“There is risk in everything we do. It does not matter how you look at it, how you hold it up and examine it, EMS is a dangerous and a risky job,” said Peter Dworsky, EMT-P, during his lecture Risk Management for EMS, delivered Thursday, Feb. 25 at EMS Today 2016 in Baltimore, Md.
Dworsky simplified the risk management process to four basic steps:
- Identify the Risk—What are the things that will harm us?
- Prioritize the Risk—How often do they happen?
- Quantify the Risk Potential—How bad will it be?
- Strategize—What can be done to prevent it from happening?
Dworsky stressed the need to include all departments within the EMS agency in the risk management process: billing, operations, communications, fleet, education and administration. He suggested examining incident reports and quality assurance audits, and recommended that EMS managers talk with their insurance carriers, focusing on incidents categorized as high frequency/high severity (typically motor vehicle collisions, worker’s comp cases, stretcher drops, patient injuries and law suits).
Additional observations Dworsky made included:
- If something is predictable, it is preventable
- Risk management is everyone’s responsibility
- Risk management protects staff
- Risk management saves money
It is impossible to completely eliminate risk in EMS, however there are methods that can be implemented to reduce the likelihood of the effects of an incident. The goal of any risk management program is to reduce the agency’s exposure and provide a safe environment for the employees, visitors and patients.
For more coverage of EMS Today 2016, click here.