Risk management is all part of running a practice – whether that is NHS or private. Here are three of the big risks facing practice owners in 2019.
1. Attracting and retaining talent to the healthcare sector
It is no secret that many doctors and dentists are leaving the NHS, or the healthcare profession altogether, before retirement. With mental health awareness being at the forefront this month, and healthcare professionals being affected more than most, it would be unwise to ignore this risk to the industry as a whole.
Two thirds of young hospital doctors report that work pressures affect their mental and physical health.
Of course, mental health is not the only reason for practitioners leaving healthcare. Dentists are increasingly being faced with indemnity claims. This affects morale and often also affects health. Whatever the outcome, it has been cited as a factor in many dentists taking early retirement.
Losing experienced and dedicated professionals is a huge risk for practices. It affects succession planning, and also means that less experienced doctors and dentists are losing out on mentors.
Even if medical and dental practitioners, or other key personnel are out of action for a short period of term, such as through illness or injury, practices are left to pick up the bill of locum support. In these situations, Key Person cover is increasingly becoming part of a practice’s risk management plan, and can form part of your practice insurance package.
2. Data security should be a priority
The healthcare industry keeps a lot of sensitive patient data and information security should be top priority. With GDPR regulations governing practices throughout the UK, not keeping data secure is simply not an option.
A year on from the implementation of GDPR, Microsoft believes that 41% of businesses are still another year away from compliance.
There are a number of ways that you data could be compromised. IT security should be a consideration (as we shall talk about in the next point), but also you should have processes in place that mean your patients have given you permission to hold their data and contact them as appropriate. Healthcare practices have additional responsibilities to consider over other industries, such as patient privacy and care.
3. Cyber threats continue to affect healthcare
Healthcare data continues to be a target for criminals, who generally steal this from practices through Cyber attacks. We have discussed at length how Cyber security should be a top priority for dental and medical practices, and the trend in criminal activity only increases.
Estimates suggest that the cost of Cyber crime could reach $2 trillion in 2019. That is triple the value cited in 2015.
With risk such as Cyber crime comes insurance. We are likely to see practices insuring data becoming the norm over the next year or so. Not only does Cyber insurance provide peace of mind and guidance to practice owners during a breach, your insurer can also provide support in mitigating your risks.
Cyber crime affects patient trust, can ruin your reputation if you are seen not to have a planned response, and can essentially halt your business while you try to regain control of your systems. Cyber Liability insurance can be a lifeline to your practice’s efforts in protecting your data.
Speak to us about managing your risks with insurance
With all the risks affecting healthcare practices in 2019, Cyber crime is likely to have the most obvious impact. It is important to consider your whole risk portfolio and insurance options. Make sure Cyber liability insurance is considered as part of this review.
Contact us to discuss your Cyber liability, and other responsibilities.