Getting ahead


Getting ahead


ASHRM’s new president, Mike Midgley, has a long career in the field of healthcare risk management behind him—and ASHRM membership has helped him every step of the way. He told HRMR how he will take the organisation forward into 2017.

From his early days as a medical malpractice investigator for a large captive organization in New York City to his present role as vice president of healthcare risk engineering for Swiss Re Corporate Solutions based in New York City, ASHRM’s new president, Mike Midgley, has seen risk managers cope with some very tense situations. In these incidences, examples of grace—and honesty—under pressure have made a big impact on him.

“I have been very impressed by healthcare providers who have been involved in serious safety events and embrace transparency and full disclosure,” he says. “I have been involved in some very emotional discussions where compassionate understanding has been amazing. I have witnessed some healthcare providers who have been involved in serious safety events become champions in preventing harm.”

This commitment to honesty and improvement is at the core of ASHRM’s message to its 6,000 members. Since 1980, healthcare risk managers have turned to ASHRM for support, information and collaboration—and always the drive is for improvement, both at an individual and organization-wide level.


Nurturing members

Individuals benefit from avenues for career advancement through Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM) designation, Fellow of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (FASHRM) and Distinguished Fellow of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (DFASHRM) recognition, and are encouraged to participate in the Healthcare Risk Management (HRM) Certificate Program and the Patient Safety Certificate Program. ASHRM also offers a career center for job seekers.

“Make it a way of life to network every day with those colleagues who can add value to your work."

“We encourage members to grow in the profession by attending the annual conference & exhibition, ASHRM Academy and monthly webinars,” adds Midgley. “In addition, we provide training on over 65 learning opportunities via our web-based ASHRM University.”

ASHRM’s learning output includes publications and resources available at a reduced price to members. Its quarterly Journal of Healthcare Risk Management and weekly e-news publication also help to keep healthcare risk managers up to speed with the latest news.

“The professional development and networking our members are involved in continue to be the keys to our success,” says Midgley.

This year ASHRM celebrates 36 years as the premier healthcare risk management professional organization advancing safe and trusted healthcare. It continues to advance its strategic initiatives, which focus on enterprise risk management (ERM), patient safety, leadership and governance/operations. As part of this it released several publications this year, including the Patient Safety Risk Management Playbook, Root Cause Analysis Playbook and the ERM Playbook.

“ASHRM is the leader in advancing safe and trusted healthcare through ERM,” says Midgley. “The mission is to advance patient safety, reduce uncertainty and maximize value through management of risk across the healthcare enterprise.

“We promote effective and innovative risk management strategies and professional leadership through education, recognition, advocacy, publications, networking and interactions with leading healthcare organizations and government agencies. ASHRM initiatives focus on developing and implementing safe and effective patient care practices, the preservation of financial resources and the maintenance of safe working environments.”

ASHRM’s greatest achievement is in its reach, he adds. Its members come from all over the world and the diversity of its membership continues to grow with more physicians, long-term care practitioners, compliance administrators, insurance professionals and defense medical malpractice attorneys.


A career in risk management

Midgley joined ASHRM in 2002, and since then he has progressed his career to the point where he oversees all healthcare risk management initiatives for Swiss Re’s healthcare risk engineering division.

He is accountable for setting the agenda for internal and external client services for the healthcare risk engineering practice and is the healthcare subject matter expert on exposures and liability trends, functioning as both an internal and external resource on all healthcare related issues.

He is charged with providing sound technical risk mitigation solutions to insureds that are innovative and tailor-made to meet the needs of each client’s organization, and applies proven risk management strategies, tools, and methods to assist healthcare organizations identify and mitigate exposures. His approach is always practical and results-driven.

As part of his role he conducts educational in-servicing on identified healthcare risk management topics for organizations, physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals. He performs healthcare risk management best practice assessments, assisting clients in implementing loss mitigation interventions, and helps in monitoring outcomes.

