Our three-step process

In our experience providing the most thorough healthcare risk management service in the industry to the Stanford University Medical Network, The Risk Authority Stanford has developed a comprehensive consulting approach that we use to benefit all of our clients. This three-step process offers a clear picture of how to best serve our clients’ interests, including providing them with tools, products and unique solutions to meet their specific risk management goals.

The first step in the process is an in-depth consultation where we listen to our client’s concerns to collaborate on which areas need assessment. We then answer questions and discuss the methodology behind our Stanford Transformative Assessment of Risk (STAR).

The STAR methodology is a proven process that will establish a baseline, identify areas for improvement and provide a roadmap for change in the form of an extensive “Authorit-e Scorecard” for benchmarking and tracking progress.

This consultation is designed to provide clients with a clear understanding of what to expect, as well as an estimated timeframe as we move forward.

Clinical Risk Management/Patient Safety

Our years of collective clinical risk management experience enable us to provide clients with practical, real-world solutions that get results. These are guided by the same evidence-based practices and transformative strategies we have used to reach the top of the risk management industry. We develop and design clinical risk management strategies that aim to reduce patient harm to zero. Our cutting-edge approach includes comprehensive enterprise coverage of all risks (including value protection and value creation), a claim many of our competitors can’t match.

After identifying the areas most in need of improvement, we conduct a STAR. The STAR for clinical risk management is an in-depth process of data collection and analysis with focus on the following areas:

  • Program design and integration
  • Evaluation of the current risk management structure including micro-systems
  • Malpractice diagnostic
  • Analysis of current claims to identify and trend key factors
  • Early warning systems
  • Reviewing the existing event identification and communication methods and processes
  • Loss-prevention strategies
  • Customized long- and short-term strategies to mitigate risk and loss
Claims and Litigation

The primary philosophy of our Claims team is to act as soon as possible, even before a claim has arisen.  We work closely with our clinical risk management team to identify potential claims, investigate such as soon as practical and keep in contact with patients whenever possible. Our number one goal is to help our clients provide the best patient care so that claims do not occur. Ours is a “firm but fair” policy that seeks the best resolution for all involved. However, if we are faced with a claim that does not have merit, we utilize our early and thorough investigation as a strategy to provide the best defense.

In the second step of our process, we utilize STAR to identify our client’s most pressing claims and litigation issues. The STAR for claims and litigation focuses on reducing claims costs and improving patient safety through examination of:

  • Claim philosophy
  • Enhancement opportunities within the current claims management program
  • Claim reserves
  • Implementation of accurate and consistent reserving practices
  • Business partner review
  • An evaluation of whether the client’s attorney mix is suitable
  • Early resolution strategies
  • Preparation of proper response procedures in the event of unanticipated outcomes

DARTS Success:

Decision Analysis Reserve Targeting and Strategy (DARTS) is a process that provides advanced insight into the risks and uncertainties that drive case liability exposure. We’ve applied DARTS to over 100 cases, improving loss reserving by gathering all case-relevant information including:

  • Facts of the case
  • Veracity of witnesses
  • Expert opinions
  • Applicable laws
  • All other information that may impact claim value

Several years ago, when Stanford Health Care was a co-defendant in a medical malpractice case, we initiated our DARTS process. After analyzing the claim through DARTS, we determined that even though we felt there was no liability, we should settle due to the high value of the case along with other factors that were revealed through the DARTS analysis. Because DARTS gave us a transparent, thorough and defensible understanding of the issues, we were able to settle the case.

DARTS – a scientific and structured decision-making process to determine accurate case reserves.

PEARL – a communication and resolution program designed to manage unexpected outcomes with honesty, dignity and respect, while also reducing risk and claims costs.

Risk Financing

Our core belief is to create innovative approaches in risk financing that go beyond basic loss funding. Our service acts as a catalyst for risk management efforts, such as funding new risk mitigation strategies and loss control approaches. The Risk Authority Stanford’s Risk Financing program combines actuarial science and decision analysis to create a robust analysis that considers both value protection and value creation, giving our clients a competitive edge.

Using our STAR process for risk financing, we’re able to get a clear picture of the successes and shortfalls in our clients’ financial management systems. Through this process, we will make recommendations to enhance these systems for maximum benefit. The STAR for risk financing focuses on:

  • A risk audit
  • Evaluation of the coverage, terms and conditions of existing insurance policies to identify strengths and weaknesses from a risk manager’s perspective
  • Self-insurance analysis
  • A review of the feasibility of self-insurance models as alternatives using cost-benefit analysis
  • Broker assessment and management
  • An examination of the efficacy of brokerage services to determine advantages and disadvantages for each client versus in-house services
  • Providing services as Attorney-in-Fact for all healthcare risk retention groups, including consulting, claims handling and captive financial management

Risk Financing and SUMIT:

Stanford University Medical Indemnity Trust’s (SUMIT) goals and strategic vision center on meeting the needs of both its patients and insureds. We support this vision by leading and implementing proactive patient safety efforts, aggressively managing claims and monitoring SUMIT’s risk finance portfolio.

