Vice president-chief risk officer
Children’s National Medical Center
For Rebecca Cady, the key to effective risk management at a health care system is good communications.
At the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, where Ms. Cady is vice president and chief risk officer, she has put in place a communications system that ensures just that.
There is, for example, a daily check-in call during which hospital staffers report issues, such as a shortage of patient drugs, that could lead to future problems. In addition, there is a weekly meeting in which operational and clinical executives are briefed on situations that could present risks, as well as a biweekly meeting in which Children’s National’s CEO receives updates on risks that were earlier identified.
Collecting this information is key to good risk management and loss prevention, said Ms. Cady, who has been with Children’s National, which has more than 300 hospital beds and 6,000 employees, for a decade.
“These are good ways to collect information so we can respond proactively,” said Ms. Cady, who was a partner with a California law firm before joining Children’s National.
For example, if medical professionals report that the health care system has run out of certain drugs used to treat patients, action can be taken to obtain other appropriate drugs, she said.
Getting risk management-related information quickly has resulted in significant cost savings. For example, the medical center’s Cayman Islands-domiciled captive insurer has beaten its budget five straight years due to decreased losses.
Those who have worked with Ms. Cady say she has numerous strengths.
“She has a deep personal commitment to safety,” said Jim Jones, chairman of Children’s National’s captive, Bearacuda Re.
In addition, Ms. Cady “has credibility with the medical staff. She can speak their language. There is a lot of trust,” said Mr. Jones, who has known Ms. Cady for about a decade.
“She has raised risk management initiatives to new levels within the organization,” said Jason Bennett, deputy national health care practice leader with Aon PLC in Philadelphia, who has known Ms. Cady about 5½ years.