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Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management (PSAM)
Michael G. Stamatelatos
Michael G. Stamatelatos
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Harold S. Blackman
Harold S. Blackman
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ASME Press
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The staff at three Washington State hospitals and Battelle Pacific Northwest Division have collaborated to apply Failure Mode Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) to assess several hospital processes. The staff from Kadlec Medical Center (KMC), located in Richland, Washington; Kennewick General Hospital (KGH), located in Kennewick, Washington; and Lourdes Health Network (LHN), located in Pasco, Washington, along with staff from Battelle, which is located in Richland, Washington have been working together successfully for three years. This effort was initiated in response to the new patient safety standards implemented in July 2001 by healthcares major accrediting agency (“i.e.” Joint Commission for the accreditation of Healthcare Organization), and the hospitals' desire to be more proactive in improving patient safety.

As a result of this collaboration an eight step process for applying Failure Modes Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) to healthcare was developed and applied on seven high-risk medical processes. During the assessment exercises high-risk processes were explicitly defined and assessed and their weaknesses identified. Based on those insights corresponding system improvements were devised. FMECAs were performed for:

• correct site surgery

• prevention of patient falls

• correct labeling of diagnostic images

• correct medication ordering

• correct delivery of solid oral medication

• correct blood type transfusion

• correct antibiotic IV administration

Based on this collective experience, insights about the benefits of applying FMECAs to healthcare processes have been identified. And while finding suitable support for conducting an FMECA is not without its challenges, the benefits yield insights that might not easily be obtained by other means.

The FMECA Procedure
The FMECA Worhsheet and Risk Algorythm
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