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By Diane Doherty, MS, CPHRM
Senior Vice President, Healthcare Risk Management

As we wrap up HRM Week 2020, we continue to pay tribute to the role of healthcare risk managers, a role that reaches all areas of the organization and has recently encompassed the unprecedented compliance and business continuity challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rapidly Changing Regulations

In recent months, healthcare organizations and staff were called upon to quickly adopt a myriad of new federal, state and local health-related mandates. Risk professionals have played a central role in information governance by disseminating ongoing changes in mandates, overseeing centralized repositories of compliance requirements, controlling access to document archives, and coordinating auditing activities by outside compliance surveyors. Compliance continuity now and in a post-pandemic environment demands ongoing expert risk management guidance.

 Supply Management Challenges

With the onset of the COVID-19 crisis came new business challenges – including lack of ICU beds and equipment and PPE for staff. Risk managers have engaged public health departments, as well as state and local coalitions, in an effort to leverage stockpiling agreements and ease shortages of patient care materials and equipment. In addition, they have served in the difficult and strategic role of helping to identify priorities in the allocation of limited equipment, including PPE, clinical equipment, pharmaceuticals and other resources. Going forward, risk managers will continue to provide a reasoned professional voice on the issue of supply management challenges, including the importance of preserving data, identifying alternative care sites, stockpiling medications and emergency supplies, locating alternate supply sources for future outbreaks and minimizing anticipated disruptions in care.

While no one could foresee how widespread and long lasting the COVID-19 outbreak would be, professional risk managers adeptly responded to the complex situation, providing insights and skills that helped steady healthcare organizations as they faced massive new clinical risk and disruption. 

As organizations enter the pandemic recovery phase and brace to anticipate future surges, remaining vigilant and monitoring the ongoing risks of the novel coronavirus is more vital than ever. During these unprecedented days, and every day, Chubb Healthcare salutes professional risk managers for their dedication to patient safety, caregivers and healthcare operations.

 On behalf of all of us at Chubb Healthcare, I express our gratitude to healthcare risk managers nationwide. Thank you for all you do.

Chubb is the marketing name used to refer to subsidiaries of Chubb Limited providing insurance and related services. For a list of these subsidiaries, please visit our website at Insurance provided by ACE American Insurance Company and its U.S. based Chubb underwriting company affiliates.  This document is advisory in nature and is offered as a resource to be used together with your professional insurance advisors in maintaining a loss prevention program. No liabilities or warranties are assumed or provided by the information contained in this document.