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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 19(3)

The state of risk prevention in a sample of Australian hospitals, medical centres and allied health services

Deon V. Canyon

Department of Public Health Sciences, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, 1960 East West Road, Biomed #D104B, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA. Email: dcanyon@hawaii.edu

Australian Journal of Primary Health 19(3) 244-249 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY11133
Submitted: 26 October 2011  Accepted: 18 July 2012   Published: 29 August 2012

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This paper reports on an investigation into five risk prevention factors (technology, people, organisational structure, culture and top management psychology) to inform organisational preparedness planning and to update managers on the state of health care services. Data were collected by means of a 10-question, cross-sectional survey of key decision-making executives in eight different types of 75 health care organisations. Many organisations were found to have deficient risk prevention practices and allied health organisations were considerably worse than health organisations. Forty per cent of hospitals and chiropractic practices had out-dated or poor technology. Results on organisational culture and structure found that many executives associate these factors with risk prevention, but none of them appreciate the relationship between these factors and crisis causation. Gaps and areas for improvement are identified and a change in top management attitude is recommended to address resource allocation and implement appropriate risk prevention systems and mechanisms. Reactive managers need to increase their awareness of risks in order to become capable of preventing them. Proactive managers are those who invest in risk prevention.

Additional keywords: crisis prevention, organisational culture, organisational structure, reward mechanisms, risk assessment.


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