Risk Management in the Clinical Laboratory

Number of Credits

1 P.A.C.E.®




Course Keywords: ,

This course provides P.A.C.E.® credit only and is not for individuals that are eligible for CME credit (physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses). For CME credit, register for the course under the Laboratory Director CME Program category where the course is offered for CME credit.

Course Details:

A risk is a future event that may result in loss or injury. In healthcare, the future event specifically refers to harm to a patient (negative patient outcomes).

In 1999 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a study entitled “To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System.” Its estimate of the number of deaths and adverse outcomes caused by medical errors sent shockwaves throughout the healthcare community as well as the general population. Perhaps for the first time members of the healthcare community began to seriously look at the way healthcare is delivered and how the process could be improved to enhance patient safety. Thus, one of the most beneficial results from the IOM study was that healthcare providers realized that they urgently needed to fully and more effectively incorporate “risk” as a crucial component of their management.

Risk Management is an important discipline for laboratory directors and medical laboratory professionals, as it is our responsibility to understand and follow the vast number of rules and regulations governing laboratory testing. It is the goal of this course to present an overview of risk management with a clinical laboratory point of view to show how risk management can improve the quality of care we give patients.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define “risk” and discuss why risk management is important in healthcare.
  • Identify laboratory and hospital accrediting bodies and regulations that impact laboratory risk management.
  • Identify risk management concerns associated with the laboratory’s preanalytic, analytic, and postanalytic phases of testing.
  • Describe some of the tools used in risk management processes.

This activity will take approximately 1 hour to complete and there are no prerequisites. A P.A.C.E. ® completion certificate will be issued upon successful completion of the course with a score of 80% or higher on the graded exam, and completion of the course evaluation.

  • Introduction to risk management
  • Healthcare standards and regulations
  • Phases of testing and risk exposures
  • The risk management process
    • Identify and analyze loss exposure
    • Monitor and improve risk management treatment(s)
    • External laboratory assessment as a risk management tool
  • Risk management and employment practices liability
  • Legal concerns and risk management
  • Graded Exam
  • Resources

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