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Risk Management?

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Clinical governance is an essential service pharmacies must meet in order to satisfy the community pharmacy contract (http://www.psnc.org.uk/pages/essential_services.html). This covers a range of topics including audits, complaints procedure and standard operating procedures.

In recent lectures clinical governance has been touched upon regarding risk management and root cause analysis. The National Patient Safety Agency uses the “five why’s?” technique as a tool for identifying the root cause (http://www.nrls.npsa.nhs.uk/resources/?entryid45=75605). Although during the lecture I understood the idea behind this technique, I cannot grasp how it points/reflects responsibility for the issue when there are so many factors affecting a specific issue.

I found it interesting to see that some of my fellow students would hold the pharmacist accountable for various issues. In some specific cases, I suppose the pharmacist would be... But it is not due to his/her incompetence as a professional. Bad things just sometimes happen due to a variety of reasons no matter how many safety nets you put there. No procedure can entirely be risk free.

I suppose this is where risk assessment/management is important. Identifying risks is crucial. But what isn’t a risk when working? The environment, people, patients, drugs and furniture. These are some risks that could be highlighted.

The more I think about it, the more I feel that as long as people are aware of risks then procedures can work. Although it might sound like common sense, sometimes it's easy to not involve your team in an issue which may seem like nothing. The seven steps to patient safety highlight some important factors to me (http://www.nrls.npsa.nhs.uk/resources/collections/seven-steps-to-patient-safety/?entryid45=59804).

It’s all food for thought at university and this blog is just a few thoughts I got from a couple of lectures it may seem sad to discuss them but I enjoy analysis and building awareness. It’s also important to me because these issues may affect patients, staff and my future career.

Clinical governance is a topic I feel I need to work on. My intention of this blog was to write about it so I could recap areas and hopefully discuss them with others. However I feel a bit more confused now. So any comments would be appreciated.

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