Validation of the Algorithmic Prediction of Failure Modes in Health Care Methodology: Applied to the Department of Sterile Supply and Equipment

Ayala Kobo-Greenhut, Ortal Sharlin, Tatyana Fishman, Liron Daniel, Hilel Frankenthal, Vered H. Eisenberg, Eyal Zimlichman, Dina Orkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) is a leading tool for risk management in health care. The term "blanket" approach FMEA describes a comprehensive simultaneous look at the variety of interrelated factors that may directly and indirectly affect patient safety. Applying FMEA with the "blanket" approach is not common, due to FMEA's limitations. Algorithmic prediction of failure modes in health care (APFMH) is leaner and enables the application of the "blanket" approach, but, like FMEA, it lacks formal validation. The authors set out to validate the APFMH method while applying a "blanket" approach. They analyzed the sterile supply handling at a 1900-bed academic medical center. The study's first step took place in the operating room (OR) aspect of the process. An APFMH analysis was performed using the "blanket" approach, to identify the hazards and define the common root causes for predicted hazards. The second step took place a year later at the sterile supply and equipment department (SSED) and aimed to validate these root causes, thus validating the reliability of APFMH. The "blanket" approach analysis with the APFMH method consisted of categorization into 3 risk-dimensions: patient safety, equipment damage, and time management. Root causes were defined for 8 high-ranking hazards. All the root causes for failures, identified by APFMH at the OR department, were revealed as actual hazards in the processes of the SSED. The independent findings at the SSED level validated the list of identified hazards that was formed at the target department (ie, the OR). APFMH methodology is a lean in time and human resources process that ensures comprehensive hazard analysis, which can include the "blanket" approach, and which was validated in this study. The authors suggest using the APFMH methodology for any organizational analysis method that requires the inclusion of "blanket" approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Quality
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

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Copyright © 2022 the American College of Medical Quality.


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