EMS World

DEC 2018

EMS World Magazine is the most authoritative source in the world for clinical and educational material designed to improve the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care.

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EMSWORLD.com | DECEMBER 2018 15 Risk analysis—After identifying and pri- oritizing risk factors comes the challenge of analyzing them. This entails quantifying how much threat they pose to the organiza- tion, stakeholders, and community. A key question is whether the organization has the tools and personnel to deal with the risk becoming real. Consider using a probability impact matrix. This scores the probability a risk will turn into a crisis and its impact. Assign numerical values of 1–3 to each risk factor based on probability and its corresponding impact potential based on severity, where 1 is low, 2 is medium, and 3 is high. To obtain a risk score, multiply the probability of the risk by the severity of its impact. For instance, a risk with a moderate likelihood of occur- ring (2) but great consequences if it does (3) would have a risk score of 6 (2x3). Note the maximum score under this matrix would be 9, representing the grav- est possible risk. Mitigation—When creating a mitigation plan, build on information gathered during the analysis phase. Plans should be easy to follow and clearly articulate how to mitigate each risk factor: • State clearly that the safety of all per- sonnel at all times is the first priority and promoting situational awareness and injury prevention is critical; • State how the risk will be mitigated; • If a risk could involve the community, provide specific information about shelter- ing or other safety needs; • Use the necessary tools to eliminate or minimize the risk; • Include simple process flow charts; • Assign a spokesperson to disseminate information to stakeholders if there's a threat of the risk becoming a crisis; • Specify how the risk-mitigation team will communicate with each other: monthly meetings, videoconferences, conference calls, e-mail, etc. These plans must be routinely updated. Controlling the environment—This part is difficult—it requires constant monitoring and evaluation to determine if the risk fac- tors that were eliminated or minimized don't recur as threats. Note that risk factors that were simply reduced, rather than eliminated, may remain present. Conclusion EMS officers are responsible for prevent- ing the risks that threaten their organiza- tions from becoming crises. Employing a risk-management framework that clearly delineates how to set strategic risk objec- tives; identify, assess, analyze, and mitigate risk factors; and control the environment afterward will help them do this success- fully. Select a risk-management tool that works for your organization and begin work- ing toward a less risky environment. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Orlando J. Dominguez, Jr., MBA, RPM, is assistant chief of EMS for Brevard County Fire Rescue in Rockledge, Fla. He has more than 30 years of EMS experience and has served as a firefighter-paramedic, flight paramedic, field training officer, EMS educator, and division chief. He recently earned his Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

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