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Article   |    
Risk management strategies in the provision of mental health services
Psychiatric Services 1995; doi:
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Abstract

Psychiatric settings provide unique challenges for engaging in risk management activities. The author reviews principles of risk management- -the systematic effort to avoid harm to patients and the subsequent threat of financial loss--as they apply to mental health organizations, including preconditions necessary for a risk management process, identification of risk, evaluation of risk, and the actual risk management process. He outlines recent relevant directions of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, especially the shift to continuous quality improvement and the organization of the 1995 standards around major functions such as improving performance. Today few mental health care organizations can afford not to have programs that actively seek to reduce and eliminate risk, the author believes, not only because of the financial consequences to the organization but also because a solid risk management program can significantly improve patient care.

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