patients, staff, and organizations, which must be evaluated by a risk healthcare manager. Their goal is to assess, develop, implement, and monitor risk management plans to minimize exposure.

How Does It Become a Career?

Risk management in healthcare means addressing current challenges and preparing for future situations. Assessment plans can include:

  • Patient safety
  • Mandatory federal regulations
  • Potential medical errors
  • Existing and future policy
  • Legislation impacting the field of healthcare

As the demand on our health systems increases, the healthcare industry needs leaders in risk management now more than ever. Risk healthcare managers seek to minimize the risk of injury for staff, visitors, and patients.

Within healthcare risk management there are many career options, including:

  • Compliance manager 
  • Compliance officer 
  • Patient privacy and protection specialist  
  • Compliance auditor 
  • Medical administration 
  • Incident management
  • Finance 
  • Claims management
  • Clinical research
  • Insurance management
  • Event management
  • Psychological and human healthcare
  • Emergency preparedness

Professionals in these positions lead compliance efforts for hospitals or care facilities by overseeing training, policy development, and decision making. They advocate for the privacy and well-being of all patients by managing the use and storage of private medical information. They also review and monitor compliance efforts and interact with agencies, lawyers, organizations, and executive team members to minimize risk and ensure compliance.

An Evolving Industry and Career

If you become a compliance officer, you are trained to track regulatory change, navigate changing regulations, and contribute to the rulemaking process, all while helping your organization provide the best possible care. You must stay up-to-date on relevant information for your organization and keep track of healthcare laws and industry compliance. In an ever-changing world, especially in the aftermath of a global pandemic, your skills will always be in demand.

Seattle University School of Law’s Healthcare Compliance Program

Seattle University School of Law offers a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) in Compliance and Risk Management for those seeking to enhance their knowledge and gain a comprehensive understanding of how the law intersects with and applies to this field. This degree will provide you with a working knowledge of the regulations essential to ensure compliance in the healthcare industry. 

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