The Value of the Healthcare Risk Management Profession

The risk management healthcare professional plays a vital role in helping keep your patients safe and lowering your overall liability exposure. As a result of the current national public health emergency, the appreciation of this profession is heightened. Risk management refers to identification of and actions taken to prevent or mitigate events of risk, and to lessen their effect if they do occur. In clinical risk management, the goal is patient safety and improvement in quality of care. Examples of services provided by healthcare risk managers:
  • Perform assessments to identify, assess and help reduce risk in healthcare organizations.
  • Measure, track and trend findings of assessments, and assist with implementation of risk management program and systems.
  • Provide support and expertise to clinicians, patients and families after an adverse event.
  • Consult on questions regarding day-to-day clinical risk management and compliance issues.
  • Provision of risk management education and resources to physicians, other healthcare providers and staff.
  • Evaluate patient complaints and surveys to improve patient satisfaction.
  • Participate in organizational and medical board meetings that discuss risk management and patient safety.
The American Society for Healthcare Risk Management celebrates its Healthcare Risk Management Week June 15–19 to raise awareness about risk managers and their importance. Whether you have a dedicated risk manager on staff or enlist an outside source, the key is to keep the risk restrained. The end goal is to continue to move from a reactive to a proactive state of identifying and managing risks.

The current pandemic has heightened awareness of the crucial role of the risk management team. The overwhelming influx of potential risks and new issues has caused these professionals to act swiftly to address potential liability and exposures issues such as:
  • Infection control
  • Telehealth Remote Communications and OCR HIPAA regulation enforcement discretion during COVID-19 (risk manager should understand which parts of the Privacy Rule are affected and provide oversight)
  • Post-pandemic liability: misdiagnosis, improper treatment claims, PPE shortage
  • Employee concerns: adapting to new workflows, longer hours, unfamiliar tasks
  • Credentialing
  • Future planning: using the current pandemic as motivation to reevaluate the risk preparedness of your organization while developing a long-term plan of action for return to business once the COVID-19 outbreak subsides

The Value of the Healthcare Risk Management Profession

What is one risk issue in your organization today? Could one of your patients be harmed as a result of not having this risk addressed? Take time to thank a risk manager at your organization today. Show your appreciation for all the work risk management and patient safety professionals do to ensure that patients receive safe and trusted healthcare.

Healthcare Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention Strategies

Gallagher National Risk Control

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, slips, trips and falls account for 23% of all injuries in healthcare facilities, closely behind overexertion and bodily reaction. Falls to the same level account for 79% of all slip, trip and fall injuries, followed by slips and trips without a fall at 14% and falls to a lower level at 7%. The nature of slip, trip and fall injuries may result in fatalities, strains, sprains or tears, fractures, or bruises and contusions. Listed below are the hazards healthcare workers may face that result in injuries from slips, trips and falls, and best strategies to prevent injuries.

Healthcare workers are at risk for slip, trip and falls when:

Slips Trips  Falls 
Walking on polished floors Poor housekeeping conditions are present Slipping/tripping, resulting in a same-level fall 
Exposed to weather-related hazards from rain, ice or snow Walking on uneven surfaces Slipping/tripping, resulting in a lower-level fall
Patients or guests spill food, beverages or ice Walking on doormats, rugs and torn carpeting Working on ladders, scaffolds, scissor lifts or catwalks
Walking on slippery surfaces Walking on poorly maintained walkways and sidewalks  

Healthcare workers may protect themselves from slips, trips and falls by:

Slips  Trips  Falls
Keeping walking surfaces as clean and dry as possible Ensuring well-lit, clean and marked walkways Engineering out hazards if possible
Using disposable umbrella bags and positioning them at main doorways Maintaining good housekeeping and storage practices in all areas Using ladders properly and ensuring proper training
Having a shoe policy and requiring slip-resistant footwear Repairing walkways and sidewalks Using guardrails
Ensuring drainage in wet locations Ensuring that hoses, cords and cables are routed away from active work walkways Using handrails
Cleaning up spills immediately   Using PPE and fall protection for maintenance staff if needed
Removing ice and snow    
Using caution signage    

Awareness Program: SLIP into a Safe Routine

The following awareness program is designed to remind employees of the basics of resident handling on a frequent basis. It can be posted on the backs of badges, on signs, on intranet-based communication through computers, etc. For example, at the close of a gathering, employees can be asked to give one step of care for our residents, asking another for the following step, etc., until all steps are given.

