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Failure mode and effects analysis: views of hospital staff in the UK

Shebl, Nada, Franklin, Bryony, Barber, Nick, Burnett, Susan and Parand, Anam (2012) Failure mode and effects analysis: views of hospital staff in the UK. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 17 (1). pp. 37-43. ISSN 1355-8196

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Identification Number: 10.1258/jhsrp.2011.011031


Objective: To explore health care professionals’ experiences and perceptions of Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), a team-based, prospective risk analysis technique. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 operational leads (20 pharmacists, one nurse) in medicines management teams of hospitals participating in a national quality improvement programme. Interviews were transcribed, coded and emergent themes identified using framework analysis. Results: Themes identified included perceptions and experiences of participants with FMEA, validity and reliability issues, and FMEA’s use in practice. FMEA was considered to be a structured but subjective process that helps health care professionals get together to identify high risk areas of care. Both positive and negative opinions were expressed, with the majority of interviewees expressing positive views towards FMEA in relation to its structured nature and the use of a multidisciplinary team. Other participants criticised FMEA for being subjective and lacking validity. Most likely to restrict its widespread use were its time consuming nature and its perceived lack of validity and reliability. Conclusion: FMEA is a subjective but systematic tool that helps identify high risk areas, but its time consuming nature, difficulty with the scores and perceived lack of validity and reliability may limit its widespread use.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2012 The Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Psychological and Behavioural Science
Departments > Social Psychology
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2017 12:35
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2021 00:16

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