Ayers, Kenneth W.
October 1993
Risk Management (00355593);Oct93, Vol. 40 Issue 10, p83
Trade Publication
In 1993, health care facilities have entered a new era of environmental awareness and regulation that requires careful vigilance by administrators and risk managers in the U.S. Many of the potential risk are not readily obvious. With state, national and international political attention focused on environmental issues, hospitals and other health care providers must stay abreast of new legislation and agency regulations, and be prepared to deal with environmental interest groups that may challenge the facility's past or current environmental practices. Overall, proactive approach is the best way to mitigate the impact and any potential costs associated with environmental compliance. Proactive management of environmental risks can greatly reduce transaction costs, which are predominantly legal. A recent study by the Rand Corp. found that up to 31 percent of hazardous waste cleanup costs under the Superfund program are associated with legal fees. Specific risk management steps can be taken as part of this proactive approach. The first is an environmental audit. Next is a management review. These steps are followed by cooperation with regulatory agencies to establish compliance plans and schedules and by a community relations plan to ensure that the adjoining community is aware of the steps being taken to improve and safeguard the environment.


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