Quiz Yourself 

  1. Injuries from slips, trips and falls account for 23% of all healthcare injuries. True or False
  2. Fatalities are not a concern for slips, trips and falls. True or False
  3. Poor housekeeping is not a major hazard for slips, trips and falls. True or False
  4. To protect yourself from slips, trips and falls, spills should be cleaned up immediately. True or False
  5. Having a formal shoe policy is a great way to reduce slips, trips and falls. True or False

National Risk Control (NRC) Webinars

Upcoming Webinar: Slip/Trip/Fall Prevention


Slips, trips and falls are a major source of injury throughout this industry for employees and residents alike. Please join us on June 16 as we review the common causes for this major loss category and discuss best practices for controls.

On Demand Webinar: Workplace Violence Preventative Measures for Healthcare

Replay Webinar

During this webinar, we will discuss how to assess current facility operations as they relate to workplace violence prevention. Explore the different preventative tools that can be implemented to assist healthcare and social services workers who face significant risk of job-related violence on a daily basis.

On Demand Webinar: Home Healthcare Fleet Risk

Replay Webinar

When was the last time your healthcare organization looked into its fleet safety program? Chances are, it may be your organization’s largest exposure, and a successful fleet safety program will pay real dividends to your bottom line. Join leaders from Gallagher to learn more about the various areas of risk for healthcare fleet safety and for guidance on how to manage your organization’s risk.

Gallagher’s Healthcare Practice Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

Whitepaper: What We Know About the Stafford Act, the PREP Act, and their Impact on Healthcare Organizations


This whitepaper covers the impact on healthcare organizations with COVID-19 being declared a national emergency, and the Trump administration invoking the Stafford and PREP Acts.



The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance has been extended by FEMA to 30 days immediately following the last date of the federally declared emergency. View our FAQs, which provide guidance on applications, who should apply, what is covered and important legislation.

On-Demand Webinar: Caring for the Caregiver

Replay WebinaR*

This program provides guidance on the development of an internal process to identify and reach out to clinicians and staff who are struggling under the pressure of this pandemic event. We also address the need for this support and how to identify individuals within the organization (physicians, nurses, etc.) that could be trained in one-on-one support of their peers.

On-Demand Webinar: An Empathic Response for Leading a Healthcare Organization During This Difficult Time

Replay WebinaR*

In this program, we focus on how managers and healthcare executives can understand, empathize, and take the most effective actions to provide practical and emotional support to their staff. We will get through this crisis, but we also want to be sure we emerge with a stronger sense of pride, cohesion and shared purpose in our organizations. How we respond to our staff now will affect the enduring memories that shape the challenges our organizations will face for years to come.

On-Demand Webinar: Managing Cyber Risks and the Mobile Workforce

Replay Webinar*

This webinar discusses best practices for mitigating cyber risk and legal liability considerations for companies following an influx of remote workers in this rapidly changing environment.

For additional COVID-19 resources, visit Gallagher’s pandemic resource page here.

Recent Whitepapers by Gallagher’s Healthcare Practice

Whitepaper: Large Tech Companies Contract to Access Patient Data


This paper explores the critical questions accompanying the rise of tech company partnerships with healthcare record holders and explores potential insurance coverage for claims that could arise.

Whitepaper: Opioid Use, Misuse and Overdose— Continuing Issues for Healthcare


This paper provides a look into this public health issue and an overview of the concerns that medical professional liability insurance carriers have raised with healthcare organizations, and explores the requirement to provide information about opioid monitoring protocols as part of the underwriting submission.

*To access these webinars, you will need to fill out the registration form. Clicking the Register button will bring you to the recording page, where you can listen to the webinar, view the PPT, download resources, etc.

Gallagher provides insurance, risk management and consultation services for our clients in response to both known and unknown risk exposures. When providing analysis and recommendations regarding potential insurance coverage, potential claims and/ or operational strategy in response to national emergencies (including health crises), we do so from an insurance/risk management perspective, and offer broad information about risk mitigation, loss control strategy and potential claim exposures. We have prepared this commentary and other news alerts for general informational purposes only and the material is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted as, legal or client-specific risk management advice. General insurance descriptions contained herein do not include complete insurance policy definitions, terms and/or conditions, and should not be relied on for coverage interpretation. The information may not include current governmental or insurance developments, is provided without knowledge of the individual recipient’s industry or specific business or coverage circumstances, and in no way reflects or promises to provide insurance coverage outcomes that only insurance carriers control.

Gallagher publications may contain links to non-Gallagher websites that are created and controlled by other organizations. We claim no responsibility for the content of any linked website, or any link contained therein. The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by Gallagher, as we have no responsibility for information referenced in material owned and controlled by other parties. Gallagher strongly encourages you to review any separate terms of use and privacy policies governing use of these third party websites and resources.

Insurance brokerage and related services to be provided by Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc. (License No. 0D69293) and/or its affiliate Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Insurance Brokers of California, Inc. (License No. 0726293).