Essential element 3: Risk screening and assessment

To focus care on patients’ needs, and determine the most appropriate model of care for the patient, it is important that health services identify and assess patients’ risk of harm. Identifying patients who may be at risk of harm, and mitigating the risks for those patients is a core part of comprehensive care planning and treatment.

 

As well as identifying clinical issues, risk screening and assessment processes can help identify the likelihood of harm, and support decision making about treatment and risk mitigation. There are issues and wide variability in the way that risk screening is currently undertaken, but it should be completed with the outcome in mind - which is to inform care planning and decision-making, so that the care delivered is safe and high quality and appropriate to the patients individual needs.

Resources on risk screening and assessment

The Commission has developed a resource reporting on a review of processes, tools and approaches to risk screening and assessment: