The American Society of Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) offers the Healthcare Risk Management (HRM) Certificate Program, which consists of three courses (otherwise known as the Barton Courses), for novice risk managers as well as those seeking to obtain a level of distinction within the profession. The three modules are: Essentials in HRM, Applications in HRM and Advanced Forum in HRM. As the landscape of healthcare continues to change daily, so must our world of risk management. I have been in healthcare for over 35 years— starting out as a medical laboratory technician, then as a nurse and nurse educator, and finally entering the world of patient safety and risk management because I wanted to develop a strong foundation in understanding risk within healthcare.
Looking back over my somewhat lengthy healthcare career, I’ve witnessed many poorly structured processes and aspects of negative culture that resulted in patient harm. As we all know too well, investigation is often limited to identification of the “not-so-lucky” clinician who had the misfortune of being in the path of the perfect storm. Too often this results in termination of the individual. Over the years the culture began to shift to trying to understand the reasons why bad events happened instead of targeting the individuals involved.
By taking all three HRM courses, I have been able to get a better understanding of our past healthcare history and what is needed for our future. Patient harm has always existed; however, the means by which the harm is caused has grown overwhelmingly complicated. In today’s highly complex healthcare system, it is essential that risk management professionals be well-versed in a myriad of topics. ASHRM recommends that you take these modules in sequence, as information expands from one module to the next. The HRM courses are designed to grow your knowledge base from a fundamental perspective to applying risk management principles to address challenging situations. Beyond the application level is the Advanced Forum HRM, whereby risk management professionals can share best practices.
I recently took the Advanced Forum course at the 2016 ASHRM Conference in Orlando, Florida. The instructors were all seasoned risk management professionals who shared many helpful examples and situations where risk management principles can be, were or should have been applied.
Among the notable topics presented during the Advanced Forum course were Big Data and Risk Financing. In today’s computerized world, we have the capacity to extract large volumes of information for the purpose of improving healthcare for the population. Important aspects to consider as a risk professional analyzing Big Data are its accuracy and overall usefulness in achieving positive outcomes.
As for Risk Financing, gaining an understanding of how risk is viewed from a monetary perspective is significant in determining the best insurance options along with the healthcare organizational investment in patient safety initiatives and commitment to building a cohesive and effective work environment.
The learning format of the ASHRM course included lecture, group discussions and active learning. Married with the content, the instructors and learning formats made the course an invaluable experience!
I feel that the insights I gained in taking all three courses, along with the On-Demand CPHRM Exam Prep Course and my own self-directed learning based on the CPHRM Candidate Handbook, are preparing me quite well to be successful in obtaining my CPHRM certification.