“Ownership” is a lovely word to use in risk management
When Aspen Medical got the nod that it was the Government’s preferred contractor for what was undoubtedly one of the most challenging and risky health care missions worldwide, the company dealt with the management of risks that most of us cannot even comprehend.
In this podcast with Aspen Medical’s Director of Corporate Services, Colin Macdonald delves into the various risks that threatened their mission.
First and foremost were the internal and external clinical risks of exposure and contracting Ebola. Colin describes four of the key risk elements that were top of mind for the company:
- Managing the risk of staff contracting Ebola and dying;
- Managing the risk of an Ebola-infected colleague returning to Australia (or New Zealand);
- Managing the risks associated with road accidents; and
- Managing the risks from “assault at leisure”.
The consequences of these risks (particularly the first two) were far wider than the clinical impacts. The reputational consequences could have been catastrophic to the company with future contracts potentially in jeopardy
Colin’s insights from this mission are outstanding and absolutely gripping. He talks you through the clinical necessities of managing the dressing up and down of colleagues into and out of their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through to discussing the very delicate issues pertaining to “body snatching” and the desperate need of the people of Sierra Leone wanting to farewell and be close to their loved ones from an emotional and cultural perspective.
Throughout his experience of managing the risks, Colin ensured there was a collective approach to designing, planning and implementing risk management and that it involved all stakeholders.
“You set the standards, set the systems, set the process, workshop to help them (colleagues and the community), coach and help them through it and the biggest part to any risk management in an organisation is ‘ownership’ by everyone who are the stakeholders and that includes those who were exposed to the risks,” Colin said.
Prior to his work in Sierra Leone, Colin had significant experience in risk management but decided he needed a refresher course to be on top of his game. After much research, Paladin Risk Management Services was his preferred risk management provider.
“The course was excellent. Rod made me work hard and challenged me,” Colin said.
“Not only are you doing training you are delivering results that you can take with you and in addition, you are able to share your insights and discuss your situation with the other people around you who are doing the same thing and you can learn from them as well,” he said.
“By the time I finished the course, I was updated, refreshed and confident I could help Aspen Medical be even better at risk management,” he said.