Risks in clinical practice are associated with faulty equipment and medication errors, service standards and competencies as well as human factors. Clinical risk management seeks to minimize the chances and costs of adverse outcomes. It overlaps, but is distinct from risk assessment, which focuses on weighing out the pros and cons of specific medical procedures on specific patients or patient groups; these are the subject of best practice guidelines in evidence-based medicine. Although formal risk management in clinical practice is a recent development, many experts believe its adoption might be quicker than in other sectors.
Clinical risk management and clinical governance
Clinical risk management requires robust tools, protocols and methodologies, accompanied by continuous and active feedback loops. It has become an integral facet of what is known as clinical governance.