Denise Fowler, director of risk and insurance for our Toledo and Lima markets, loves that her day-to-day challenges in health care risk management are never the same. But she’s equally motivated by the ongoing goal that never changes.
“Our main responsibility is to ensure that our patients, visitors, team members and physicians are safe within our facilities, both inpatient and outpatient, by decreasing potential and actual risks,” Denise shares.
With the main goal being to uncover, identify, analyze and mitigate risks in our health care environment, Denise was kind enough to share more about her profession as we observe Health Care Risk Management Week.
“Health care risk managers come to work every day and are passionate about improving safety and decreasing risk within our organization,” she says.
Denise begins each day by preparing for safety huddles, which involves a review of all the safety reports from the previous 24 hours. The review allows for timely identification of potential risks that may need further investigation. Each department reports on any safety concerns or events that may need to be examined.
Her extensive health care background enables Denise to embody two of the vital qualities of a risk manager – the ability to remain calm and prioritize the issues.
“Having been a registered nurse in numerous departments and roles at Mercy Health – St. Vincent Medical Center for over 40 years has prepared me for the unexpected,” she explains. “My experience enables me to identify and understand potential risks and patient safety.”
Throughout each day, Denise performs risk assessments, reviews adverse event reports and visits multiple nursing units. She provides countless consultations regarding decision making, documentation, how to handle difficult situations, legal claims and numerous other risk situations.
“I appreciate and take pleasure in the fact that every day is different, filled with new challenges and opportunities,” she says. “I am constantly provided an arena for new learning opportunities and professional growth. I can honestly say that I learn something new every single day.”
Denise also appreciates how her team comes together with the same mindset.
“Even though our department is very small, we are mighty and provide great support to each other,” she adds. “Our team is made up of such committed, smart and creative professionals who work tirelessly to improve safety and decrease risk in our facilities, inpatient and outpatient. I appreciate each and every one of them.”
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