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Use of Failure Modes Effects and Criticality Analysis to Improve Patient Safety

[+] Author Affiliations
Garill A. Coles, Jonathan Young

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA

Paper No. IMECE2002-32453, pp. 113-119; 7 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2002-32453
From:
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3647-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME

abstract

The Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations recently approved revisions to their accreditation standards that are intended to support improvements in patient safety and reduce medical errors. Key among these is the requirement to perform a Failure Modes, Effects, and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) on one high-risk process each year and propose measures to address the most critical failures. Because FMECA was developed for other industries such as nuclear, aerospace, and chemical, some adaptation of its form and use is needed. The FMECA process is normally performed by analyzing each element of an engineered system as represented on a process flow diagram. Medical processes, in contrast, are usually defined procedurally. The key elements of a medical process are more likely to be actions than equipment and components. A community project was put together to develop and test the FMECA adaptation and had good results. This collaboration consisted of safety analysts at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington and the Quality and Performance Improvement managers of the three local hospitals. This paper describes this adaptation.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME
Topics: Safety , Failure

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