WHO conceptual framework for the international classification for patient safety offers a definition of Safety & Risk Management (SRM) as follows; "Activities or measures taken by an individual or a healthcare organization to prevent, remedy or mitigate the occurrence or reoccurance of a real or potential safety event". Institute of Medicine (IOM) describes 'Patient Safety' as the freedom from accidental injury due to medical care or from medical error. An error is considered as a failure to carry out a planned action as intended or application of an incorrect plan. Error may manifest by doing the wrong thing (commission) or by failing to do the right thing (omission), at either the planning or execution phase.

While the hospitals are setting is one of healing and comfort, it also includes certain dangers. Hospitals contain hazardous chemicals, drugs, radioactive material and infectious matter. In addition there are dangers from fire and smoke.

Hospital should ask following questions when we talk about risk management and assessment :-
  1. Is my organization has done the Risk Assessment?

  2. Is my organization prepared to respond to these events?

  3. Does my organization need to be prepared anyway?

  4. What are our priorities?

Risk are mainly categorized into these categories :-
  1. Naturally occurring events : Earthquake , flood , epidemic , pandemic.

  2. Technological events: Electrical failure, Transportation emergency, Water emergency, HVAC failure, Structural damage, Fire.

  3. Human related events : Mass casualty incident (trauma),Mass casualty incident (infectious), Terrorism – biological, Hostage situation, Bomb Threat, Civil disturbance.

  4. Events involving hazardous materials: Terrorism – chemical, Chemical exposure Radiological exposure.

Risk Assessment helps the organization in Describing and prioritizing the risks of the organization to better prepare for all phases of emergencies like: Assessment, Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery.