University of Delaware

Professional & Continuing Studies

Online course addresses patient safety, healthcare risk management

Healthcare Risk Management Online course starts Aug. 28

August 16, 2017

Studying medical error as a cause of death, researchers at Johns Hopkins recently totaled a variety of reported lapses in care such as diagnostic errors, system defects, and errors in judgment, skill or coordination of care.

Tallying those deaths at 250,000 annually, the researchers named medical error as the third leading U.S. cause of death behind only heart disease and cancer.

Across the healthcare industry, protecting patient safety and health outcomes in an era of increased specialization among providers, pay for performance, aging infrastructure, and staffing and drug shortages are among the critically important issues facing healthcare systems, said Linda J. Ramsey, a healthcare attorney and healthcare risk management expert.

At the forefront of those efforts in many healthcare organizations is the risk manager. “Risk managers are ‘issue spotters,’ educators, project managers, policy writers and editors, identifying and working collaboratively across all disciplines to keep patients and staff safe,” said Ramsey.

“Risk management is about ‘keeping money at the bedside’ and avoiding patient and staff injuries,” added Ramsey, whose more than 30 years in risk management includes being on-call for risk and patent safety, staff education, claims management and insurance coverage. “To that end, risk management professionals are an invaluable resource within any healthcare system,” Ramsey said. “Healthcare organizations need to develop a culture of safety where even the ‘lowest-ranking’ member of the team hierarchy feels safe to speak up and ask a question to protect patients and employees.”

The University of Delaware’s Healthcare Risk Management Online Course addresses this critical need with a program designed to provide healthcare professionals with the background and skills for the specialty of risk management and patient safety.

Now in its ninth year, UD’s Healthcare Risk Management Course is offered completely online. The upcoming fall program takes place August 28-November 4.

Healthcare risk management overlaps with a variety of disciplines including case management, compliance, legal, quality, patient safety and performance improvement. Professionals in all of these disciplines would benefit from the additional risk management training offered by this course, noted Ramsey, who is program director for UD’s online risk management offering.

This course should also be considered a preparatory class for those pursuing the Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM) credential administered by the American Hospital Association, added Ramsey.

The Healthcare Risk Management Online begins August 28. Learners progress through the course at their own pace within the 10-week completion schedule. Participants must be health-related professionals with experience in healthcare or related fields.

Program topics include the role of risk manager; standards, laws, regulatory affairs and patient safety; enterprise risk management and corporate compliance; risk issues in non-healthcare settings; employee/employer risk; and risk financing, insurance and contracts.

This noncredit program is offered through the University of Delaware’s Division of Professional and Continuing Studies. UD students and UD alumni are eligible for a discount when enrolling in this program. Other discounts include a military/veterans discount, and a group discount when two or more individuals from one business or organization register for the program.

For more information about the Healthcare Risk Management Online Course, including a detailed curriculum, visit the website, write to continuing-ed@udel.edu or call 302-831-7600 or 1-866-820-0238.