Risk management

Raymond L Fowler, Melanie Lippmann, Faroukh Mehkri, James M. Atkins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The effects of medical error on the delivery of quality health care are clear and of great concern. Risk management programs are designed to identify and analyze factors that contribute to medical error, with the goal of minimizing risk and decreasing the opportunity for these errors in the future. Such programs are essential in the prehospital setting. Prehospital risk management and error prevention efforts 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 every successful EMS system. These efforts must include the development of policies and protocols that aim proactively to prevent error, in addition to analyzing error retrospectively in order to continuously improve the performance of 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 based in part on findings from the risk management system, adequate supervision and medical oversight by an involved medical director, rigorous documentation policies, proper maintenance and provision 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 pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781119756279
ISBN (Print)9781119756248
StatePublished - Aug 18 2021


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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