Expect the Unexpected


Welcome to HRMR’s special report on crisis management, in which we explore how to deal with the kind of unexpected situations that should not, but nevertheless do occur from time to time, even in the face of the most careful planning.

For this report we have taken a broad view of the term crisis, covering everything from disease outbreaks such as Zika or Ebola through to never events such as wrong site surgery. We also tackle the persistent problem of behavioural health patients arriving in the ER in desperate need of help.

As well as addressing such specifics, we explore how an organization as a whole should respond when faced with a never event despite its best efforts to become highly reliable: Dan Cohen of Datix and Dr Mark Chassin of the Joint Commission offer some valuable insights on how to react when the unthinkable happens, and how to turn the event into a powerful lesson.

As the push to learn from high reliability practices continues to spread through US healthcare, new protocols are emerging for preventing crisis situations, but there can be no underestimating the complexity of the task of applying high reliability principles to healthcare. We hope this special report will prove that you are not alone, and give you some of the tools you need to keep moving forward.

Jenny White, editor


    Being prepared for ebola

 How does a large physician group prepare for a crisis such as Ebola? Tatum K O'Sullivan, director of ambulatory risk and patient safety at North Shore Physicians Group in Peabody, Massachusetts, gives a personal account of the experience that helped her continue to develop and grow as a risk manager.


    A safe environment

 Caring for patients with behavioral health issues in the emergency department remains a hot topic in US healthcare. Michelle Foster Earle, president of OmniSure Consulting Group, explores how to reduce the risks to both patients and staff.


   Playing it safe

 How does a healthcare organization pursuing high reliability respond to a sentinel event?  Mark Chassin, president and CEO of The Joint Commission, shared his insights with HRMR.


  Dealing with an institutional crisis

 When calamity strikes, despite excellence in diligence and attention to detail, what do you  do? Dan Cohen, chief medical officer for Datix, offers his advice.


    Getting it right

 Wrong-site, wrong-patient and wrong-procedure events remain a perennial problem in US healthcare. Fay Rozovsky, president of the Rozovsky Group, outlines an enterprise risk management response plan.


    Forewarned is forearmed

 Will you know Zika when you see it? Debra Cooper, senior risk specialist for Coverys, outlines how to prepare for patient safety.