Risk, Safety and Clinical Practice: Healthcare through the lens of risk

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Overview

Risk thinking is transforming the understanding, organization, and management of heatlth care systems, and its significance is likely to increase still further over the next two decades as technological advances, for example the new genetics and the discovery of new biomedical markers, open up novel possibilities for health risk management.

Heightened societal risk consciousness, such as food panics and the debate over the MMR vaccine, co-exists, apparently paradoxically, with increased life expectancy in advanced industrial societies and increasing concern about the longer term future. At the same time, social trends are pushing health care systems towards the surveillance of populations and the targeting of groups identified as being at higher risk. All too often, services users, health professionals, policy makers, and researchers draw upon a risk management without reflecting critically on its assumptions or limitations.

This introductory text focuses on the underlying generic issues of risk management in health care. Aimed at health professionals, managers, educators and policy makers who are concerned with risk management, it allows the readers to analyze risk management issues, and to critically evaluate the claims made about exisiting and new technologies, in an informed way. It covers all aspects of risk relevant to a clinical setting and is closely related to decision making in the clinic.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Reviewer: Carole A. Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN (Council of International Neonatal Nurses)
Description: This book focuses on risk thinking as it impacts healthcare delivery.
Purpose: The purpose is to identify issues that underlie health risk management and the book uses clinical scenarios to exemplify risk thinking.
Audience: The intended audience includes healthcare professionals, managers, educators, policy makers, and researchers concerned with risk management.
Features: Health risks are first defined and then discussed in view of the evidence to support the risk. A focus on health management begins the book. The chapters address the components of risk thinking and define risk management, social construction, and values of health risks, followed by a discussion of the chances of a risk, what is uncertain and what is probable, and in what timeframe risk should be considered — how long can an adverse outcome be considered tangential to a treatment. The final chapters address the cultural and social context of risk such as risk management, how the media influences risk, the regulatory environment, patient safety, and then pandemic issues such as swine flu.
Assessment: The book is the only one of its kind that really focuses on risk from the inside of healthcare delivery and outside cultural/societal influences. While it uses clinical examples, it mainly uses the context of risk thinking and how that influences the concept of risk and how risk is evaluated.
From The Critics
Reviewer:Carole Ann Kenner, DNS, MSN, BSN(Northeastern University Bouve College of Health Sciences)
Description:This book focuses on risk thinking as it impacts healthcare delivery.
Purpose:The purpose is to identify issues that underlie health risk management and the book uses clinical scenarios to exemplify risk thinking.
Audience:The intended audience includes healthcare professionals, managers, educators, policy makers, and researchers concerned with risk management.
Features:Health risks are first defined and then discussed in view of the evidence to support the risk. A focus on health management begins the book. The chapters address the components of risk thinking and define risk management, social construction, and values of health risks, followed by a discussion of the chances of a risk, what is uncertain and what is probable, and in what timeframe risk should be considered -- how long can an adverse outcome be considered tangential to a treatment. The final chapters address the cultural and social context of risk such as risk management, how the media influences risk, the regulatory environment, patient safety, and then pandemic issues such as swine flu.
Assessment:The book is the only one of its kind that really focuses on risk from the inside of healthcare delivery and outside cultural/societal influences. While it uses clinical examples, it mainly uses the context of risk thinking and how that influences the concept of risk and how risk is evaluated.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198569008
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2010
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Heyman is Professor of Health Care Risk Management in the School of Human and Health Sciences at the University of Huddersfield, and Professor Emeritus in Health Care Research at City University, London. Previously, he held the post of Associate Dean for Research at St Bartholomew School of Nursing & Midwifery, City University. His research is concerned with qualitative approaches in health care risk management. He has written extensively on this topic in relation to a wide range of clinical contexts, particularly mental health and learning disability services and prenatal chromosomal screening. Bob Heyman is currently collaborating with the Care Quality Commission in a study of risk screening of healthcare organisations, and with The West Yorkshire Mental Health R&D Consortium in a programme of research concerned with clinical risk management in mental health services. Andy Alaszewski is an applied social scientist with a BA honours degree (Social Anthropology, Class I) and PhD (Social and Political Sciences) from the University of Cambridge. In 2001, following a successful academic career at the University of Hull he took up the posts of Professor and Director of the Centre for Health Services Studies at the University of Kent and is also Director of the Research Design Service for the South East funded by the National Institute for Health Research. For the past 30 years he has been involved in research focusing on policy making and the provision of health and social care. Increasingly his interests have focussed on the ways in which risk is framed within health and social care and the ways in which risk issues influence and shape the development of health and social care services. He is the founding editor of Health, Risk and Society an international peer-reviewed journal published by Taylor and Francis. Monica Shaw recently has recently retired from the post of Senior Research Fellow at City University, London. She is Emeritus Professor at Northumbria University where she was previously the Executive Dean of Social Sciences and the Dean for Quality, holding institution-wide responsibility for quality assurance systems. Her current research interests include the history of women's action in coal mining disputes and their changing role in ex-mining communities; the role of nurses in the delivery of quality healthcare and the barriers to multiprofessional risk management in forensic mental health services; and the escalation of regulation in public services as a response to critical cases. Monica Shaw has considerable experience both as a senior manager and a critical analyst of the impact of regulation on public and voluntary services, and she has a long history of personal involvement in the development and governance of voluntary organisations in the North-East of England. Dr. Mike Titterton is Chairperson of HALE (Health & Life for Everyone), an international charity that helps children and adults at risk of harm and provides training for health and social work staff. He also works as an international expert in health, social care and education for bodies such as the Council of Europe, NHS Health Scotland and the World Health Organisation. He was previously long-term expert and team leader for an EU Tacis programme in health education in Russia and has worked on several health and social care projects throughout Eastern Europe. He has also worked for four universities in the UK, as well as in health care and social work in the past. His research and professional interests include promoting risk literacy and reducing harmful risk behaviours.

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Table of Contents

Introduction, Bob Heyman and Mike Titterton
1. The concept of risk, Bob Heyman
2. The social construction of health risks, Bob Heyman
3. Values and health risks, Bob Heyman
4. Risk and probabilistic reasoning, All
5. Time and health risks, All
6. Information about health risks, Andy Alaszewski
7. Health risks and the media, Monica Shaw
8. The regulation of health risks, Monica Shaw
9. Health risk and the patient safety agenda, All

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