His role also requires him to conduct research on healthcare subject matter, case law and regulatory issues. He assists clients with development of customized policies, procedures, programs, guidelines and committees. Additional responsibilities include providing healthcare exposure identification, risk management and patient safety support to underwriters, claims management staff, and other internal personnel.


The power of networking

Midgley has found his ASHRM membership indispensable as his career has progressed.

“I have personally grown my professional network and advanced my knowledge over my 15 years of involvement with ASHRM,” he says.

He adds that ASHRM’s importance for facilitating networking should not be underestimated. This is a key part of becoming a successful risk manager.

“Each and every one of us must be a leader in advancing safe and trusted healthcare throughout our organizations. I recommend a strategy that involves three steps: networking, thought leadership and influencing decision-making.

“Make it a way of life to network every day with those colleagues who can add value to your work. This can be done, for example, by making it a point to have lunch with a department chair or staff nurse to exchange ideas. Get yourself on the calendar of influencers in your organization, invite yourself to meetings that you think will grow your knowledge or where you can contribute your knowledge to the discussion.”

He adds that you should be using social media by linking in with other professionals and sharing research, news, innovative programs and success stories.

“Use the ASHRM Exchange to ask your colleagues questions, contribute to the conversation and upload sample tools. Tap into some of the great resources available through ASHRM with our whitepapers, pearls and playbooks. Join your local state chapter and connect with local experts.”

Thought leadership is the next step, and this includes utilizing the skills and expertise you already have and calling upon the experts in your network that you have been developing. “Some of us, for example, have more clinical and legal expertise than technology or human capital expertise. So activate your network when an issue involves an area that is not in your skillset,” he says.

Last but not least is influencing decision-making. This is enhanced by using the ERM process to gather teams and analyze risks, organize risks in a quantifiable manner and rank what needs to be prioritized. You can then formally present your work to the ultimate decision-makers. 

“This is how we create value and demonstrate our leadership in our organizations. This is how we contribute to making healthcare safer and saving lives. This is how we keep our passion alive for what we do every day.”


A year as president

Midgley’s role in leading ASHRM’s board of directors is focused on facilitating strategic discussions about advancing the ASHRM mission and measuring the success of the established goals and strategies the organization has developed.

“The laser focus on ERM, patient safety, leadership and governance and operations remains as relevant today as it was just a few years ago,” he says.

“The board is actively involved in analysis of industry trends, membership needs and advancements in healthcare risk management. As the leader of the board I set the tone to inspire thought-provoking exchanges and facilitate dynamic strategic conversations.”

The 2016 ASHRM conference, with a focus on the world of safe and trusted healthcare, bridges thought leadership in risk management and patient safety, attracting the difference-makers who implement safe and effective practices across the healthcare enterprise.

“ASHRM 2016 brings together professionals with a breadth of perspectives to share their successes, challenges and best practices in order to advance safe and trusted healthcare in their institution and the greater healthcare landscape,” says Midgley, who is especially excited about the panel discussions that lie in store.

“They are always very informative because they provide the participants with an in-depth discussion on issues that have a major impact on healthcare risk managers.

“The bite-size sessions are also excellent because they offer short-form, 20-minute, learning opportunities led by expert risk management professionals and industry supporters.”

More than 2,300 attendees are expected at the conference.


Looking ahead

Looking forward to 2017, Midgley sees many challenges facing healthcare risk managers, including job responsibility changes, maintaining competence in an evolving regulatory environment, and assessing emerging technology risks.

Healthcare risk managers are called upon to analyze risk exposure from an ERM perspective that includes operational, strategic, financial, human capital, legal/regulatory risks, technology and hazard risks.

“The best tool we can implement in our organizations is an ERM approach to assessing risk and facilitating decision-making. Our role will remain focused on advancing patient safety, reducing uncertainty and maximizing value through management of risk across the healthcare enterprise.

“We are the organization that healthcare leaders will continue to access for knowledge sharing and networking with the brightest minds in the field.”

ASHRM, Mike Midgley, US, Healthcare, Risk management, Insurance, Technology, IT