Within an increasingly complex healthcare environment, today’s organizations face an equally complex array of risks, from cyber and regulatory to clinical and beyond, all while working with limited resources. Most recently, hospitals and health systems are facing risks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To successfully manage risk amid such pressures, healthcare organizations need a modernized approach that allows them to mitigate their specific risks while thriving – and staying competitive.
In this challenging environment, it’s more important than ever for healthcare organizations to get a return on the investments they make in business processes throughout their enterprises. As industry complexities grow, the risk gap – between new and increasing risks and unchanging risk coverage – continues to expand.
New and increasing risks strain execution of audit plans that already lack resources. The industry can’t afford to simply add consulting hours or the full-time equivalents needed to test and assess risk mitigation controls and processes.
Organizations need a new approach to internal audit that lessens the gap between risks that matter most to them and their ability to mitigate those risks.
This new approach is called “return on risk.” Organizations achieve a return on risk when they better align their risk coverage with the actual risks to which they are exposed. This alignment involves making a shift from a conventional internal audit structure to a new, modernized vision for internal audit. Following are five steps healthcare leaders can take to adopt this more modern approach to transforming their internal audit functions.