By David Burik, Danielle Dyer
Nearly every US state had at least 70% of their hospital and intensive care unit beds occupied in early December 2021. But new COVID-19 variants aren’t the only culprits. It’s also the increasing number of bedside nurses who are leaving hospital-based care for less stressful nursing positions—and stressed hospitals are struggling to close gaps in staffing. Meanwhile, vulnerabilities associated with remote staffing and new digital entry points for care exposed not-for-profit hospitals to heightened risk of cybersecurity attacks. And across the industry, digital investments and enablement have become a table-stakes essential for providers as demand for virtual connections to care rises.
Make no mistake, while this volatility has been exacerbated by the pandemic, it’s a thread that’s now woven into the industry’s new normal. Managing these conditions demands a measured response from hospital and health system boards.
Traditionally, enterprise risk management within hospitals and health systems has primarily focused on compliance and efforts to improve margins. However, today’s enterprise risk management strategy requires the nimbleness of leadership to respond to the “next normal” by predicting, identifying, and monitoring risks such as worker shortages, cybersecurity, digital disruptors, and price transparency—and then ensuring responses are aligned and coordinated.
Healthcare boards can more effectively keep a pulse on risk by keeping these three questions top of mind:
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