The state of risk assessment in healthcare

Donna M. Woods*, Robin Sullivan, Jonathan Young, Jane L. Holl, Sally Reynolds, Robert Wears, Ellen Schwalenstocker, Jennifer Oelerich, Olivia Ross, Anna Torricelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

Abstract

The Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) has experienced broad adoption in healthcare. Sixteen healthcare FMEA risk assessments were collected from institutions across the country. Criteria to assess these risk results was developed: Inclusion of a multi-disciplinary team; process flow, identified failure-modes, consequences, causes, controls/safeguards; consideration of more than one fail-point, cause, consequence including both omissions and commissions; cross study comparison of elements; frequency/consequence assessment validated with data. Numerous risks have been identified using FMEAs, however, the analyses of similar processes by different teams produced very different results. Failure-modes and causes described in one FMEA study may be overlooked or unspecified in another study of the same topic. Conducting a review across FMEAs not only captured common risks across the studies but provided a more comprehensive assessment of the pool of existing risks. In comparison with other high risk industries, healthcare is teeming with low and high impact risks - this is true for both the frequency and volume of potential failure modes. Still, at this stage in the use of FMEAs, there is evidence of truncation of inquiry in the specification of potential failures and causes. The criteria developed through this study can also be used prospectively in the form of a checklist to improve risk assessment results.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication10th International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management 2010, PSAM 2010
Place of PublicationRed Hook, NY
PublisherCurran Associates Inc.
Pages2650-2658
Number of pages9
Volume4
ISBN (Print)9781622765782
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event10th International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management 2010, PSAM 2010 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: 7 Jun 201011 Jun 2010

Other

Other10th International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management 2010, PSAM 2010
CountryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA
Period7/06/1011/06/10

Keywords

  • FMEA
  • Healthcare
  • Patient safety
  • Risk assessment

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