Are you ready to integrate risk, quality, and safety through technology? Here’s a checklist of things to consider when you’re buying a healthcare RMIS.

✔ One system. Have one system for safety, quality, and risk information, such as a Risk Management Information System (RMIS), designed specifically with healthcare in mind. The software should effectively incorporate the unique requirements – and possibly competing priorities – of each function, increase automation, and support your workflows. And make sure it captures all of the information needed by everyone for reports.

✔ Training. Even the best software is virtually useless if no one is comfortable using it. Look for software that is easy and intuitive to use right from the start. Even then, some training will be necessary to get the most from your software – but the increased functionality will be well worth the investment of time and effort.

✔ Anonymous reporting. Providing a safe environment for open and honest discussion is essential for uncovering truths. Open up incident reporting to anyone in the organization, and allow reports to be made anonymously.

✔ Easy incident reporting. You can’t investigate something that was never reported. Make sure the software makes it easy and accessible to report all types of incidents or near misses. You can only take action to improve the situation if you know about it in the first place.

✔ Review root cause analysis and event audit investigations. Getting to the root of one problem may actually solve several others along the way. Take what you learn and apply that to other areas to amplify your results.

✔ Strive for best practices. Establish a system for reviewing, updating, and disseminating clinical policies and procedures with an eye toward constant improvement. Whittling away at inefficiencies is a continuous journey that can generate huge improvements in productivity – and safety.

✔ Leverage a common structure. Use a configuration that follows industry standards, while accounting for the uniqueness of your organization. And be sure it will be accepted and understood by all users.

✔ Be open to change. Any new system involves some change. Be flexible with your processes and workflows to take advantage of the tools available through the software.

Once it’s up and running, a healthcare RMIS can help you build better alliances between risk, quality, and safety – and achieve synergies that will reduce risk, lower costs, and improve patient safety. All it takes is a little planning.