The American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) commissioned a research study on relationship(s) between risk management staffing arrangements and hospital performance. The Healthcare Research and Educational Trust, an affiliate of ASHRM, completed the study and a summary of the results are presented below. The goals of the study:
The results of the study indicate that, on average, the responding hospitals had 2.3 full-time professional risk managers. When support staff members were included, the average jumped to 3.0 full-time employees (FTEs) involved in the performance of risk management functions.
The differences in risk management staffing arrangements between high-performing hospitals and other hospitals were statistically significant across four dimensions:
The results suggest several potential areas for future research. The researchers found, for example, a significant and positive link between risk managers’ primary involvement in hospital quality improvement and patient satisfaction scores, and between risk management’s contributions to quality improvement and declining readmission rates.
As healthcare risk managers begin to increasingly employ proactive risk management models, it is important for the healthcare industry to continue to assess any changes in both patient satisfaction and readmission rates to verify these potential correlations.
While this study did not uncover a direct correlation between staffing and other quality measures, the authors suggest that the variables researchers use in regression modeling need to be expanded to include unmeasured sources of variability such as leadership, organizational culture and the level of influence risk managers have within the organization.
To download a copy of the complete project click here.