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Risk Management Feb 08, 2023

Meet the Panelist: Pamela Popp

Learn about Pamela Popp and other panelists of the ASHRM Webinar, Reimagining the Continuum of Risk in our Meet the Panelist series.

Pamela Popp is the Chief Risk Officer and Executive Vice President at third-party administrator Gallagher Bassett (GB). She brings extensive experience in risk management to her roles and the Reimagining the Continuum of Risk webinar. At GB Healthcare, Pamela works with healthcare organizations and their carriers to mitigate and prevent risk and improve patient safety. 



Pamela Popp brings her valuable perspective to the ASHRM Reimagining the Continuum of Risk webinar panel as an educator on the strengths of early resolution programs in healthcare. Pamela pioneered an early resolution program while she was with Tenet Healthcare. During the webinar, Popp explained how she found the merits of an early resolution program.

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We did a mock trial for a medication error case with a focus group to evaluate the two strategies. We found that the verdict numbers came down, and more importantly, the deliberations of the jurors, in the situation where they were told where the patient was told that there was an error, the conversation was strictly around damages. What was the causation of the injury, how did it impact us, and what kind of money was going to be needed to deal with future healthcare costs? On the other side, though, where they were not told that there was disclosure to the patient and family, they took it to the point where they viewed the providers almost as criminals. So, as a consequence of that conversation, they escalated the damages tremendously. 



Another element of Popp's contribution to the panel was sharing the benefits of cross-department communication between patient safety and risk management. In hospitals, information risks becoming siloed into separate departments, leading to miscommunications and risk. Often, administrators intentionally create this separation for legal protection, but as early resolution proves a more viable alternative, leaders like Popp are rethinking this firewall. Pamela explained the importance of breaking down some of these barriers to enhance the claims process. 

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There's still a tremendous number of hospitals out there of all different sizes, that continue to have a culture where peer review is felt to be some secret and that information doesn't go anywhere. We certainly can't publish any of the discussion within the peer review context because that's when we want to keep that privilege. But that question of whether or not we met the standard of care is really what will be able to help us decide what we will do for this patient and family. It gets one step closer to then be able to act on that event, and determine how we want to respond to it.



For more information about early resolution programs and how they can improve your organization's risk management and patient safety, watch the webinar here. Download the Medplace Early Resolution Toolkit with resources from Gallagher Bassett, Constellation Mutual, and more here.


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