Healthcare risk managers have various different tasks, work in various different fields of healthcare, and many times, people get confused about what healthcare risk managers actually do. Below, you can find more about the nature of the career, the working environment, and the necessary education, training and certification needed in order to start a career in this very diverse healthcare field.
Healthcare Risk Management: An overview
Healthcare risk management is a fairly new profession within the healthcare field, and maybe that’s the reason why it has become so diverse in nature. Many professionals who have the qualifications and actually work in the risk management department of a facility will not hold the title of healthcare risk manager, but a different one, despite doing the exact same tasks. Healthcare risk management professionals work in a variety of subfields like clinical, financial, legal and general business aspects; claims management, risk financing, statistical analysis; event and incident management; the psychological and human factors of healthcare; insurance policies and regulations, and other fields within healthcare and medicine. The broad disciplines ensure one thing: that a healthcare risk manager never gets a dull day at work.
Working environment and work setting
As a profession, healthcare risk management is very diverse, but all of the positions focus on providing good healthcare services to patients, and to create a positive influence on the field of healthcare. Healthcare risk managers work in many different organizations and healthcare facilities, and the tasks differ and are unique for each organization or healthcare facility. For example, a healthcare risk manager that works in a hospital will have different tasks compared to a healthcare risk manager that works in a healthcare organization, national organization, or a rehabilitation facility. However, all healthcare risk managers need to be flexible, as their tasks can be different even in the same facility or organization. This means that healthcare risk managers can have many different educational backgrounds. The profession is relatively new in healthcare, and due to its diverse nature, there is not a set of educational parameters that must be met, allowing for professionals of various different educational backgrounds to work as risk managers. In addition, healthcare risk managers can take care of patients’ insurances, estimate the financial risk for the facility they work at, and many other analytical and statistical tasks during their usual working day.
How to become a healthcare risk manager
Unlike many other careers in healthcare, there is not a set route towards becoming a healthcare risk manager, so there is no need to sit through a national licensure exam.To begin with, you need to have some basic knowledge about risk management, what it means, what it entails, and how that knowledge can be applied to a healthcare facility or organization. This means that you can become a healthcare risk manager with a bachelor’s degree in law, medicine, registered nursing, clinical, health law, health insurance, business and many others. While in school, it is preferable to seek organizations that focus on healthcare risk management to build a network of contacts and to get internships or field studies in risk management to have the relevant experience. After you graduate, look for positions and be prepared to learn more and get further training on the job.