The risk management of HAI: A Methodology for NHSscotland

The Risk Management of HAI: A Methodology for NHSs

ANNEX 2: Glossary

Adverse incident

Any event or circumstance that could have or did lead to unintended or unexpected harm, loss or damage to patients/public/staff or organisation

Assurance statement

A written declaration of confidence in an organisation

Clinical Governance

The purpose of clinical governance is to make sure that patients receive the highest quality of care possible, putting each patient at the centre of their care. This is achieved by ensuring that those providing services work in an environment that supports them and which places safety and quality of care at the top of the organisation's agenda. ( NHS Quality Improvement Scotland 2005)


The degree to which organisations adhere to standards


Cost of activities, direct and indirect, involving any negative impact, including money, time, labour, disruption, goodwill, political and intangible loss.

Exposure rating

This determines whether a risk is red, amber, yellow or green.


Injury (physical or psychological) suffering, disability or death which was unexpected


A source of potential harm or a situation with a potential to cause loss

Healthcare Associated Infection

Infection acquired in a hospital or other healthcare setting

Incidence (of infection)

Rate at which new cases occur

Infection control incident

A single case of a serious illness with major public health implications where action is necessary to investigate and prevent ongoing exposure to the infectious agent.

Infection control outbreak

Either as two or more linked cases of the same illness ( i.e. associated in person, place or time) or as a situation when the observed number of cases of an illness unaccountably exceeds the expected number.


Used as a description of probability or frequency

Near miss

Where no harm loss or damage is caused but could have resulted in other circumstances

Performance Assessment Framework

The method used within NHSScotland to measure performance of NHS Boards against agreed indicators


A measure of the chance of occurrence expressed as a number between 0 and 1. It is the extent to which an event is likely to occur.


The chance of something happening that will have an impact upon objectives. It is measured in terms of the severity of the consequence and likelihood of it occurring.

Risk assessment

The overall process of risk identification, risk analysis and risk evaluation.

Risk control

The policies, procedures or processes in place that play a part in managing the risk.

Risk management

The culture, processes and structure that are directed towards the effective management of potential opportunities and adverse effects

Risk management process

The systematic application of management policies, procedures and practices to the tasks of communicating, establishing the context, identifying, analysing, evaluating, treating, monitoring and reviewing risk

Risk reduction

Actions taken to lessen the likelihood, negative consequences, or both, associated with a risk.

Risk register

A register of an organisation's risks, providing detail on level of risk, control, exposure and responsibility.


Those people and organisations who may affect, be affected by or perceive themselves to be affected by a decision, activity or risk.

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