Comparing Stanford’s total loss rate per occupied bed to the Aon benchmark that averages loss rates among academic medical centers nationwide, Stanford leads the nation in low loss rates.

DARTS – a scientific and structured decision-making process to determine accurate case reserves.

Workplace Solutions

The most important asset of any healthcare organization is the people who provide continuous care and operational support. Protecting them from injury and illness requires a sustained effort of design and the implementation of programs that specifically address the risk factors associated with their work. The Risk Authority Stanford identifies these risk factors using our vast industry experience and statistical analysis of injury data to help hospitals direct their employee safety programs to the areas of greatest need.

The STAR for workplace solutions aims to offer evidenced-based solutions that yield quantifiable results for a more robust workers’ compensation and safety program. To achieve these results, the STAR process concentrates on:

  • Program design and integration
  • An evaluation of your your current program with recommendations of improvements that will maximize effectiveness for your organization
  • A worker safety diagnostic
  • An analysis of open and closed cases, then benchmarking them against national and state indicators to create solutions that will benefit your organization
  • Risk reduction objectives
  • An assessment of the effectiveness of your current loss prevention and control programs to identify enhancements that will strengthen their capabilities
  • Claims administration
  • A review of your current claims handling process to ensure that it meets national standards

Safe Patient Handling – a scientific and structured decision-making process to determine accurate case reserves.

Enterprise Risk Management

We use the ISO 31000 risk management framework as a foundation for enterprise risk management, and we supplement it with customized decision analytics to identify areas for improvement and value-creation. The framework leverages the full spectrum and promise of enterprise risk management, while following an internationally recognized standard for custom operation anywhere in the world.

The STAR for enterprise risk management is concerned with creating and refining:

  • Readiness and improvement
  • Enhanced corporate ERM practices across multiple dimensions with an emphasis on executive level COSO functions
  • Architecture
  • Designs for client-specific ERM infrastructures utilizing combinations of COSO and ISO 31000 standards
  • Risk identification and assessment
  • Designing Risk identification surveys and prioritization methodologies that use impact and variability scoring, risk mapping and decision analysis
  • Response strategies
  • Effective risk response plans that include control activities, intra- and extra-corporate communications, reporting activities and monitoring

VDERM – a business process for making high-quality risk decisions that consider both the up- and downside of the risks and opportunities facing an organization.

Communication and Resolution Programs

One of our primary goals is to help patients understand their care and treatment from start to finish. We strive to achieve this goal by addressing complex medical concerns in a comprehensive, compassionate, and confidential manner. To attain this goal, we provide our clients the PEARL strategy or the Process for Early Assessment, Resolution, and Learning. PEARL is a communication and resolution program that emphasizes our fundamental beliefs on transparency, accountability, and justice.

PEARL addresses the emotional impact of unanticipated events while reducing overall expenses. This way of doing business acts as an alternative approach to medical liability processes and provides insights that can trigger corrective actions and improvements in safety. We believe that we have an equal responsibility of accountability and justice to patients and their families, as well as a fiduciary responsibility to the physicians, faculty, and healthcare entities we serve. PEARL helps us meet these responsibilities with transparency, integrity, and balance.

We utilize our STAR methodology to provide our clients with a

  • comprehensive readiness assessment,
  • infrastructure review, and
  • program design.

To learn more about PEARL, please check the following link: PEARL

Once we’ve completed the STAR process for the applicable area(s), we have a better understanding of our clients’ risk management strengths and weaknesses. To address areas of concern, we provide clients with a detailed report identifying critical issues, best practices and recommended improvements. Additionally, we offer a number of proprietary technologies and products designed to dramatically improve our clients’ risk management programs.

Innovence Pulse

A risk management software system that delivers actionable, evidence-based data on demand


A specialized risk assessment that will establish the baseline, identify areas of improvement and provide a roadmap for change.

Innovence Lab

A dedicated workspace designed to turn disruptive, challenging ideas and quantitative methods into dynamic healthcare improvements.


A communication and resolution program designed to manage unexpected outcomes with honesty, dignity and respect, while also reducing risk and claims costs.

Safe Patient Handling

An analysis tool to help quantify the costs and benefits of the safe patient handling program that best fits your needs.


A business process for making high-quality risk decisions that consider both the up- and downside of the risks and opportunities facing an organization.


A scientific and structured decision-making process to determine accurate case reserves and trial strategy.