Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Reaffirmation of the Importance of the CHRISTUS Health Enterprise Risk Management Program

Approximately two years ago, we evolved our traditional risk management into a strong, system-wide enterprise risk management program. We recognized that in our economically complex health care environment, risk was moving far beyond medical liabilities. The importance of this transition is highlighted in an article featured in the October 2009 edition of Risk Management magazine.

Entitled “Eyes Wide Open,” this article explains clearly how by examining macro trends, companies can identify emerging risks. Identical to our goal for establishing a strong enterprise risk management program, the author indicates that,
. . .Risk taking should be understood and risks should be appropriately managed. Having the ability to recognize new risks as they emerge has become increasingly important in today’s evolving economic, social and political landscape. By examining macro trends, organizations can help identify many emerging risks early on, which will allow for more proactive risk management.

By utilizing a survey of potential risk areas completed by an array of CHRISTUS leaders from our system departments, regions and business units, 18 critical risk areas were identified and prioritized utilizing the four major drivers of risk outlined in the final page of the article, which include:
Impact: What effect will the event or scenario have on the company?
Velocity: How quickly will the event or scenario impact the company?
Materiality: Can the effect of the event or scenario be overcome with existing resources, or would it require a
significant change in the business model, skill set and mind-set?
Reputation: What is the possibility of adverse publicity or damage to the company’s reputation?

Having the enterprise risk management program in place and presently working on the six highest ranking risk areas identifies CHRISTUS Health as a leader in this area so crucial to our future success.

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