Risk management

Karen Pickard, Raymond L. Fowler, Melanie J. Lippmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The impact of medical error on the delivery of quality health care is well documented. Risk management programs are designed to identify and analyze factors that contribute to medical error with the goal of minimizing risk and preventing future error. Such programs are essential in the prehospital setting. Prehospital risk management and error prevention must remain a priority for all EMS medical directors as they strive to optimize patient care and service to the community. A comprehensive risk management program is a critical component of all successful EMS systems. These programs must include policies and protocols that aim proactively to prevent error, in addition to analyzing error retroactively in order to continuously improve the overall EMS system. Key elements in such a system include intensive training of prehospital personnel, ongoing continuing medical education to ensure maintenance of skills, adequate supervision and medical oversight by an involved medical director, rigorous documentation policies, proper maintenance of equipment and supplies, creation of standardized medical protocols, and the establishment of formalized processes to investigate, manage, and reduce error.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Oversight of EMS
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781118990810
ISBN (Print)9781118865309
StatePublished - Feb 12 2015


  • Incident management
  • Medical error
  • Quality management
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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